Teddy Bears that fight evil in space? Judge David Johnson recalled hallucinating something to that effect during his most recent bout with the 24-hour flu.
This ain't your mother's space bear!
The Team Bravo Bears is an elite group of freedom-fighting bears that battle Dr. Xevious, another bear (this one evil) and the Gonkian Empire, which is made up of some crazy bird-looking aliens. In Mission One, we are introduced to the team:
• Major "Mac" Memphis, Team Leader and all-around bad
This crack squad is called into duty to infiltrate a hijacked space station that's about to explode. Dr. Xevious has stolen the station's volatile core, to use for his evil machinations, and it's up to the Bravo Bears to retrieve the core, evade the marauding aliens and their robot henchmen, and save the space station before it detonates. The Extraterrestrial Intelligence Agency (EIA) sends out a desperate plea to Mac and he assembles his squad to unleash furry, fuzzy hell.
Team Bravo Bears: Mission One is a budget-produced half-hour of rudimentary computer animation. As entertainment, I confess that I was pretty much bored through the whole thing. I'm not sure how kids will like it, but I fear they will see through the below-average animation and tune out; after all, this is a generation raised on Pixar and even Nick Jr. (The Backyardigans sports cleaner CGI than this).
Frankly, the animation quality is too much of a hurdle for the show to overcome, even if it were engrossing, which it isn't. The Bravo Bears move robotically, the laser effects are corny, and environments are from the school of minimalism. I will say the animation, as distractingly mediocre as it is, tends to be quite colorful, so that's one nice thing I can conjure up to say about it. Oh, and the Bravo Bears theme song is gloriously psychedelic.
How about the story? Ugh. It's convoluted and starved for action, and moves at the pace of cryogenically frozen tumbleweed, notable considering its 30-minute runtime. And while there's a surreal attraction to watching space warrior teddy bears trade laser blasts with robots and Muppet knock-offs, there's not enough good here to merit a recommendation.
A plodding, blah story plus low-grade computer animation does not a must-have DVD make. I sort of wish I could get on board with this movie, frankly because the premise is goofy enough to interest me, but the Bears just can't stick the landing. Still, if you snag this tile and end up loving it, you'll be happy to know there are more episodes to come. Heck, maybe "Mission 2" will win me over—the previews showed a giant robot.
Full frame, with English and Spanish language tracks and profiles of the Bravo Bears as extras.
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