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Topic: Brother Bear, new Disney animated feature, 3rd feature produced by Disney Florida< Next Oldest | Next Newest >

CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Nov. 01, 2003 6:42 am/pm Quote

Here's a copy of the transcript of my phone call this afternoon to Movie 911:

Ring-ring, ring-ring, ring-ring

"Hello, Movie 911, the police and rescue service for movies in trouble, Sargent Jones here, may I help you?"

"Yes, Sargent Jones.  My name is Carol Koster and I want to report attempted homicide on a Disney animated movie opening this weekend nationwide."

"Did you say attempted homicide, ma'am?"

"Yes, sir, I did.  And I think I know who did it."

"Ma'am, I've noted your name.  What's the name of the alleged victim of this attempted homicide, please."

""Brother Bear"."

"And what is the condition of the victim, ma'am?"

"Newly premiering across the United States this weekend.  It's been in limited release in New York and Los Angeles, at only two theatres, up until today, November 1.  And up until today, at those two theatres, the movie was doing amazingly well at the box office.  Not many people know that but hard-core Disney fans and people who browse Box Office Mojo."

"Yes, ma'am, go on."

"But then, Sargent Jones, the movie critics started publishing and uploading their reviews to the Internet and their publications and broadcast channels.  It's just terrible!  These movie critics, a few of them are posting positive reviews.  Some with negative reviews do offer some fair critiques.  But the majority of the reviews, Sargent, are just searing, flame-torch, scorched earth negative.  These are the vast majority of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes' WWW site, sir, and it's just shocking to read them.  Well, sir, I watched the movie today with my husband and almost 8 year old son.  And I didn't recognize the movie described in all those negative reviews!  I liked this movie.  A LOT!  The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful.  I cared about the characters.  The spirituality made sense to me.  Everything about the movie made sense to me.  The Phil Collins music isn't maybe his best work but it wasn't totally unpleasant either.  The two moose characters were OK and were even very funny.  We laughed all through the movie, and we shed some tears because it touched us so.  Even our son would roll in his seat and be doubled over laughing sometimes.  We had a great time.  Sure it's a little derivative, there are references from Bambi, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and even Forrest Gump in there.  But it wasn't obnoxious.  We liked Brother Bear and we'd see it at least one more time.  But that's no reason for critics to do this movie in!"

"Negative reviews, some of which you feel were unfair and unwarranted in their harshness, do I have that part of your testimony right, ma'am?"

"Yes, Sargent Jones you do.  And I think there's another culprit to report."

"Yes, ma'am, I'm taking all this down."

"Well, I think the Disney Feature Animation Marketing Department is at least partly to blame here.  The promotional WWW site for this movie isn't all that stellar.  And the earlier promos for the movie highlighted all the derivative stuff in it.  They subtly pointed out how like parts of Lion King this was, or other Disney movies.  Wrong!  Brother Bear makes some allusions to scenes or lines or situations, even scenery, from past Disney films.  But it does overcome that, in my opinion.  Just pointing out how familiar the movie is isn't a plus here.  We can watch all those movies on home video, why should we be motivated to leave the house and buy movie tickets for the family?  Disney's marketing people failed to address that point, so they may have had a hand in their own movie's attempted homicide.  Isn't that sad?"

"Ma'am, should parents take their young kids to see Brother Bear if it was the subject of an alleged attempted movie homicide by critics and the marketing department?"

"Sargent, I think parents would be pleased to take young children to see Brother Bear.  Any deceasing that is done happens off-camera and is only alluded to, like in Bambi or Old Yeller or Lion King.  Parents might want to explain concepts like philosophies and theologies of afterlife among cultures and within their own religious faith or world view.  Parents might want to explain the concept and reason behind hunting by ancient or tribal peoples for food, clothing, various essential products for survival.  And that creatures in the wild do hunt each other and that is indeed part of the food chain and circle of life.  It is not easy to survive.  And the emotion of 'revenge' can drive people to do regrettable things, but people can and do change, and that is also part of life that you can't hide from or explain away.  It builds character to face these concepts head on and explain their overall context within life.  Parents have little to worry about from Brother Bear.  If they are concerned, simply view the movie without the children present and make their own judgement about it.  But there is nothing about this movie worth doing it in, except letting Disney fans and the general public decide for themselves.  That's fair, and that's the free market system in action."

"Well, Ms. Koster, thanks for filing that report.  We'll put an all points bulletin out that the movie Brother Bear, for at least one family and reporting citizen, is better than the reviews and better than Disney's own promotional attempts about it.  Thanks, for calling Movie 911."

"Sargent, if I can get the word out to the public to go ahead and see this movie and simply ignore the hand-wringing negative press, nasty Internet spin and rumor mill, and forgive Disney for it's lack of marketing prowess about this movie, then I'll have done my duty as a non-drooling fan girl, responsible but still a Disney fan adult to do what Disney can't seem to do itself, and put out positive buzz about this movie."

"Thanks, for calling Movie 911, ma'am."

"Thank you, Sargent.  Bye-bye."

Click.


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Carol Koster
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RichKoster Offline

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Posted: Nov. 01, 2003 6:58 am/pm Quote

Yoo Hoo, Disney EchoEars!

I just got back from seeing a matinee of Brother Bear - - after stopping at a favorite restaurant to have salmon for lunch. I figured those bears knew what good eatin' was and it sure was mighty tasty!
:coolgrin:

Go see Brother Bear - - it is very funny, as well as touching where it needs to be. It is also visually stunning and unlike some other reviews I had read the animation is not cheap and does not look anything like Saturday morning cartoons. It also passed the "great Disney movie" test that I have: Yes, it made me cry.
:cry:

Here's my review - - I reveal some things to look for but I wouldn't classify any of these things as spoilers, so don't worry if you haven't seen the movie yet.

I loved the trailers for Home on the Range, The Haunted Mansion, and the Looney Tunes movie. All of us (Carol, DS Michael age 7 1/2, or me) have decided that we won't be seeing The Cat In The Hat or Teacher's Pet.

We all loved Brother Bear! :hearts: Each of us weren't very excited about the movie before seeing it, based on the commercials and trailers we had seen. Disney needs to fire the folks in their feature film marketing department and hire everyone who makes promos for Nick At Nite! You don't get any idea from the commercials for Brother Bear how great a movie it really is. We were all very pleasantly surprised. Each of us was laughing at all of the jokes -- there isn't a clinker in the whole movie and it has loads of laughs. We also didn't think it was too much "new age-ism" which I had read someone else report... no problem with the movie's theme or story at all for us.

And while it is thrilling, it doesn't seem to be too scary for kids. Our son was fine with it and there were no crying kids in the theater when we saw it.

We even were engrossed by the beginning part of the movie about the Indian life that introduces the characters and their relationship before the transformation (both to an even wider screen as well as to more vivid colors, but not over-the-top vivid like in The Lion King's "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" fantasy section) and before you see any cute talking bears.
:)

I couldn't find the Hidden Nemo -- it must be like it was said that Nemo is so hidden you'll need to see it on DVD in stop motion to pick him out. Carol saw the one shot that has a mountain that looks like Grizzly Peak at Disney's California Adventure, but I missed it (must have been looking someplace else).

I also saw some trees with faces on them, but none of them looked like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas to me. Carol pointed out that Tanana, the Indian tribe's wise woman (played by Joan Copeland), seems to look a lot like and certainly acts like Grandmother Willow, even though she's human and not a tree.

Be listening for the Old Lady Bear played by Estelle Harris who tells the story of losing her husband. You'll know her when you hear her because she also played Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story 2 and was the screechy-voiced Estelle Costanza (Jerry Stiller's "wife" and Jason Alexander's "mom") on "Seinfeld.

You do indeed need to stay through all of the credits. While there are funny "outtakes" that are shown along with the credits at the that you should watch, there is also one last funny bit after all of the credits are over.
:D

I enjoyed the opening sony that Tina Turner sung which was written by Phil Collins, but I'd sure like to see someone other than Phil Collins on Disney movies in the future. I'm tired of how too many of his songs sound too much alike. When the movie went to the songs with no dialogue, that's when my son put his hands over his ears sometimes. At least the animation under the songs is funny at these times and the movie doesn't come to a complete standstill.

By the way, click here to play the Brother Bear "Tokenzone" on Disney.com, which describes it as a "free multiplayer, interactive experience that challenges you to complete collections of Tokens (digital stickers/trading cards). You collect your Tokens in specific slots in your Set. The object of the game is to collect all the Tokens in your Set as fast as possible." I have 9 out of 24 so far.

Note that Tokenzone is different than the Disney's Brother Bear Sweepstakes in which you search for all 6 of the listed totems (which are easy to find if you look at the clues) in order to play, click on the "Join The Quest" button on the Brother Bear website now through November 16th. The prizes are:
  • Grand Prize: A giant Koda plush doll, a Walt Disney Records Brother Bear Soundtrack CD and a Walt Disney Records Brother Bear Read-A-Long CD.
  • Four (4) First Prizes: A Walt Disney Records Brother Bear Soundtrack CD and a Walt Disney Records Brother Bear Read-A-Long.

And now here's Rutt and Tuke to tell you all about it themselves:



How's it going, eh? Rutt and Tuke here. We're the world-famous movie stars in Walt Disney Pictures' new animated feature "Brother Bear." Or at least we would be world-famous movie stars if we weren't, like, moose.

We just want to tell you about our special new contest on Disney Online. It's called "The Quest." Beauty, eh? We thought of the name. OK, actually we thought of a different name -- "The Thing with the Moose," That's a better name. We don't know why they're not using it.

But you can still join "The Quest." Just click around on Disney Online to find special "Brother Bear" totems. Find them all, and you can win great prizes!

Here's a link to get you started.

http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/brotherbear/index.html?totems


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RichKoster, Disney Echo modEARator
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Posted: Nov. 01, 2003 7:01 am/pm Quote

Quote (RichKoster @ Nov. 01, 2003 10:41 am/pm)
that brings to mind all of the past innuendo associated with Timon and Pumba's relationship.

Let me quickly point out that the two mooses are brothers, so I hope we won't go any further with that thought!
:tsk:


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CarolKoster Offline

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Posted: Nov. 01, 2003 7:43 am/pm Quote

The theatre we were at was far from full, maybe about half-full for a 12:45 pm matinee on opening day Saturday.  I noted a couple of parents taking out young children maybe ages 4 or 5, but that might have been for potty breaks.  One girl next to me climbed on her mother's lap during the movie.  No one cried.  No one seemed upset.  There was audience laughter throughout.  I'd gauge our theatre's audience as mostly enjoying the movie.  Closing credits and the outtakes during the credits caught families eager to depart by complete surprise and did hold a lot of, but not all of, the departing crowd.  When that was over gradually more and more people left.  For the very last final ending "after dinner mint"-type scene Rich, Michael and I were the only ones still there.  It's a very funny scene.  On a scale of 1-10 to stay to the end of the closing credits I'd say the last goodie scene is a 6-7.  The last scene of "Pirates of the Caribbean" was a 9-10.  No one seemed to walk out during the movie for the purpose of staying out.  Movie was not "too long" for anyone to tolerate.  

Y'all's turn!  Thumbs up or down?  Loved it, liked it, thought it was "just OK", or did it suck?  Are the negative reviews accurate?  Are the positive reviews accurate?  Would you see it a second time?  Is Disney still headed along the path of making good animated movies, or does it need to stop itself and make some changes before it's too late?  And if you took your children, what did they think of the movie?

Our son liked it but told me later he only wants to see it once.  He thinks all the "Star Wars" movies are much better.  But honestly, he was laughing, engaged, and having a good time today.  (7.5 year old boy)


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Carol Koster
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Posted: Nov. 01, 2003 7:56 am/pm Quote

I saw what I think is a Hidden Mickey. When the two bears are eating berries at one point (and they eat a lot of berries, by the way! ) over on screen left is one large red berry touching two smaller red berries. There were other groups of 3 red berries in the picture, but I only saw the classic "one large/two small" combination one time.
:mickey:

Carol spotted a reference to The Lion King when the phrase "I thought you were going to eat me" was said.


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Posted: Nov. 02, 2003 2:27 am/pm Quote

I loved it! :hearts:

I had to struggle trying to find tickets, my local moviehouses were sold out and there were super long lines of parents with children everywhere. I finally managed to get in tonight and it played to a packed house! Everyone was laughing along with it and everyone cried with it including me, and when kids are dancing along to the songs in the center aisles you know that's a great sign :D They are broke out in loud applauding when it was done and the manager said turnout has been excellent all day. So I think signs look good so far


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Posted: Nov. 02, 2003 2:54 am/pm Quote

Oh, Chris, that reminds me: There was applause when it was over at the theater we attended, too, even though it was a small crowd for us.

Carol, Michael and I led the applause, of course!
:clapping:


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Posted: Nov. 02, 2003 8:11 am/pm Quote

I've just skimmed at Mouse Planet (no one's talking about Brother Bear over there), Laughing Place (people are posting they truly liked this movie, might quibble with a point or two in it, but are generally urging others to see it, it's good) and rec.arts.disney.animation (people also posting that it's good, go see it).  

I sat in the theatre and wondered which movie the critics on Rotten Tomatoes viewed, 'cause they and I must've been seeing two totally different movies.  Some who are posting up above are urging others to ignore the critics on Rotten Tomatoes who are giving the film very bad reviews and ignore other critics who are doing the same.  Go see this movie.  

Hidden Grizzly Peak (the structure at Disney's California Adventure that is signature for that theme park):  I saw it and it's there and it does exist, but it goes by really quick. It's so quick and "sudden" that I can't point to where or when to look for it for you.  But it's towards the last 1/3 of the movie.  Through the movie skim far off mountain peaks.  It will not be in silhouette (like black against light) but it's a fully drawn, painted, lit mountain in the distance along the horizon.  There is a scene that shows that horizon, then the camera tilts down....that's when you'll see the Grizzly Peak, as the camera is tilting down, it's along the horizon and the camera tilts down, Grizzly Peak moves up-frame as the rest of the horizon does and then it's gone.  It's small and distant, but not teensy.  It's like, oh there 'way off in the distance, there's Grizzly Peak, and there it goes!

Grandmother Willow (from "Pocahontas"):  I think it's the shaman grandmotherly lady and that you don't see her in tree trunks.  Will have to look harder next time.

Nemo:  Looked hard but didn't see him.  Will have to look harder next time.

Disney movie references:  Bambi, Jungle Book, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast.  Non-Disney movie references:  Some lines of dialogue Koda says alludes to "Forrest Gump".  Rutt and Tuke the mooses aka Doug and Bob McKenzie of the old "SCTV" late night comedy series (they were like Canadian versions of what we on the Gulf Coast would call "rednecks" or "good old boys" who loved their beer) do allude to a certain beverage in their dialogue, children wouldn't get it but savvy adults would.


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Posted: Nov. 02, 2003 2:07 am/pm Quote

Quote (RichKoster @ Nov. 01, 2003 11:41 am/pm)
But if you go by the first definition listing of "rut" and think the animators were making some kind of a joke when they named one of the moose "Rutt," then that brings to mind all of the past innuendo associated with Timon and Pumba's relationship.
:o

I don't understand what this is about the word "rutt" at all. I've only heard the homonym "rut" which means a boring routine. So it's going completely over my head for any other definition.

But I'd better not ask what else it could mean, as I'm wondering if maybe some things are better left unknown and unsaid on a family board? :uhoh: I'll just say that I don't see any problem at all and let's be safe with that. That works :nod:


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Posted: Nov. 02, 2003 3:50 am/pm Quote

If Disney can't hire away the promotion team working at Nick at Nite, they should work more closely with Pixar. I just saw a great commercial on FOX during the NFL football game between the Saints and the Cubs that was football-themed and about the new Finding Nemo DVD.

Hey Disney, make some better commercials for Brother Bear! The ones currently airing don't do it justice.


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