There must be something embedded within the human race’s collective unconscious that urges us to personify basic human traits. You can see it in many polytheistic societies. The Greeks for example had Eros the god of love. The Aztecs sometimes worshipped Tlaloques who represented mischief. Iki-Ryo is the Japanese spirit of jealousy. Time and again we see societies with no contact with one another create living symbols to explain their own mood swings. This is the only reason I can see The Care Bears being a viable property. If not for some hidden, driving need by our race to put irrational emotions in perspective, why did this show become so popular? I mean seriously, it’s terrible.
Lions Gate Entertainment has put together 8 DVDs collecting 7-8 episodes each of The Care Bears television series that originally aired between 1985 and 1988. Reviewed here are Festival of Fun and Magical Adventures. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to how they’re placed on these disks. Each 11-minute short seems to be gathered loosely by theme. Although if your themes are as vague as Forever Friends and your subject is Care Bears, it doesn’t really matter where you put the episodes. These aren’t season sets, these are just collections.
"I give up. What does ‘Lucky Pierre’ mean?"
The name “Care Bears” is something of a misnomer. Yeah, there are animals of the family Ursidae but we also have raccoons, lions, elephants, rabbits, cats… all who still refer to themselves as bears who care. As I mentioned above, each character has their own trait that they must support: Share Bear is the epitome of giving of oneself, Champ Bear personifies good sportsmanship and Grumpy Bear is an asshole. The other animals in the menagerie have their characteristics as well: Brave Heart Lion lives where angels fear to tread, Loyal Heart Dog refuses to press charges when his spouse beats him and Lotsa Heart Elephant is hideously obese.
Each episode of The Care Bears centers around some lesson that kids must learn or they will grow up anti-social miscreants bent on self-destruction. Practice makes perfect, cheaters never win and sharing is caring are some of the lessons they beat into your child’s head. Everything a parent who wants the television to babysit their child would approve of. And that is exactly what the makers of these sets expect from you evidenced by how the disks start without any intervention. They even brag on it by calling it a “kid-friendly direct-play” feature on the back cover.
"I thought you were supposed to be this great actor! Well, no
king of the vampires I know would act like that, Sir Ben Kingsley!"
I recommend you never show these things to children. It’s never too early to expose your children to decent storytelling. Even if they don’t understand all of it, anything made by early Henson Productions like Fraggle Rock or Sesame Street is preferable to this garbage. The only people I see getting this are the types who still have a Birthday Bear propped on their bed next to a Cabbage Patch Kid. And shame on you! Move on! There’s much better entertainment aimed at children you can feel nostalgia over.
1.8 out of 10
"You turn right around and get yourself a different name. This one’s mine."
The transfer is decent but the original animation is a tad sketchy. Remember, the 80s was a time when animation was done with light boxes and artists who belonged to a union cutting all the corners possible.
4.2 out of 10
The voice work is grating. When casting this thing they must have asked everyone to do their best baby talk. If you can stand this much switching of L’s and W’s than you’re a stronger person than I am.
4.2 out of 10
Lucky for Junkie Heart Bear that Rehab Racoon
just happened to have some methadone with him.
On both disks they have added trailers for an updated computer generated movie Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot. We also have an updated computer generated movie Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy (dude, stay away from Popeye! The Fleischers did great stuff with this character that you will never equal), DVD sets for the episodes of Clifford the Big Red Dog and episodes of Clifford’s Puppy Days which is sort of a prequel in case you were wondering what Clifford was like when he wasn’t freakishly huge.
That’s it. Some trailers for other Lions Gate releases is all we get. Of course I suppose the only people who would be checking for extras are reviewers what with the disks starting up with no intervention and all.
0.0 out of 10
Ten minutes later they all promised each other that they would never
hang out with Soggy Biscuit Bear again.
Look at the colors! Aw! I’m giving this a high score because this is truth in advertising taken to the extreme. No one will see these covers and mistake the DVDs inside for something good.
7.8 out of 10
"I was joking! Come back here! Seriously, I’m just a regular pirate."
Overall: 2.0 out of 10