Brother Bear 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a solid visual presentation.
Sharpness was positive. Some of Disney’s direct to video efforts can be soft due to poor animation, but that wasn’t an issue here, as the film showed none of those concerns. The flick usually appeared concise and accurate; I saw a little softness in a few wide shots but nothing substantial. Jagged edges and moiré effects created no issuess, and the movie presented absolutely no source defects.
Like the first flick, Bear 2 featured natural settings that boasted a vibrant and rich palette, and the disc demonstrated excellent color reproduction. It mixed a nice variety of hues, all within the natural outdoors setting. From foliage to animals to other elements, the colors were consistently terrific. Black levels seemed similarly distinct and rich, while low-light shots came across as appropriately dense but lacked any issues related to excessive opacity. I felt consistently pleased with this strong transfer.
Although the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield moderately emphasized the front domain, it presented a nicely balanced and engaging effort. Some smooth directional dialogue popped up at times, and the score demonstrated clear stereo imaging. Effects appeared in their appropriate places and moved cleanly across the spectrum.
The surrounds added solid reinforcement of these elements throughout the film, and they kicked into gear well during louder sequences. The movie’s smattering of action sequences provided some nice discrete audio, with elements that seemed accurately located and dynamic.
Audio quality was generally positive. Speech could be a bit distant and remote at times, but the lines showed no problems related to edginess or intelligibility. The score was lush and vivid, as those portions appeared bright and dynamic throughout the film. Effects came across as accurate and clean. They demonstrated no signs of distortion, and they presented fine bass response as necessary. Low-end was warm and tight overall, and those elements lacked any signs of looseness. The audio of Bear 2 didn’t dazzle, but except for some odd tones to the dialogue, it mostly seemed satisfying.
How did the Blu-ray compare to original DVD from 2006? I didn’t notice the vocal issues on the DVD; those were likely on the original disc but didn’t stand out as much. The Blu-ray was more forceful in terms of audio otherwise. The visuals offered more obvious improvements, as the Blu-ray gave us a more dynamic and distinctive presentation.
Only a few minor supplements showed up on the DVD, and the Blu-ray doesn’t improve this situation. It loses a trivia game, so that leaves us with only one bonus feature: Behind the Music of Brother Bear 2. It runs eight minutes, 20 seconds as it offers movie shots, behind the scenes bits, and interviews. We hear from singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, Disney Toon Studios Sr. VP Matt Walker, producer Jim Ballantine, Disney Toon Studios producer Susan Kirch, director Benjamin Gluck, singer Josh Kelley, art director/associate director Mary E. Locatell, score composer Dave Metzger and music supervisor Steven Gizicki.
We learn a little about what inspired Etheridge to compose the various tunes and her approach to the material, specifics of various numbers, the collaboration between Etheridge and the filmmakers, and other aspects of the flick’s music. Inevitably, the show offers a lot of praise and happy talk. Nonetheless, we get some decent facts about Etheridge’s work for the film, so the program proves reasonably useful.
The disc opens with ads for The Little Mermaid, Monsters University and Planes. Sneak Peeks adds promos for Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, Radio Disney, Mulan, Super Buddies, Return to Neverland, and Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Brother Bear 2. This literally duplicates the original release – right down to the same circa 2006 ads. At least that means we can still play the trivia game omitted from the Blu-ray.
Should you expect a classic Disney adventure from Brother Bear 2? No, but you can anticipate a reasonably fun tale. It manages to stand on its own and not just rework the original movie, and it brings out some decent entertainment. The Blu-ray offers excellent picture and generally positive audio but suffers from a lack of substantial bonus features. Fans of Brother Bear should enjoy this pleasant sequel, and the Blu-ray replicates it well.
Note that the Blu-ray of Brother Bear 2 pairs it with the 2003 original film. Both appear on the same disc.
To rate this film visit the original review of BROTHER BEAR 2