Welcome to Day 25 of the 30 Day Disney Blogging Challenge!
Today we are looking at underrated Disney movies that aren’t super popular but are definitely worthy of being so. Believe it or not, the film I chose for this post, I only saw for the very first time this year in January. I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Why didn’t more people talk about this movie? I’m going to discuss below why it’s so good and hopefully this leads to more people watching it. It is…
Warning: This plot summary will contain spoilers
This film is set in post-ice age North America where the local tribesmen believe all creatures are created through the Spirits. Three brothers: Kenai, Denahi and Sitka return to their tribe for Kenai to receive his sacred totem. Basically, whichever creature is bestowed as your totem/spirit-animal, will dictate what you must achieve in order to become a man. Sitka gains the eagle of guidance and Denahi the wolf of wisdom giving Kenai high hopes for a fearsome, strong creature of his own. When he receives the bear of love, he is disgusted. He believes them to be thieving monsters.
To prove his point, not long afterwards a bear steals salmon from the camp and Kenai with his brothers chase after it, ready to attack. Recklessly, Kenai throws rocks at the bear provoking it to retaliate. They battle the creature on top of a giant glacier but when the bear gets the upper hand, Sitka sacrifices his life to save his brothers. The bear runs away unharmed. After Sitka’s funeral, Kenai is furious and wants revenge. He seeks out the bear that killed his brother and stabs him to death. Sitka’s spirit rises in the form of his eagle totem transforming Kenai into a bear to teach him a lesson. Denahi arrives mistaking Kenai for the bear that killed Sitka and tries to avenge his brother. Kenai flees.
Kenai gets caught in a trap but is freed by chatty bear cub Koda. They make a deal that Kenai will take Koda to the Salmon Run and the cub will lead him to the mountain where he can hopefully transform back into a human. Kenai absolutely hates being a bear at first and is extremely irritated by talkative Koda but after spending lots of time journeying together, they form quite a close bond. We meet lots of hilarious characters along the way including: Moose Brothers Rutt & Tuke, Tug the Grizzly and the gangster Rams.
When the bears arrive at the Salmon Run, Koda tells a story about his mother who fought humans on a glacier. It is this moment that Kenai realises he killed Koda’s mother and is overcome by guilt. He reveals the truth to the heartbroken cub who runs away horrified. Kenai leaves to climb the mountain himself. The Moose Brothers convince Koda to go after Kenai where he arrives just in time to see Kenai’s brother Denahi fighting Kenai with a spear. Koda steals the spear and out of love, Kenai goes after him. Sitka’s spirit returns and transforms Kenai back into a human much to the surprise of Denahi and Koda. Kenai asks Sitka to turn him back into a bear so he can spend the rest of his life being an older brother to Koda. He has finally embraced his totem as the bear of love.
This is such a heart-warming story with a surprisingly tragic twist. I did not expect it to tug at my heart so fiercely but it did. I love the characters, the songs, the story and the ending. It is full of wonderful morals and themes relating to family, love and self-acceptance. It also features a great song by Phil Collins: On My Way which will be featured in my Ultimate Wanderlust Playlist coming soon in a couple of weeks. I highly recommend watching it if you haven’t already. It really deserves more recognition.
Which Disney movie do you believe to be underrated? I would love to know!
Oliver & Company
See you tomorrow! Peace & Love xoxo