When you think of Disney movies, Brother Bear might not be the first title you think of. The 2003 movie wasn’t one of Disney’s most successful movies, despite having an interesting plot. The movie focuses on Kenai, who has a disregard for bears. He has his reasons — his older brother lost his life due to an altercation with one. However, he sees things from a different perspective when he, himself, is turned into a bear — and a prominent one, at that. With an abandoned cub by his side, he learns a lot about brotherhood from the other side.
The movie did well enough to warrant a straight-to-video sequel, but it’s a bit of a mystery as to why critics were quick to pan it — especially since children will be able to learn a lot of life lessons from this movie. That’s why it’s worth a revisit. If you’re curious about how to stream Brother Bear, you’ll be happy to know that it’s one of the many titles available on Disney+.
Here’s everything you need to know about streaming Brother Bear so that you can give this film the chance it deserves.
How to Stream Brother Bear Exclusively on Disney+
Brother Bear is one of the many Disney animated movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Brother Bear and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Brother Bear”
- 5. Tap on “Brother Bear”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Brother Bear’: Overview
Release Date: 2003
Creators: Screenplay by Tab Murphy, Lorne Cameron, Steve Bencich, Ron J. Friedman, and David Hoselton
Directors: Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Rick Moranis, Jeremy Suarez, Dave Thomas
Synopsis: After his brother is killed by a bear, a boy named Kenai sets off to kill the bear himself. While he’s successful, he turns into a bear himself and learns all about bears after trying to regain his human form.
How Long Is ‘Brother Bear’?
Brother Bear is 85 minutes long.
‘Brother Bear’ Plot
Joaquin Phoenix plays the role of Kenai, an Inuit boy who loses his brother by a bear attack. After he sets off to find the bear who killed him, he transforms into a bear and befriends a cub named Koda, who becomes somewhat of a brother figure to him. As time goes on, Kenai realizes that Koda can’t find his mother, and realizes that she was the same bear that caused the incident with his brother. After finding out the truth, Koda learns how to forgive thanks to two moose characters named Rutt and Tuke. Kenai then realizes that maybe he seeks more in life than his human form.
‘Brother Bear’ Cast
Joaquin Phoenix may be one of the bigger cast names, but he’s not the only person you’ll recognize.
Joaquin Phoenix as Kenai
Phoenix plays Kenai, the main character of the movie. Kenai hates and doesn’t understand bears, until he becomes one, and is forced to follow a journey to change back to his actual form. Phoenix has done a lot since the movie premiered in 2003, most recently performing as Arthur Fleck in The Joker.
Jeremy Suarez as Koda
Jeremy Suarez starts as Koda, the young cub who was separated from his mother by hunters. Koda initially saves Kenai, but forms a strong, brotherly bond with him. Aside from both this and the sequel, Suarez’s biggest role was in The Bernie Mac Show, playing Jordan Thomkins.
Jason Raize as Denahi
Denahi is the middle brother in the family, who’s older than Kenai and a little more forgiving when it comes to bears. The disappearance and presumable death of Kenai makes him lose some of his fun-loving spirit, until he realizes that Kenai is still alive. Raize sadly passed away in 2004, at the age of 28. Other credits included stage performance — he took on the role of Simba in the Broadway stage version of The Lion King.
Rick Moranis as Rutt
Rick Moranis plays Rutt, one half of the Canadian moose team that befriends Kenai and Koda. Moranis has starred in plenty of films, but has been very selective with his roles. His only credit since 2007 has been a voiceover in one episode of The Goldbergs.
Dave Thomas as Tuke
Dave Thomas plays the other moose, Tuke. The two of them serve as a bit of comic relief throughout the film. He’s recently been in Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bones.
‘Brother Bear’ Songs and Soundtrack
The soundtrack to Brother Bear came together largely due to Phil Collins. Collins sang many of the songs that appeared in the film, such as “On My Way,” “No Way Out (Theme from Brother Bear),” and “Look Through My Eyes.” The movie also includes the song “Great Spirits,” which was produced by Phil Collins but sung by Tina Turner.
‘Brother Bear’ at the Box Office
Brother Bear had a reported gross box office of 250.4 million, with $85,336,277 of that reportedly being domestic.
‘Brother Bear’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Critics gave Brother Bear lukewarm reviews, mostly stating that it came off as being dull and not very engaging. It received a meager 37% on Rotten Tomatoes. “It had such potential but everything about it was a failure,” Rachel Wagner from Rachel’s Reviews said. “The story is so predictable. Every time it took the obvious turn I groaned at the screen. And the sentimental moments are not earned by the characters. I don’t believe the journey they are on or even understand why it is completely necessary. ” Audiences were a bit warmer to the movie, giving it an overall rating of 64%.
Where ‘Brother Bear’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
Brother Bear was nowhere near on the same level as Disney classics such as The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, but it was successful enough to get a straight-to-video sequel that incorporated a lot of the same voice actors. Also, fans online have gone so far to petition for a third and creatively think about what would happen in the plot. Brother Bear surprised viewers who happened to see it without necessarily remembering it was a movie pushed out by Disney. The story may have gotten a little dull at times, but it still included a lot of important lessons, such as reminding children that there’s another side to every story and that animals should be appreciated.
‘Brother Bear’ Trailer
‘Brother Bear’ 5 Fast Facts
Even if the movie didn’t make quite a splash in theaters, the cast still had a fun time putting it together. Oddly enough, many of the Brother Bear vocal cast members knew each other before the movie being filmed. Even the ones who didn’t feel comfortable enough to slightly change up the script when needed. Here are five facts about Brother Bear you likely didn’t know before.
1. Even though it was animated, some parts of the movie were still improvised.
There was one exchange in the movie that had Kenai say, “I don’t care that you and Binky found the world’s biggest pine cone ever” and Koda respond with, “First of all, it’s not Binky, it’s Bucky, and it wasn’t a pine cone, it was a pine nut.” According to IMDB, that wasn’t in the script. Instead, that was Jeremy Suarez correcting Joaquin Phoenix’s line. The production crew likely enjoyed how natural it seemed and kept it in the movie.
2. There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo by Nemo.
Brother Bear and Finding Nemo were interestingly linked. They were both in the running for Best Animated Film, and Nemo actually showed up very quickly in one particular Disney scene that you can view on YouTube. It’s been called one of the hardest Disney Easter Eggs to spot. Tuke and Rutt also appeared in a funny special trailer that aired right before Finding Nemo, telling the audience that if they only see one movie that year, it should be Brother Bear. (Which means, they’d have to leave the theater of Finding Nemo.)
3. This isn’t the first time that Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas worked together.
Both of them have a long history together, starting with the sketch comedy series SCTV. They played Bob and Doug McKenzie, two Canadian brothers who host a show titled “Great White North.” In 2009, they got their own animated show based on the sketch titled Bob & Doug. That’s where the characters of Rutt and Tuke were based, and why Moranis and Thomas have such great chemistry. Moranis also worked with Joaquin Phoenix before — the two were both in the movie Parenthood.
4. Rutt and Tuke were also supposed to have their own spinoff.
It makes sense why this idea didn’t initially take off — since Brother Bear didn’t find a huge audience, it’d be risky to have a completely different spin-off series. The good news is that they did appear in the second film, in case you wanted to see more Rutt and Tuke banter. (That, or you could find some “Great White North” skits!)
5. This was Jason Raize’s final film, but his career was more than just acting.
His career with voice acting had just started, which makes his untimely death even sadder. He passed away on February 3, 2004, in Australia, with the cause of death being called a suicide. Not only was he a talented stage actor, playing the role of Simba on Broadway (with his last performance happening in August of 2000) but he was also a vocal advocate for the environment. Raize was named an Ambassador of Goodwill for the UN Environment Program. He also hoped to spread the word with his television show, titled Keeping It Wild With Jason Raize, which was a weekly program he worked hard on.