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The Care Bears Movie
Care Bears Intro
The Care Bears Movie
Director: Arna Selznick
Writer: Peter Sauder
Voice Cast: Georgia Engel, Mickey Rooney, Jackie Burroughs, Sunny Besen Thrasher, Eva Almos, Patricia Black, Melleny Brown, Bob Dermer, Jayne Eastwood, Eve Evans, Gloria Figura, Cree Summer, Brian George, Janet-Laine Green, Luba Goy
Synopsis: 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.
MPAA Rating: G
Note: As I said in my hub, "Film Reviews and Movie Hype", I said that I would do a review of all the "Care Bears" movies if and only if I could find sufficient evidence that a new reboot TV series was officially in the works for the franchise. Upon learning of the "Care Bears" return to TV, I've taken it upon myself to review each of it's theatrically released films, to help celebrate the franchises return.
Black Nerd's Rant
A Children's story like no other...
To be honest, I don't have any recollection of ever watching the "Care Bears" cartoons as a child. In fact, my only real memory of it only stems to what I can surprisingly remember about the second movie, "Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation." Although, I'm sure I did watch the regular TV series as a child as well, but more than likely I was just way too young to remember it; considering I was like five years old when this film was originally released. Therefore, I'm afraid I'll only be able to review this movie from an adult perspective; versus using my childhood memories as a frame of reference, to compare and contrast how I feel about it now as an adult.
The movie is obviously based on the popular 80's cartoon, "Care Bears", where it involves a bunch of magical talking bears that reside in a heavenly place called "Care-A-Lot." The Care Bears are in charge of caring for all the world's children, while using a "Caring Meter" to determine how much "caring" there is in the world. To be honest, even as a freaking adult, I'm still baffled as to how the scrupulous hell something like that would work. But then again, it's a cartoon that isn't meant to be taken seriously, and it's geared towards really young kids; hence it's hard to really bash this movie for it's obvious lack of logic. Plus, we have to keep in mind that there's only so far an adaptation can stray away from the original source.
Anyway, the story revolves around two kids that are orphans, who feel that nobody in the world cares about them; thus the Care Bears arrive to try to show them that they're not alone in the world. Meanwhile, a young Magician's apprentice named Nicolas, who also feels like nobody in the world cares about him at all. But as luck would have it, an evil face in a book called "The Spirit" tempts Nicolas into using her spells to take over the world, by turning them all into uncaring jerks. That bastard! Oh, and the Care Bear Cousins are introduced into this movie too. Anyway, that's pretty much all you need to know about the story, without spoiling anything.
As I stated earlier, it's hard to really pick apart a movie that's isn't designed to be taken seriously. Hell, I would tend to criticize a person if they did take it that seriously, and gave this film a bad review because of it's obvious lack of logic and ridiculous story line. However, to be fair, there is quite a few things wrong with this movie that are worth pointing out. For starters, lets look at the villain of "The Care Bears Movie."
Granted, the villain does serve more of an abstract metaphor than anything else, but the motive of "The Spirit" is rather vague at best, as they never explain why the scrupulous hell she wants Nicolas to take over the world, nor do we even know how that thing freaking exists. In fact, we're never even told how Secret Bear can just magically duplicate the key to defeating the book; whenever the hell he wants. Oh well, I guess "Care Bears" operate on the DC comic book logic of "He/She just can." How the hell can the "Flash" run so fast without burning up his knee joints? He just can.
Anyway, as many of my readers know, I do tend to mark off points for obvious lack of logic in movie scripts. However, when it comes to animated cartoons aimed at young kids, you have to be willing to let a lot of things slide.
Besides, what do you expect from a franchise that features talking magical bears that make people feel good by using lights that come out of their tummies?
As for the animation itself, it's fairly decent for what the animators were going for. Granted, there's some slight inconsistencies like Brave Heart Lion's tummy logo appearing and disappearing, in one particular scene. However, it's only for a split second, so I doubt most people are going to notice this minor detail.
Another thing worth pointing out is the songs in movie aren't particularly memorable; which doesn't exactly help the film. But, the film does set up a nice atmosphere, and the characters are likable; which is always a good thing in children's movies.
In the end, I honestly didn't think "The Cares Bears Movie" was as bad as most people make it out to be. Sure, the story may turn off a lot of adults, due to it's over abundance of cheesiness and sappiness, but most of the film's general content doesn't seem to possess anything bad for kids. If anything, it's a helluva a lot more kid friendly than most Disney films; even though Disney's animated features are still vastly superior in terms of quality.
Sure, I could go on all day about the obvious lack of logic in this movie, by mentioning things like how they never explain how the damn "Caring Meter" works, or how the evil spirit had that much power to take over the world to begin with; let alone explain why the book would want to take over the world. However, as I stated earlier, the villain seems to be used more as an abstract metaphor rather than being portrayed as an actual character, so you can't really hold that against the movie itself.
Overall, "The Care Bears Movie" may not be the best animated feature film out there, nor would it necessarily be my first choice to recommend to families. However, for what the movie happens to be, it's not a bad one at all. As I stated earlier, the film does feature a colorful atmosphere for kids to get into, and it has likable characters that come off more as endearing rather than annoying, which isn't always easy to pull off in animated movies. In the end, I would probably give this movie a two out of four. I'm sure most kids will love it, and a few die hard "Care Bears" fans will too. However, if you're an adult that doesn't care for all that cutesy crap in your movies, then I'd probably avoid this one at all costs.