Lionsgate // 2010 // 70 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dan Mancini (Retired) // October 23rd, 2011
A sparkling movie adventure!
Sometime in the first decade of the 21st century, American Greeting Card's cutesy marketing gimmick, the Care Bears, turned into a gang of gentle-hearted adventurers called the Care Bear Power Team. Headquartered in a cloud city called Care-a-lot, the team consists of five brightly colored teddy bears with icons on their white bellies: Oopsy Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Grumpy Bear, and Share Bear. The team made its debut in Care Bears: Oopsy Does It!, a computer animated movie in which they faced off against Grizzle, a mean-spirited Care Bear who (no kidding) used a mechanized suit to try to prevent the Power Team from building an amusement park in Care-a-lot. That direct-to-video feature was followed by 58 episodes of Care Bears: Adventures of Care-a-lot, all of which were as surreal as Oopsy Does It! That series, which aired on CBS, is now followed by this second direct-to-video movie, Care Bears: Share Bear Shines. Lord, help us.
In Share Bear Shines, Share Bear's expressed belief in Princess Starglo, a star who mentors twinklets into becoming full-grown stars, causes the remainder of the Care Bears -- who, remember, are talking stuffed animals that live in the clouds -- to snidely dismiss their colleague's naïveté. The bears' lack of belief causes Princess Starglo a crisis of confidence that leaves the night sky dim and dull. Share Bear springs into action, journeying to Glitter City in order to help Starglo regain her confidence and escort a band of twinklets on their migration across the sky.
Care Bears: Share Bear Shines is about as innocuous as kids' entertainment can be. There are no irritating songs, the characters are so uniformly sweet that they're interchangeable, and the plot is just nonsensical enough that it's nearly impossible for anyone grade school aged or older to pay attention to what's happening on screen for more than five minutes. My three-year-old loved it. My six-year-old couldn't work up enough passion to either enjoy or hate it. I fell asleep the first eight times I tried to watch it (and that's not hyperbole). If you have a pre-K tyke, she'll probably dig it. And, unlike with much kiddie entertainment (I'm looking at you, Dora), her insistence on watching it again and again won't make you want to shuffle off your mortal coil in as violent a way as you can imagine. So, there's that. The disc might also be ideal for grown-ups with sleeping disorders.
Share Bears Shines is a competent piece of computer animation when compared to your average television production, but doesn't compare to theatrical fare. Characters are rendered in bright colors and move fluidly, but the expressiveness of their faces is limited. Backgrounds sport limited depth and detail. The 1.78:1 anamorphically enhanced transfer on this DVD handles the limited source well, delivering accurate colors and little in the way of combing or other digital artifacts. Young fans of the Care Bears will be pleased.
The Dolby 5.1 audio track is competent, though not all that immersive or exciting.
The only extra is an interactive game kids can play with your DVD player's remote control in which they align a twinklet's five points (some of the later levels are actually difficult).
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 70 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interactive Game