Tell everybody I'm on my way
New friends and new places to see
With blue skies ahead yes
I'm on my way
And there's nowhere else
that I'd rather be
On My Way
Koda is the dauntless and feisty bear cub that interrupts Koda's grumpy little transformed existence when he finds the man-turned-bear caught in a bear trap. Koda suggests many not-as-helpful methods of releasing himself from the trap, but in the end, manages a simple and effective way of springing Kenai loose. Koda, for purposes unknown to Kenai, follows the older bear closely, gabbing all the way about his past exploits, his friends and his adventures. Kenai is cold and hard to Koda, but the cub is unaffected by Kenai's curmudgeon-like demeanor, and keeps close. Eventually, Koda reveals that he became separated from his mom, and he's afraid to make the annual journey to the Salmon Run on his own. Kenai refuses to help until Koda mentions that he knows the place where the light touches the mountains, where Kenai needs to get, and that it's near to where the Salmon Run is. Koda sings, dances, tells stories, and is unfaintingly cheerful, much to the chagrin of the moody Kenai. Koda and Kenai are pursued by what Koda sees is a seriously dangerous hunter, who is actually Kenai's older brother. Koda teaches Kenai a new perspective, and the importance of looking through someone's eyes, and Kenai's icy exterior begins to melt as Koda cuddles close and says he's always wanted a brother. At the Salmon Run, Koda tells a terrifyingly exciting story about how he and his mother were separated when a hunter chased them. Kenai realizes the hunter in the story is him, and when he confides this to Koda, the cub is hurt and afraid, and runs from Koda. He claims he doesn't want a brother anymore, but when Kenai is fighting on the cliff where the light touches the mountains, Koda rushes up to investigate, and finds that Kenai has been transformed into a man. He's confused and frightened, feeling completely alone, and Kenai realizes that Koda needs him more than his brother does. Koda wishes a fond farewell to the spirit of his mother, while Kenai transforms again into a bear, and the brothers live as bears. Kenai is welcomed as having completed his manhood process and he and Koda look forward to the future together.
Koda is voiced by Jeremy Suarez.
I've already sort of said my piece on this film (See Kenai), but I think there's something definitely to be said about Koda. He is a great character. Extremely charming, very sweet, realistic as a kid, and his comedic timing and content is classic. What surprises me about this film is that it was a dream from a marketing perspective, since the characters and the toys made from them could practically be glorified teddy bears, and extremely popular, but they didn't seem to hardly even advertise. It's a sadly unrecognized gem of a film, with great music, stunning visuals, and a very touching message about brotherhood and understanding someone else's perspective.
(to his brother)
Rutt: Sorry! You've been replaced with my dear brother... gee, I forget you name, what's your name again...?
Koda: I don't want anymore brothers.
Rutt: See? He's had enough of you too, eh.
Kenai: Hey, I've got a mountain to get to. Let's go, kid.
Koda: I told you before. My name's Koda. Say it with me... Ko-da.
Kenai: Are you sure your mom didn't ditch you, Ko-duh?
Koda: If the snow's white, then it's all right. Yellow or green, it's just not clean. I learned that one the hard way.
Koda: Mom says the spirits make all the magical changes in the world, like how the leaves change color, or how the moon changes shape, or tadpoles change into frogs...
Kenai: Yeah, I get it. You know, for a change, maybe they could just leave things alone.
Koda: What do you mean?
Kenai: My brother's a spirit, and if it wasn't for him I... I wouldn't be here.
Koda: You have a brother up there? What happened to him?
Kenai: He was killed by a bea... by a monster.
Koda: What's your brother's name?
Koda: Thanks, Sitka. If it weren't for you, I would have never met Kenai. I always wanted a brother.
Koda: When I get in a fight, I go all crazy, and I'm a raging ball of brown fur!
Koda: Hey, I don't wanna brag or nothing, but I got some moves.
Kenai: Oh, really?
Koda: Yeah. Now, this first one, well... it's just a little something I like to call... the Slasher. And this, I call... Flying Fury of Death.
Kenai: (mock terror) Ah! The hunter's coming back.
Koda: Aah! Where?
Kenai: Enough with the stories. I don't care about the time you and Binky found the world's biggest pine cone ever.
Koda: First of all, his name's Bucky, not Binky. And Second, it wasn't a pine cone, it was a pine nut, and it was huge, even bigger than your fat head.
Koda: (asleep) Two more months, Mom...
(looking at a cave painting of a hunter stalking a bear)
Koda: Those monsters are real scary. Especially the ones with sticks.
(to Kenai, stuck in a trap and hanging from a tree)
Koda: What are you doing? Guess you didn't see the trap, huh? I saw it from a mile away! You must be pretty embarrassed! Don't worry... I won't tell anyone!
Koda: You need to get down! Let me help...
(he starts hitting Kenai with a stick)
Kenai: Oh, wait wait wait wait wait wait... OW!
Koda: Hold still!
Kenai: No, just (Ow!) Stop it! (Ow! Ooh!) Would you just (Ow!) Get... get... hey... STOP IT!
Koda: It's no use. The only way to get down is to chew your own foot off!
Koda: Boy, that tree is strong, huh? You know, when I was little, I was really into climbing trees! All kinds of trees! I climbed pine trees, oak trees, cedar trees, maple trees, there were birch trees, willow trees...
Koda: ...my eyes were watering, and my tongue was swollen, and from that moment on, I was more careful about what I lick!
Koda: [playing with his reflection in an iceberg] Skinny... fat! Skinny... fat!
Koda: Oh, that reminds me! Last year at the Salmon Run, my friend Bucky TOTALLY dared me, but I'd heard about this OTHER cub who stuck HIS tongue to an iceberg, and then he started to float away, and so to save him, they had to like rip off his tongue, and so, now he hath to tog like thith all a time!
Kenai: Don't DO that!
Koda: Scared you, didn't I?
Kenai: There's scared... and then there's surprised.
Koda: And you were both! Whoa... (he looks away for a second, hinting for Kenai to try. Kenai gives his best effort at roaring) Nice try. Uh, you got a little spit right there...
Koda: Why do they hate us, Kenai?
Kenai: We're bears.
Kenai: So... you know how they are! They're... they're killers.
Koda: Wait a minute, who's the killers?
Koda: What? Which bears? I'm not like that, and you're not like that!
Kenai: Well, obviously not all bears, I mean, you're okay, but most bears... most bears will look for any excuse to attack a human.
Koda: But Kenai, he attacked us!
Koda: This year, I watched my Mom in a life and death struggle against all odds, battling possibly the most fiercest creature on the face of the earth. Okay, who's next?