A part of me is really regretting this Kid’s Film Friday idea. Thankfully there are only five left. Holy moly! Only five (and a bit) weeks left in the year?!
Anybody got any good weed?
The Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins are living up in the Kingdom of Caring when they see that they are needed down at a summer camp where three of the kids are being bullied because they’re crap at running. Two are looked after, but one of the kids – Christy – has made a bargain with the Care Bears enemy Dark Heart, who grants her a wish in exchange for a favour. Stop me if any of this sounds vaguely familiar.
Made in 1986 by Toronto-based animation studio Nelvana, this is a sequel/prequel to 1985’s Care Bears Movie, while also completely disregarding everything that happened in that film. Yes, I saw the first Care Bears movie. There are similar elements in this film – the child being unwittingly corrupted by a dark power, only to be rescued by a bunch of multi-coloured bears with weird belly tattoos – but this one is more explicitly a (uncredited) adaptation of the Faust myth, with a whole bunch of other influences tossed in for good measure. Young Christy is Faust, Dark Heart is obviously Satan and the Care Bears are angels living in their cloudy heaven in the sky.
For a mid-eighties toy tie-in cartoon, this comes nowhere near ousting the legend that is Transformers: The Movie from the top of the tree. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it good, but it has certainly aged better than many of its contemporaries. The songs – including one from Fame‘s own Debbie Allen – are catchy enough to avoid nausea, and the story is quite reasonable for the target audience (which, just to be clear, isn’t me). Much more wholesome than something like Bratz, I’d be happy enough to park my nieces in front of this for 73 minutes. And if they’re not about, I’ll just get really stoned and watch it myself. Care Bear Stare, indeed.