Disney has been releasing a number of sequels to animated films directly to video, so it should be no surprise that Brother Bear 2 is next on the list, with an announced release date of August 29. The original Brother Bear did low box-office business for a Disney animated film -- $85 million -- but I suspect its real money was made on DVD.

Brother Bear included an unusual feature on its DVD that definitely boosted adult rentals and sales: a commentary track performed by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis as the moose characters from the 2003 film, in a manner quite similar to their Doug and Bob McKenzie routine from SCTV. (If you don't know who these guys are, you might want to rent Strange Brew.) I would never have watched this movie myself without the commentary track. At times, the commentary bordered on the subversive (for Disney, anyway), with the moose likening the spirit totem in the film to a souvenir from a Canadian airport, and noting that chipmunks always seem to appear just before something dangerous occurs. Disney is obviously aware that these two minor characters and their hilarious commentary track had something to do with Brother Bear's DVD success: not only are Moranis and Thomas back in the sequel, but they're joined by two more moose, played by SCTV alumni Andrea Martin and Catherine O'Hara. If all four do a commentary track, this may appear on my own rental list.
categories Cinematical