Biographical Information



Baby brother (by Denahi)
Lover boy (by Denahi)




Human (formerly)
Grizzly bear (currently)




The Bear of Love


Salmon Run
Tanana's tribe

Familial Information

Denahi (brother)
Sitka (brother)
Koda (adoptive brother)
Nita (mate)
Chilkoot (father-in-law)

Media Information

Brother Bear
Brother Bear 2

I'm not a beaver, I'm a, I mean, I'm not a bear, I'm a man!
—Kenai to Rutt and Tuke

Kenai is an adolescent grizzly bear. He is the younger brother of Sitka and Denahi, the adoptive elder brother of Koda, and the husband of Nita.

Kenai was born a human, the youngest of three brothers. He grew up in his tribe under the watchful eye of his elder brothers, learning to hunt, fish, and honor the Great Spirits of the deceased. When he came of age, he was gifted with a totem, the bear of love, much to his disappointment.

Shortly after the ceremony, Kenai found that a bear had stolen his brothers' fish basket, and he tracked it down with the intent of getting the basket back. However, the encounter led to a perilous fight between man and beast, which drew the attention of both Sitka and Denahi. During the fight, Sitka sacrificed himself to save his brothers, and Kenai became obsessed with tracking down and killing the bear to avenge his brother's death.

After a deadly fight on a mountain top, Kenai killed the bear. The Great Spirits were disturbed by Kenai's senseless act of murder, and Sitka transformed Kenai into a bear to give him a different perspective on his actions. After the transformation, Kenai sought help from his village leader, Tanana, who told him to return to Sitka and ask to be changed back.

Along the way to the Mountain Where the Lights Touch the Earth, Kenai met a bear cub named Koda, who became his traveling companion. At first, Kenai was endlessly aggravated by Koda, but over time, he learned to love the cub as a brother. Near the end of his journey, Kenai was welcomed into Koda's home, the Salmon Run, where he learned to appreciate being a bear. However, while at the Salmon Run, Kenai discovered that the bear he had killed had actually been Koda's mother, and he professed his guilt to Koda. The cub ran away in horror, and Kenai dejectedly made his way to the mountain, alone.

Kenai attempted to reason with Sitka's spirit, but before he could make contact with Sitka, Denahi appeared, mistaking Kenai for the bear who had seemingly killed both his brothers. A fight ensued, in which Koda came to Kenai's rescue, but before Denahi could kill Kenai, Sitka transformed him back into a man, and Kenai reunited with his brothers. He then asked Sitka's spirit to change him back into a bear so that he could care for Koda, and Sitka obliged. After his transformation, Kenai was welcomed back into the village and allowed to mark the wall of his ancestors, having learned what it means to be a man.


Three Brothers

One day, while out with his brothers, a rash Kenai foolishly starts a stampede of caribou. Exhilarated, he races toward his brothers, Sitka and Denahi, yelling at them to take cover, and the three boys take shelter behind their canoes. After the stampede passes, Kenai jokingly warns his brothers to never try milking a caribou, and a furious Denahi tackles Kenai to the ground, attempting to drool into his face. Sitka promptly splits his brothers apart and reminds them that they need to get along until their work is done.

Kenai with his brothers, Sitka and Denahi, during the musical number "Great Spirits"

With the argument behind them, the three brothers take to their canoes and paddle back to the Village. Along the way, Sitka and Denahi attempt to catch fish while Kenai rides on a mammoth's back, disturbing their work. Eventually, the brothers manage to catch a fair amount of salmon and return to the Village, where Kenai is instructed to tie up their basket of fish. While working, he is approached by the village children, who question him on his totem.

Just then, the villagers call out that Kenai's ceremony is about to start, and Kenai rushes to finish tying up his basket. He finishes hastily, and the basket falls, splitting open on the ground. Kenai briefly considers going back for it, but decides instead to continue on to the Village.

Kenai's Ceremony

After receiving his totem from Tanana, Kenai is cheered on by his village

The ceremony begins, and Kenai comes forward to receive his facial painting marks from the village elder, Tanana. She questions him on whether he is nervous, and he tells her that he is excited. She then tells him that he should be, for his totem is a good one. To the crowd, she announces that she has been to the Mountain Where the Lights Touch the Earth and received Kenai's totem from the Great Spirits. She then presents Kenai with his totem, the Bear of Love, severely dampening his enthusiasm. Kenai attempts to trade with someone else, but Tanana rebukes him, reminding him that he must let love guide his actions so that he can someday place his handprint on the wall of his ancestors. As the crowd cheers, Tanana lifts Kenai's hand, recognizing his status before the Village.

Sitka's Advice

Sitka teaches

Sitka gives Kenai brotherly advice on growing up and accepting his totem

After the ceremony, Kenai is teased relentlessly by Denahi, who nicknames him "Lover Boy" and throws a wreath of flowers on his head. Sitka arrives and sends Denahi to check on the fish, but before he leaves, Denahi throws one last playful jab at Kenai. Furious, Kenai attempts to throw a rock at Denahi until he is stopped by Sitka, who reminds Kenai that a totem does not necessarily symbolize a trait one carries. He then points out Denahi, whose totem is wisdom, and explains how he is not necessarily wise because of it.

Sitka goes on to admit that he had had misgivings about his totem at first, too, but had eventually realized that he was supposed to take care of his brothers. Kenai expresses his desire to place his handprint on the wall of his ancestors, and Sitka tells him to be patient and that if he lives by his totem, he will.

Sitka's Death

In the middle of Kenai's conversation with Sitka, Denahi accuses Kenai of having failed to tie up their basket and shows him that a bear has stolen their fish and made off with the basket. Though Sitka encourages Denahi to simply make another basket, Denahi insists that Kenai make the new basket, since he is always messing up their plans. As the brothers argue, Kenai fetches his spear and takes off after the bear, ignoring Sitka's protests.

Eventually, Kenai catches up to the bear and sees that the basket has been torn to shreds. He throws a rock at the bear, antagonizing it, and the two get into a brief scuffle. When the bear roars and takes a swipe at Kenai, he cries out and falls onto a steep ledge, alerting Sitka and Denahi to his presence. Sitka attempts to help Kenai up the ledge, but Kenai warns him to keep away from the bear.