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Case Number 18238: Small Claims Court

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Care Bears: Helping Hearts

Lionsgate // 2007 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge William Lee (Retired) // February 3rd, 2010

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All Rise...

You'd better believe Judge William Lee cares. Oh, you'd better.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of Care Bears: 25th Anniversary (published January 5th, 2008), Care Bears: A Belly Badge for Wonderheart (published August 11th, 2013), Care Bears: Cheer, There And Everywhere (published March 23rd, 2009), Care Bears: Festival Of Fun / Magical Adventures (published April 6th, 2005), Care Bears: Journey To Joke-A-Lot (published October 27th, 2004), Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (published May 9th, 2003), Care Bears: Share-A-Lot In Care-A-Lot (published May 8th, 2010), Care Bears: Share Bear Shines Movie (published October 23rd, 2011), Care Bears: Super Cuddly Collection (published January 1st, 2012), and Care Bears: The Giving Festival Movie (published December 5th, 2010) are also available.

The Charge

Helping hands lead to helping hearts.

The Case

The 2007-rebooted version of the Care Bears are here to teach you lessons about giving and receiving help, accepting responsibility and recognizing the feelings of others. Assembled on Care Bears: Helping Hearts are seven 10-minute episodes from the first season of Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot and one from the second season. Here's what those crazy, cuddly fur balls get into:

• "Ice Creamed"
Grumpy Bear builds a machine for Amigo Bear that makes unlimited ice cream. Don't the bears know that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins?

• "A Little Help"
Grizzle, the villain of the series, tries to steal Grumpy Bear's power generator to prevent his hovering lair from floating away.

• "Unbearable"
Funshine Bear receives a trophy because he's so helpful. Too bad the recognition goes to his head.

• "Twinklet"
Oopsy finds a baby star and wants to keep it as a pet but soon discovers what a big responsibility it is.

• "Rainshine Meadows"
Funshine Bear tries to enlist the help of the others to clean up a once-lovely meadow that has been neglected since a storm hit it.

• "Care-ful Bear"
Funshine Bear feels guilty after Share Bear is hurt playing a game so he makes it his mission to ensure everyone stays safe—even if it means no one can have fun.

• "Rudemate"
In the sole inclusion from the second season of the series, the bears' human friend McKenna comes to visit. After she proves to be a bad houseguest, Tenderheart, Love-A-Lot and Grumpy conspire to teach her a lesson about respecting others' property.

• "Dare Bears"
Thrill-seekers Tenderheart and Love-A-Lot get into trouble when they dare each other to perform bigger and bigger challenges.

Parents, if you need something to distract your child for ten or more minutes, you could find worse than the Care Bears; just use them in moderation the same way you'd restrict your child's access to lollipops. The valuable lessons the bears impart are presented in a simple, straightforward manner that will be easy for younger kids to pick up, but perhaps a little too obvious for those in the upper single-digits.

Perhaps it's for the pre-teen audience that Grizzle was conceived. He's a mean bear in a giant metal suit who lives in a hovering lair. Grizzle has the typically cartoonish megalomaniacal personality and, for an extra quirky detail, he talks to an inanimate toy bird made of spare parts. Maybe Grizzle's origin and motivation is explained in an earlier appearance but in the episodes where he appears on this DVD, he's an unfunny, unthreatening, meaningless distraction. Grizzle is a stupid character, the product of assemblage by committee.

The 1.33:1 full frame picture will satisfy its target audience even if their gadget-loving dads may find a few nit-picky faults. The image is sharp half of the time but it seems every other shot is slightly fuzzy. The candy colors are rich and the overall brightness is consistently gentle on the eyes. After a few episodes, I had a craving for grape-flavored suckers. The uncomplicated stereo audio is just fine.

The DVD has a "kid-friendly" auto-play feature so if your child can feed oatmeal to your player, he or she can start the disc. Of course, they'll have to first watch the trailers for Lionsgate's other titles before the program proper starts. There's also a voice that tells them to have a grown-up help them access the special features on the disc but there actually aren't any.

The Verdict

Not the worst TV for your kid and not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 69

Perp Profile

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• English (CC)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• All Ages
• Animation
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• IMDb








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