Even though Pixar and Dreamworks Animation are keeping up with and in many cases surpassing Disney in the quality of their animated features, Disney still has a rich history of films that it will take the others many years to match. Disney has been systematically transferring many of the catalog films over to Blu-ray and often with beautiful results, once in a while even giving us the added bonus of getting direct to video sequels packaged with original classics. Two more of these titles have just hit the shelves so let’s take a look at them.
Brother Bear was one of the lesser known and least popular Disney films, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked by any means. The story is about a young Inuit hunter who needlessly kills a bear and in return is turned into a bear himself. It is an entertaining story with a great moral base for kids, but still has enough laughs to keep adults from getting bored. Adults will especially like the two Canadian moose in the film that are voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as their alter egos Bob & Doug McKenzie. Good stuff there folks. Brother Bear 2, as with many direct to video sequels, doesn’t have the same quality or appeal as the original, but is still an entertaining movie that the kids will dig.
Now Mulan is on a whole other level. While not a huge hit for Disney, Mulan found a comfortable home on VHS and DVD and wouldn’t you know it? It deserved to do better. Mulan is one of my all-time favorite Disney films. Full of great voice acting, a great story about being who you are and fighting for what is right, tons of memorable songs and laughter aplenty. Much of that laughter originates from Eddie Murphy as the little dragon Mushu. This voice performance is right on the money and 3 years later would become a sensation when Eddie did the same routine as Donkey in Shrek. Mulan was also a Disney drawn in a slightly different style than usual and one of the first to incorporate CG into some scenes. It is a beautiful film that has a lot going for it and really deserves to be regarded as one of the classic Disney films. Mulan II is slightly better than most of the direct to video sequels, but doesn’t have as much for the adults in it. That said my daughter watches part 2 more.
The Blu-ray’s from Disney are gorgeous transfers, as usual. Colors are bold and burst off the screen, lines are sharp and defined and sound is immersive and full. These are two more (actually 4 more) great films to add to your Disney collection on Blu-ray and with them both being double features, well worth the money.
Available Now on Blu-ray and DVD.
Brother Bear 2