Koda is the deuteragonist from Disney's 2003 animated feature Brother Bear and its 2006 direct-to-video sequel Brother Bear 2. Koda also can be found at Disney Parks and Resorts for meet and greets and is voiced by Jeremy Suarez.
Koda is a young and playful cub and a free spirit. He's always up for adventure, which has led to various occurrences throughout his life. Because he has experienced much in his young life, Koda always has a story to tell (much to the initial chagrin of Kenai) and he, unfortunately, doesn't know when to shut his mouth. His stories often mention something questionable, as he was speaking at one point "...my eyes were watering, my tongue was swollen, and from that moment on, I was more careful about what I lick." Though small and young, Koda's a lot more clever and smarter than he looks (knowing how to undo a hunter's trap to get Kenai down), but he seems to be lacking somewhat in common sense (as he tried to get Kenai down first by continuously whacking him with a stick, letting Kenai get it for himself, and not just undoing the trap to begin with). Despite this, it might have been intentional, as Koda wanted Kenai to escort him to the Salmon Run. Furthermore, Koda has apparently travelled far with his mother before he met Kenai, as he knows various landmarks throughout the Alaskan Wilderness, proving he's streetsmart. Koda's bond with Kenai was originally a working relationship, as the cub needed the older bear to escort him to the Salmon Run, whereas Kenai needed Koda to show him to where The Lights Touch the Earth. However, as they journey, they begin to bond and grow close over various adventures to the point where Kenai himself calls Koda a little brother. Sadly, this bond is broken when Kenai admits to Koda that he killed his mother. Heartbroken, Koda ran and refused to speak to Kenai, much less forgive him. Later, when he's alone, he witnesses an argument between the moose brothers Rutt and Tuke, which reminds Koda how much he cares for Kenai and he for him. He risks his life to save Kenai and was blown away when Kenai regained his humanity. In the end, their brotherhood proves true when Kenai forsakes his humanity, stating Koda needs him more than his people. Koda is overjoyed to have his brother back and witnesses his manhood ceremony. By the next film, the two brothers have come out of hibernation and couldn't be closer. However, when they meet Kenai's old friend, Nita, Koda grows jealous, as the two old friends start ignoring him and he fears Kenai will go back with Nita. After an avalanche, Kenai and Koda make up. However, after Nita leaves, Koda can tell Kenai's heartbroken, so he puts Kenai's happiness before himself, asking his mother to remake Kenai a human, proving Koda cares more for Kenai's happiness than his own. Despite this, thanks to the spirits' guidance, Nita finds her heart belongs to Kenai and she and Koda have developed their own bond and, thus, she becomes a bear herself, marrying Kenai, giving Koda a new sister.
The movie centers on Kenai, a young Inuit teenager who was on the verge of becoming a man. Unfortunately, after his brother, Sitka, died saving him from a bear, Kenai decided to kill the bear at all costs. He succeeded, but for acting out of hate, rather than out of love as he had been commanded, the spirits turned Kenai himself into a bear. The only way for him to become human again was to travel to a mountain peak called, "the place where the (northern) lights touch the earth." Along the way, Kenai met an orphaned bear cub named Koda. At first, Kenai found Koda annoying, but eventually, he became attached to him. Then, Kenai learned that the bear he had mercilessly hunted and killed had been Koda's mother. When he's human again, Kenai chose instead to stay a bear and live with Koda, who needed him more than any of his own people. Ironically, for this act of love, Kenai was declared to have become a man. In the credits of the movie, Koda is seen trying to teach the moose brothers how to pronounce his name.
Brother Bear 2
In Brother Bear 2, Kenai and Koda awaken from hibernation to find that spring has arrived. Even with snow on the ground and the trees still bare, love is decidedly in the air. Kenai and Koda scoff at the notion of romance, but an old bear (Tug, who they were laughing at because a female bear that he likes was calling over for him to come to her) cautions them (Kenai in particular) that "You can't run from love. It has a way of tracking you down." Kenai laughs, but later has a dream about Nita, a girl he used to know when he was young and a human. Meanwhile, in her own village, Nita is preparing for her wedding to a man named Atka. Surprisingly, when the big moment arrives, it is revealed that Nita cannot marry Atka. The reason for this is that when they were children, Kenai gave Nita an amulet as a gift. What neither Kenai nor Nita realized was that the amulet bound them as one. The only way for Nita to marry Atka now is to go with Kenai to Hokani Falls, where he first gave her the amulet, and burn it. Nita finds Kenai and manages to convince him to help her. Initially, Koda gets along with her better than Kenai, relating a number of embarrassing stories about Kenai's early blunders; despite this, during the course of their three-day journey, their old friendship sprouts anew and flourishes- with the ultimate result that Koda feels left out. After Kenai and Nita burn the amulet (despite their feelings for each other) and Nita returns to her village, Koda decides that Kenai's happiness is more important to him than having a brother. To that end, he asks his mom to tell the spirits to turn Kenai back into a man so he can be with Nita. Then he goes into the village to inform Nita of this and is subsequently attacked by the villagers, prompting Kenai to come rescue him. When the spirits show up, Koda explains that he asked them to change Kenai back. Kenai decides, however, that he can't do that. Surprisingly, Nita decides that as long as the spirits are there, they can turn her into a bear. This they do, and shortly thereafter Kenai and Nita are married and Atka gets banished by the village. This, in return, gives Koda a new mother figure.
Koda is a meetable character in the Disney theme parks. Sometimes he can be found for meet and greets in Storytellers' Cafe during breakfast time.
- Koda's personality, cub-like nature and ability to highly annoy Kenai while still maintaining both of their affections for each other is a lot like Ujurak in Erin Hunter's book Seekers:The Quest Begins.
- Originally, Koda was going to be an adult bear named Grizz who would serve as an older brother figure to Kenai who teaches him the concept of brotherhood, and was going to be voiced by the late Michael Clark Duncan, who ironically voiced Tug in the final film. However, this did not work out so well, and as a result the character was changed into a young bear cub like what we see in the film. Another reason why his age was lowered in the first place was so that the writers would find it better to make Kenai the more responsible older bear brother instead of the bratty younger bear brother.