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Case Number 06528

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Care Bears: Festival Of Fun / Magical Adventures

Care Bears
1988 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Care Bears
1988 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Released by Lionsgate
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 6th, 2005

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All Rise...

They may seem nice and all, but mess with their young, and Judge David Johnson says you can count on getting your face ripped off by a Care Bear.

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: Helping Hearts (published February 3rd, 2010), 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

Care Bears stare!

Opening Statement

The '80s was a time of unparalleled animated insanity. Maybe it was the toxic fumes of all the lead paint, but cartoon creators were obviously out of their gourd. How else do you explain Teen Car, a show about a kid who could transform into a red convertible whenever he began to sweat?

Another notable member in the Pantheon of Likely Drug-Induced Zaniness is the classic series Care Bears, simultaneously a profoundly saccharine exercise in cuteness and a merchandising juggernaut. Now you can relive the days of yore with Lions Gate, as they unleash these two collections of some of those old-school episodes.

Facts of the Case

Here's the deal with the Care Bears. Apparently, they're a race of animals who live in the clouds in a world called Care-a-Lot, drive cars made out of clouds, have a special barometer that tests overall happiness on Earth, and, if the situation calls for it, can join together and unleash their "Care Bear Stare," which is, as far as I can tell, a rainbow-colored laser beam projected from their stomachs.

While initially made up of just bears, the Care Bears somewhere along the line began accepting nonbear animals into their ranks. I blame the ACLU. So now bears, lions, pigs, elephants, and what have you all team up to battle the malicious No-Heart, a faceless wizard with a terminal case of bastarditis, and his cohorts Shreeky, a shrill teenage girl, and Beastly, an anthropomorphic meatball.

These two discs—Festival of Fun and Magical Adventures—offer a batch of these "classic" (read: old) episodes, tied together with a tenuous theme. Festival of Fun sports seven episodes, all with a music/carnival/circus flavor, and Magical Adventures gives you eight episodes of, well, adventures that are magical, I suppose.

Festival of Fun:
• Care Bear Town Parade
• Under the Big Top
• Care Bear Carneys
• Care Fair Scare
• Care-a-Lot Games
• Songfellow Strum and His Magic Train
• Music Video

Magical Adventures:
• The Lost Gift
• Lots-a-Heart's Wish
• Perils of the Pyramid
• Bedtime for Care-a-Lot
• Secret of the Box
• The Magic Lamp
• Caring Crystals
• The Pirate Treasure

The Evidence

I know I'm not the target audience, but these cartoons were pretty sucky. Having no solid memories of watching the Care Bears (I would have been 11, so, Lord, I hope I was playing football with my friends or throwing rocks at squirrels instead), approaching these discs was a new experience.

Will kids like them? If they're small enough, I guess. Then again, kids small enough to glean some entertainment from this hokey cartoon will probably be just as amused by staring at a crock-pot. Yes, there's some humor (the jokes are mainly of the falling-off-a-horse-into-a-bowl-of-fruit-punch variety), but Care Bears is at its heart a series of morality plays starring small animals with hearts tattooed on their thighs. Some of the harder-hitting episodes include the Care Bears trying to boost the self-esteem of a short kid who works in the circus ("Under the Big Top") and imparting the moral lessons associated with making three wishes granted to you by a unicorn ("Lots-a-Heart's Wish").

And then you've got the straight-up nutty episodes: "Caring Crystals" tells of how No-Heart prepares an assault on Care-a-Lot using, and I quote, "Bubbles of Uncaring"; then there's "Care Bear Carneys," where Beastly and Shreeky, poorly disguised as carnival workers, lure the Care Bears to a faux carnival, proving that Care Bears have the brain cell count of a Drake's coffee cake. Finally, the last two shows in Festival of Fun feature the musical talents of Songfellow Strum, a beanpole elderly man who travels in a flying train singing old kids' songs. In a too-Lolita-for-comfort moment, we discover Shreeky is in love with this codger.

All right, I'll admit I'm having some fun at the Care Bears' expense. Though my jaded 27-year-old self finds little amusement in this cartoon (not all kids' stuff has to be witless; see The Fairly Odd-Parents), Festival of Fun and Magical Adventures both offer harmless, colorful, even morally sound animation. Parents, if you're hard up for DVDs for your rugrats, you could do worse—even though this is some fairly dated stuff that often borders on the nonsensical. Or you could just pop in The Iron Giant for the 356th time.

Closing Statement

These discs should be enough to keep the kids Care Bear Staring at the screen, and they'll certainly not be the worse for it. But looked at with a discerning eye, the Care Bears should have remained in hibernation.

The Verdict

The bench doesn't have the heart to convict.

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Genres

• All Ages
• Animation
• Television

Scales of Justice, Care Bears

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 20
Acting: 75
Story: 75
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile, Care Bears

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Care Bears

• Trailers

Scales of Justice, Care Bears

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 20
Acting: 75
Story: 75
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile, Care Bears

Studio: Lionsgate
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks, Care Bears

• Trailers

Accomplices

• IMDb








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