I’ll begin with the bold claim that Brother Bear is one of the finest animated films Disney has produced in the past quarter century. At least, it is one of their most underrated and unappreciated.
Granted, I tend to favor a handful of Disney’s supposed flops over a number of their “canonical” hits. I tend to root for underdogs, and perhaps I’m too loyal to films that left a deep impression on me in my childhood. Even so, I will attempt to make a case for the film’s greatness, not for the sake of nostalgia or to be contrarian, but because I believe the film’s craftsmanship, and the surprising richness of its many thematic preoccupations, ought to be recognized and discussed.
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