Brother Bear is a film directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker and release on November 1, 2003. Brother Bear is a spiritually ambitious animated film in which the transmigration of souls takes center stage in a story aimed to teach tolerance of those who may be different. This film involves three brothers: brave older brother Sitka, spirited middle brother Denahi, and the troublesome younger brother Kenai.
- Each brother wears a small, carved representation of the animal spirit that has chosen him. Sitka wears an eagle, Denahi wears a wolf, and Kenai wears a bear, which represents love. However, Kenai doesn’t like bears and doesn’t think love is a manly quality, so it’s not surprising when he picks a fight with a bear who tries to steal the brothers’ fishing catch. Sitka tries to protect him, but is instead killed, and inhabited by the spirits of the tribe’s ancestors, is transformed into an eagle.
- Sitka, now being a spirit, transforms Kenai into a bear, and this “instant karma” ensures Kenai will see the world with a new perspective. Kenai’s rebirth as an animal, common to Hindu traditions, is artistically emphasized.
- As discussed in our textbook, Karma is what determines the direction of one's rebirth. It comes from a root meaning "to do" and implies the notion of moral consequences that are carried along with every act. Karma is the moral law of cause and effect, and belief in karma is a belief that every action has an automatic moral consequence (Molloy 84).
Sources: Molloy, M. (2008). Experiencing the world's religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (6th ed.). Boston: -McGraw Hill Higher Education.