Brother Bear (2003, USA) C-86m. SCOPE *** D: Aaron Blaise, Bob (Robert) Walker. Starring (the voices of) Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Jason Raize, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, D.B. Sweeney, Joan Copeland, Michael Clarke Duncan, Harold Gould. First-rate Disney animation takes an old legend from a different culture (much like MULAN) and fashions a terrific adventure story. Adolescent warrior Phoenix sees his brother killed by a bear, then kills it in revenge. He is then transformed into a bear and must learn to see life from a different perspective. Terrific animation (doing without CGI wizardry) and a storyline that thrills make this fine family fare. Unfortunately lost out to less thoughtful, more hip Pixar feature FINDING NEMO (2003) at the Oscars. Aspect ratio changes to widescreen after some 20 minutes.


© Ron Altman