Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Care Bears Movie



So I'm on this quest to review every movie that amused me during my childhood. This could take years. So let's get started. Today we have The Care Bears Movie. This was released in 1985, and my parents taped it a year or two later. I watched it a lot as a kid.
The plot:

We are taken to a children's home called Cherrywood, where a nice old man and woman (Mr. and Mrs. Cherrywood) are saying goodnight to a roomful of children. The kids want a story, so Mr. Cherrywood puts on his story hat and obliges.



And thus begins Mr. Cherrywood's story of the Care Bears, magical fluffy animals who live in the clouds amongst hearts and rainbows in a land called Care-a-Lot, and who, you know, care about me and you and... just about everything. It's their duty, and dammit if they don't do a thorough job of it.

In this particular story, the bears' Care Focus is on two kids, Kim and Jason, whose parents have "gone away" (we assume this means they went to that other big haven in the sky.) Kim and Jason have no friends, and they don't want any either. When Secret Bear and Friend Bear try to befriend the kids, the kids are rude to the bears.

buzzfeed.com

Alas, the bears care so much that they refuse to give up.

Meanwhile, Tender Heart Bear is off trying to befriend another lonely soul, a magician's apprentice named Nicholas.

 

Nicholas comes upon an evil and magical book that just happens to talk to him and offer to befriend him.




Like any good demon in disguise, the face in the book starts out looking, oh, pretty decent.



But Tender Heart Bear knows that this book is up to no good, and so he tries to stop the insanity before it's too late.


However, the demon book gets a wee bit ticked by bear intervention and...



Turns green. It's supposed to be symbolic of its evilness increasing. Or something. So anyway, back in Care-a-Lot...



The bears have got this new invention dealy, kind of like Wonkavision or that beamer thing on Star Trek... we're talking futuristic bear transportation, here. The bears call it the Rainbow Rescue beam. Only problem is, it doesn't work. That is... until Baby Hugs and Baby Tugs mess with it. Somehow they manage to summon...


... Kim and Jason! 

You know exactly what the bears would be thinking, were they not bears that cared to the extreme. They'd be thinking, Who invited THEM? It's not exactly Party Time when Kim and Jason are around. They've garnered a reputation of being kind of depressing. But that's allll about to change...

After a song and dance ("Nobody cares like a bear!"), provided by our furry friends, Kim and Jason learn to love again. Specialness abounds. But then... EARTHQUAKE! Or... cloudquake...!!!! Rainbows crack, bears fall down, and the Bears' Care meter starts dropping like crazy. Why is this? Oh, it might just have something to do with the evil spirit... let's check...

Okay, so I probably neglected to mention that Nicholas works for a guy named The Great Fetuccini, the World's Most AMAZING Magician, who just happens to live in a trailer.


The spirit helps Nicholas put a spell on The Great Fet to get the man to fall asleep so Nicholas can take over his magic act. Nick's first performance goes horribly wrong, and all the children point and laugh. The spirit is like, "Hey, let's put a curse on the kids. Let's teach them a LESSON." And Nick's all right with that.

So within a matter of seconds, the scene goes from this...


to this...


Yeah, cuz I know when I'm just feeling mean all of a sudden, my most pressing desire is to put an empty cup on someone's head.

Sooo anyway, back at Care-a-Lot, the bears realize that a bunch of people in the world have suddenly stopped caring (thank you, Nicholas...) and that if this trend continues, Care-a-Lot will disappear forever. UH OH. Friend Bear and Secret Bear decide to take Kim and Jason back home to Earth and see what they can do to help. They use the Rainbow Rescue beam but... whoops... something goes wrong, and the foursome wind up in a maaaagical forest. The other bears are scared. They know that Kim, Jason and the two bears didn't make it to Earth. They also know the Rainbow Rescue Beam is crap. So they all pile into a boat...


and set off to see if they can find their wayward friends... and maybe save the world while they're at it.

Meanwhile, Kim, Jason, and the two bears meet a lion, a bunny, and a monkey, and they all decide to sing about diversity...


... you know, how even though we're all different, we're all alike. Bears and lions are the same. Monkeys and bunnies are the same. Children and evil spirits are... well, they're just trying to take over the world, but hey, without that, this movie wouldn't have a plot!

The bears on the boat are having a keen time. Just like their counterparts in the woods, these bears have met some friendly creatures -- an elephant, a raccoon, etc. All the while, the evil spirit is sending this demonic cloud thing to kill the bears and kidnap Kim and Jason, because those two children are big fat holdouts and still have love in their hearts and that is just NOT okay. Now, you might be slightly worried about the fate of Kim and Jason, but never fear... as long as they're around the Care Bears, they're going to be juuust fine. And why is that? It's because of THIS little thing...


... the CARE BEAR STARE. It's a thing where they shoot beams of love from their stomachs and can kill things with it and stuff. But BAD things, only bad things. It's really creepy when you think about it so I'd advise you to try not to. Fact: The Care Bear Stare kicks evil demon butt, and therefore we like it.

Well, it isn't long before all the bears are reunited and they all get into the boat and they emerge... wow, right where they need to be, at the carnival where Nick is at! Nick's busy seeking ingredients for the ultimate spell that will obviously do something REALLY BAD. The bears just want to find the spirit and lock her stupid book up.

After some carnivalistic escapades, the bears manage to confront Nick, who has clearly gone insane at this point...


They use the Care Bear Stare on him... but it doesn't work. The animal friends howl and meow and do their things. Nothing. Two more bears arrive via the Rainbow Rescue Beam. NOTHING'S WORKING!!! Oh wait... incoming...


Kim & Jason: "Nicholas, we want to be your friend. Belieeeeeve us!"

Nicholas: "I... believe you! The power of your friendship has made me see the error of my ways! The evil spirit was just that -- evil -- and I will no longer look to her for fulfillment. Must... close... the book...."

The book does not want to close. But Kim and Jason help and Jason gets the key out (he's been holding onto it, long story, don't ask) and stabs it into the book.


The key destroys the horcrux inside the magical diary. Voldemort's power decreases!

Later, we learn that happy endings abound for all...

The non-bears who helped the Care Bears become "Care Bear Cousins"...

Kim and Jason get adopted by earthly parents...


... and Mr. Fetuccini makes Nicholas his partner (as opposed to his... child slave, which he kinda was before? I dunno.) 

In the end, Kim and Nicholas grow up and get married and turn into Mr. and Mrs. Cherrywood, and they run a children's home.


All right, I made that last part up. Although there is no proof that Kim = Mrs. Cherrywood, we're all supposed to assume that Nicholas = Mr. Cherrywood. The former bad boy now wears a top hat and tells stories and looks like Mikey's dad from The Goonies. And all because of a bunch of bears.


Bears... who care.


(Adapted from an article originally published on my website AlligatorJuice.com on July 1, 2004.)

No comments: