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Rated G; running time of 96 minutes
Written by: Steve Bencich, Ron J. Friedman
Directed by: Aaron Blaise, Bob Walker
Cast voices: Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Jason Raize, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, D.B. Sweeney, Michael Clarke Duncan
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
Young Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) prepares for to take the path that leads him to manhood. Yet he is still rash and impulsive. This immaturity on his part causes the death of his beloved eldest brother Sitka (D.B. Sweeney). Had Kenai not attracted a bear through his carelessness he and middle brother Denahi (Jason Raize), would not have been put in a position to need rescuing by Sitka, which resulted in Sitka's death. Rather than take responsibility for his actions, Kenai vow to find the bear and exact revenge and in doing so he will make all bears his enemy.
It is this anger that brings the spirit of Sitka forth to teach Kenai some compassion. He transforms Kenai into what he hate most - a bear. This action leave Denahi to pursue this new bear thinking it has killed his remaining brother.
Kenai has a stroke of luck and happens upon a little lost cub named Koda (Jeremy Suarez), He takes Kenai under his wing, as it were, and teaches him the ropes and soon Kenai's actions come full circle and he must face his actions head on as well as his feelings.
What a disappointment. The message of this movie is a wonderful and poignant one, but one that was told in such a boring manner that it was lost on all in attendance. When one is fighting to stay awake and comfortable, they can't really pay attention to what is on the screen. The only real stand outs were Jeremy Suarez who was a bright light amongst the dreary cast and Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis who provided the comedy relief.
This movie might find an amazing life on the video shelf, but I wouldn't really gather up the kids and rush out to see this one..
Oh, brother, this was almost unbearable.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2003