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Production Information
The powerful and playful bond between brothers, and man's bond with nature, are explored with great drama and comedy in Walt Disney Pictures' "Brother Bear,” an exciting new animated tale of brotherhood, bears, and breathtaking outdoor adventure. Driven by six great new songs from Academy Award® winner Phil Collins (including a sensational performance by legendary singer Tina Turner on the Collins composed tune, "Great Spirits”), the film follows the incredible adventures of a young man named Kenai who is transformed into a bear. From his new perspective, Kenai discovers the world through the eyes of another as he is befriended by a bear cub named Koda, has a hilarious encounter with a pair of misguided moose, and finds himself pursued by his own sibling. A colorful cast of animals adds to the fun and excitement of this third motion picture created by Disney's Florida Animation Studio ("Mulan,” "Lilo & Stitch”). In addition to writing the songs for "Brother Bear” (his first film effort since "Tarzan”), Collins makes his scoring debut as well, working in collaboration with Grammy Award-winning composer Mark Mancina. 

Inspired by a timeless tradition of transformation stories found in many world cultures, "Brother Bear” is an original story set 10,000 years ago in an idealized Pacific Northwest at the end of the Ice Age. Guiding the film from its inception were producer Chuck Williams and directors Aaron Blaise and Bob Walker. All three of the principal filmmakers have been with Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida since its very first day of operation – April 17, 1989. 

Williams, who played a key role in developing "Brother Bear,” has served as associate producer and producer for many of the Disney-MGM Studio's films and special projects and began his career as an editor ("Roller Coaster Rabbit,” etc.). Blaise's animation credits include supervising roles on characters for "The Lion King” (Young Nala) and "Mulan” (Yao) plus character animation on "Beauty and the Beast,” "The Rescuers Down Under,” and "Aladdin,” among others. Walker has helped to stage and light some of Disney's most popular features in his role as layout artist on "Beauty and the Beast,” "The Rescuers Down Under,” "Aladdin,” "The Lion King,” and "Lilo & Stitch,” and head of layout on "Mulan.” The screenplay for "Brother Bear” was written by Tab Murphy ("Tarzan”), and Lorne Cameron & David Hoselton, and Steve Bencich & Ron J. Friedman. 

A talented ensemble of actors and actresses joined the "Brother Bear” family to bring the characters to life and inspire the animators with their vocal performances. Academy Award®-nominated actor Joaquin Phoenix ("Gladiator,” "Signs”) lends his voice to the character of Kenai, a headstrong young man who finds himself in an unbearable situation when he is transformed into a seven-foot grizzly bear. Jeremy Suarez (who plays Jordan on "The Bernie Mac Show”) is perfectly cast as Koda, a personable young bear cub in search of a friend who will help him get to the Salmon Run for a family reunion. Comic actors and "SCTV” alumni Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas team up for laughter and some mammoth adventures as the voices of Rutt and Tuke, two misguided moose with noses for trouble. D. B. Sweeney (the voice of Aladar in Disney's "Dinosaur”) is heard as Sitka, Kenai's oldest brother and the guardian of his two younger siblings. Jason Raize (who originated the role of Simba in the Broadway production of "The Lion King”) gives voice to the middle brother Denahi, who is driven to avenge his brother. Michael Clarke Duncan ("The Green Mile”) lends his deep distinctive voice to a grizzly bear named Tug, and Broadway veteran Joan Copeland provides wisdom and guidance as the voice of Tanana, the spiritual leader of the tribe. Estelle Harris, Greg Proops, and Daniel Mastrogiorgio and Paul Christie round out a fun cast of assorted animals that Kenai meets along the way. 

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