In this second installment to the original Care Bear Movie trilogy of the 1980s, the Care Bear Family goes on their first Caring Mission--to stop the evil doings of a demon villain, named ... See full summary »
The Care Bears live in a faraway place up in the clouds called Care-a-Lot. They travel around the world on Missions in Caring, whilst evil villains such as Professor Coldheart and Lord No Heart, try to thwart their plans.
The Care Bears live in a country high in the clouds, where they have a lot of fun together. But they also do care for the human children on Earth, who they watch through huge telescopes from the sky, and come to help whenever there is need. Nikolas, a magician's apprentice, is in danger of getting under the influence of a bad spirit, which resides in an ancient spell book. The siblings Kim and Jason don't trust anyone anymore after being disappointed once too often. The Care Bears take them into their wonderland where they experience exciting and dangerous adventures together and quickly become good friends. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
The only word Secret Bear says aloud during the whole movie is "Yeah!" shouted during the final song. See more »
When Brave Heart is fighting the tree monster, he's shown with a tummy symbol in one shot. See more »
I've sighted parents for you at the orphanage! They want to adopt you both!
Congratulations, Kim and Jason!
Tender Heart Bear:
Come on, Grumpy! Let's warm up the rainbow rescue beam! Kim and Jason have to get back in a hurry!
You hear that, Jason? Parents.
Yeah. I thought we'd never have parents.
I know, Jason. Our friends. They're in trouble.
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An absolute product of its time, harmless but still corny
"The Care Bears Movie" was the most successful of the mid-80s cartoon movies based on toy lines. Perhaps I should stop right there for a moment and address the fact that this movie is indeed a vehicle for product placement. Because of this, the storytelling seems really awkward at times. More on that later.
The story concerns Kim and Jason, two orphans who don't really care about anyone because they were abandoned by their parents. Quite heavy stuff for a kid's cartoon, but I digress. Anyway, little do they know that there is a secretive (but not completely secretive) society of cute, magical little bears that live in the clouds and monitor the amount of love and caring on Earth. These are of course the titular Care Bears, two of which, Friend Bear and Secret Bear (The Jay and Silent Bob of Care Bears), show up to try to make friends with them. They all accidentally get "beamed up" to the Care Bears' home Care-a-Lot (yuck!), where the two kids begin to change their apathetic tune.
At the same time, a ne'er-do-well magician's helper named Nicholas, who is friendly though quite clumsy and lonely, has accidentally stumbled onto a talking magic book that is trying to trick him into doing evil things. While trying to impress a group of kids with his magic tricks, Nicholas ends up getting heckled and the books suggest to him that if no one will like him then he should make the rest of the world just as miserable as he is.
The rest of the movie mainly concerns Secret Bear and Friend Bear's adventures with Kim and Jason through the Forest of Feelings (yuck!) while meeting and recruiting various helpful creatures and also the rest of the Care Bears' journey down a river (while also meeting helpful creatures) to get to Earth and stop Nicholas, whose spells are destroying Care-a-Lot (yuck!) and wiping out all the caring in the world.
"The Care Bears Movie" seems to be in a rush to do everything, and because of this, things seem to happen a tad too conveniently. Kim and Jason go from not caring about anyone to being fully devoted to stopping the evil book just a tad too quickly to be believable. Also, while one group is traveling through the Forest of Feelings (yuck!) and the other is boating down the river, the various helpful animals always seem to appear just in time to save the Care Bears. It's the type of movie where you can solve any problem by simply adding a new character, in this case these "Care Bear Cousins" (as the product line was dubbed).
This is perhaps the movie's biggest faux pas; way too many characters that are poorly developed that exist only to sell toys. There's even a song at one point sung by Brave Heart Lion (The Cousins' unofficial leader) where he gets EVEN MORE animals to join the crusade against the evil book; these ones presumably not important enough to have their own introductory story arcs. But I'm sure they must have made great dolls.
Nicholas is the only "realistic" character in the whole movie, which makes his gradual seduction to the "dark side" all the more frightening. (I know, it seems like I'm asking a lot from a movie about magical little bears, but again, I digress). It's here that the filmmakers make their strongest point: many children just need someone to be friends with, and if they don't receive positive influence, there will be plenty of unscrupulous people ready to step in and fill that void.
Other than some poor plotting, the movie is also punctuated with plenty of annoying songs about loving, caring and friendship. Trust me, your skin will crawl when former Lovin' Spoonful lead singer John Sebastian sings songs about how "No body cares like a bear" and that "It's great to be in the Care Bear Family."
Also, the dialogue... Oh, enough can't be said about the disgustingly cute dialogue! Horrible, horrible things should have been done to the screenwriter! But it is a movie aimed at little girls (a demographic I thankfully was never a part of) and based on characters from American Greetings cards (the Care Bears are from Cleveland, who knew?), so syrupy language is to be expected.
I watched this movie again for the first time in more than ten years just a few months back, and if I can say anything absolutely positive about it, it was that it reminded me of my childhood. While there is nothing offensive in it, it's just so cute that during my last viewing I still squirmed around in the chair uncomfortably, laughing inappropriately at all the wrong parts.
P.S. Grumpy Bear is of course the favorite of both Care Bears fans and Care Bears haters alike. Perpetually in a foul mood and looking like he would rather be somewhere else, he is perhaps the embodiment of what many parents probably felt being subject to such sickeningly cute drivel. He was definitely a kindred spirit to me whenever I watched this film as a child.
5 out of 10 stars for this one. Mostly because despite the poor storytelling and overbearing cuteness, there was a good moral and Grumpy Bear was there for me when I really needed him.
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