Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation

Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation

Director: Dale Schott

Writer: Peter Sauder

Voice Cast: Maxine Miller, Pam Hyatt, Hadley Kay, Chris Wiggins, Cree Summer, Alyson Court, Michael Fantini, Sunny Besen Thrasher, Dan Hennessey, Billie Mae Richards, Eva Almos, Bob Dermer, Patricia Black, Nonnie Griffin, Jim Henshaw, Melleny Brown, Janet-Laine Green, Marla Lukofsky, Gloria Figura

Synopsis: 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 Dark Heart, from taking over a summer camp while making the Bears and Cousins vanish forever. In exchange for the Family's capture, he gives a camper named Christy the chance to succeed as the "Camp Champ" over her so-named rival. While starting the Kingdom of Caring, its founders (True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse) will stop at nothing to end the wrath of the Bears' first villain. Christy's friends, Dawn and John, and the rest of the Family join them in doing so. Narrating the tale is the Great Wishing Star (voiced by Chris Wiggins), who also helps True Heart and Noble Heart start the Kingdom, as both of them take care of the little orphan Cubs.

MPAA Rating: G

Note: This review is in honor of the reboot TV series on HUB channel.

Care Bears Intro

A reboot disguised as a sequel...or is it a prequel disguised as a reboot....

Unlike my last review of the first film, I surprisingly remember this movie very well. Although it has been years since I've seen this, I could still remember everything about it anyway. However, for accuracy purposes, I did re-watch this movie to see if my opinion has changed much since I saw it as a kid. Well..yes and no. Yes, because I'm old enough to recognize the plot holes in this film's logic, and since I just reviewed the first movie recently, it does give me a frame of reference on whether "Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation" holds up as a sequel. As for why I said "no and yes", it mainly involves the fact that even though this film does have it's own share of flaws, it doesn't negate the good points of it too that I noticed as a child.

As for the animation itself, it's pretty much what you'd expect from a 2-d animated film, so there's no big surprise there. However, it does look like the movie borrows a few scenes from the last film quite a bit. It's never too obvious, but you can almost tell when you watch this new one closely. Other than that, the visuals in this movie isn't too bad, and I have to say the villain in this film is a bit more developed this time around. Granted, like the last villain, the motives of Dark Heart are kind of vague as to why he wants to kill all the Care Bears, while turning all the kids in the world into heartless jerks. However, he's a bad guy because...well...somebody has to be....right?

Anyways, before I get into the actual review of the film, I think it's important to talk about the title of the movie first. I know most of my readers know that I would never gripe about a film's title usually, but this is kind of a special case. If you've watched the film, it's fairly obvious that "Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation" is not a sequel to the original in anyway, as this new film goes over the origins of the Care Bears themselves. So does that make this film a prequel perhaps? Not exactly, as the Care Bear Cousins were also introduced in "The Care Bears Movie"; along with a completely different back story to boot. Sheesh, if a lot of comic fans complained about the continuity errors of "X-Men: First Class", then I shudder to think what most die hard "Care Bears" fans would say about the continuity errors of this film.

However, could this film be a reboot then of the franchise? If so, then why wasn't it called "Care Bears: A New Beginning" or something to that effect. After all, it's not a new generation, as it's just the same characters being rebooted back to being babies, so why call it "Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation?" Well, the simple matter was that after the first movie was released, the Samuel Goldwyn Company lost the film distribution rights to the franchise after failing to meet the demands of the producers.

Therefore, the distribution rights were attained by Columbia Pictures; hence the film series was rebooted with this movie. As for why they would dare call this movie a sequel to the original film, even though it has no connection to it whatsoever outside of the name and characters, my guess would be they were trying to capitalize on the success of the first movie to appeal to most audiences. Although, I still think "Care Bears: A New Beginning" would've been more true to what this film actually is, but what can you do?

Now that we've gotten that little detail out of the way, we can now move on with the review. As I said in my previous review of the last film, it's hard to really pick on a movie that's geared to really young kids. Yes, I could point out how illogical it is that the caring meter would even work to begin with, in terms of measuring "happiness and caring" on Earth. Or, I could point out how ridiculous it is that some Star God would appoint a talking horse and bear, who're raising little Care Bear and Care Bear Cousin babies together, and then suddenly expect them to handle all the world's caring problems. Hell, I could even question that if Dark Heart seems to have almost god like powers, then why doesn't he just kill off the Care Bears immediately? I mean why the hell would he need some little girl to help him? Or for that matter, how can talking bears that live in the clouds even exist? However, if I did point out those things, then I know I'd be missing the point of this film.

Yes, it's not realistic, but what do you honestly expect from a Care Bears movie? Sure, it's campy, and downright silly. Hell, there's even a breaking the fourth wall scene, where one of the Care Bears speaks to the audience in helping them out.

Plus, let's not forget about the million plot holes this movie has containing even the basic origin of these characters. Little things like, why were the Care Bears' guardians out to sea to begin with? Or, who is this mysterious star god? Why does he honestly care about whether or not the Earth is filled with a**holes or not? I mean is that supposed to represent god? If that's the case, then does that make Dark Heart the devil? And if that's also the case, then does that mean this film also preaches a pro-religious theme?

Hell, why do the Care Bears and Care Bear cousins age so quickly in this movie, while their guardians don't seem to age at all. Indeed, I could go on forever about all the plot holes this film possesses, but I'm sure many readers get my point by now. However, that doesn't negate the good points about this movie either.

The film not only preaches to children that we should all embrace who we really are, but it also sends a message that no matter how mean you think a person might be, there's always a bit of good in everyone. In the end, isn't that what all parents want their kids to learn?

Overall, I'd have to give this movie a two and a half out of four. It's not the best animated feature out there, but for what it is, it's not that bad to watch.



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