Details Revealed On Phil's New Walt Disney Project, Brother Bear

Brother Bear, the new Walt Disney project that Phil Collins is writing the soundtrack for, is now officially scheduled for release in 2005. Originally, Disney wanted Brother Bear out by 2003, but due to production schedules that has become impossible. The film goes into production in late 2001 or early 2002 at Disney Feature Animation Studios in Florida. This is the third project that this group has been in charge of following Mulan and the forthcoming Lilo and Stitch. The Directors of the film are reported to be Aaron Blaise and Book Walker and the producer is Chuck Williams.

The story is set in the Pacific Northwest before the invasion of the white man. The focus of the story is the son of a great chief who is killed by a bear. The chief, a wise and good leader, accidentally disturbed a mother bear, who killed him thinking he wanted to harm her cubs. Enraged, the young man (featuring the voice of Joaquin Phoenix) sets out to hunt the bear himself when his older brother, the new chief, refuses to form a hunting party right away. In his hunt for vengeance, the young man is transformed by the spirits of the forest into the very thing that he sought to sla y...a bear. Seeing the world through a bear's eyes, the young man will learn valuable lessons about the cycle of life...especially when he learns that his brother has finally formed a hunting party, aiming to kill "all" bears to avenge their father's death...which means him too

As for Phil Collins' soundtrack, the following is known (Courtesy of Sir. Etch-A-Sketch, who is someone inside the Disney Corporation who chooses to remain anonymous). 

At the beginning of the year, six tracks were performed by Phil Collins for a handful of Walt Disney executives. According to the source, "There was a three and a half minute "Intro Song" that has yet to be titled. A little over a minute and a half song called "Father's Footsteps". A long 4 minute innocuous whiney piece called "Grizz's Song," which basically is an elevator music twist on "this can't be my destiny" -really not very pleasant. The next two were upbeat and fun, think montage sequence showing the pleasures of being a bear, and these were two parts of the "Fishing Song," each about a minute and a half. And lastly there was the title song called "Brother Bear," a long 5 and a half minute apologetic and learning to live with the past song."

The source added, "In all, I feel the songs do not necessarily serve to help make this a better film. Sure for tie in and music CD considerations, it is absolutely important to have the songs and Phil Collins, but frankly the music is some of the worst in Phil Collins' career. And if you remember, I was a fan of his Tarzan work."

The source concluded by saying, "It is strange to see Brother Bear moving on the development chart here at Mousedom, but holding it side by side Lilo and Treasure Planet (another Disney project), this feels stylistically unevolved."

In addition, I have learned that Disney has played with different "looks" for the Indian boy in Brother Bear ranging from a more manly character to a childish boy. Apparently, they are leaning toward a drawing which apparently closely resembles Mowgli (from The Jungle Book) with a few extra animal pelts on him.