Teddy bears taken to the next level of cute, with pastel colors and symbols on their chest (known as "tummy symbols" or more recently "belly badges"). They live up in the cloud-city of Care-a-Lot and frequently visit Earth to help out kids who are feeling down. The Bears have names relating to their specialty — Good Luck Bear, Friend Bear, and so forth. Later, "Care Bear Cousins" representing other animals were introduced (Brave Heart Lion, Cozy Heart Penguin, and more); they live in the Forest of Feelings about halfway between Earth and Care-a-Lot.The bears first appeared on American Greetings cards in 1981 (contemporary with Strawberry Shortcake). These little guys and gals were a hit right out of the gate when Kenner launched a toy line two years later. They had a lot of animated screentime for the rest of the decade: two specials, a TV series, and three theatrical films over 1985-87. The franchise died back through the 90's after a very brief and unsuccessful redesign; compare My Little Pony. The franchise returned after the turn of the millenium.In most of the films and cartoons, they are pitted against various "heartless" villains who want to make the world safe for evil, often by removing people's ability to care for others... or to feel emotions at all. The baddies ranged from the Mad Scientist Professor Coldheart in the specials and the DIC TV episodes to the Evil Spirit of the first movie to the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain crew of the later Nelvana TV episodes (evil wizard No Heart, his niece Shreeky, and henchman Beastly). When the chips are down, that's when the Care Bear Stare comes into play.They're one of the most spoofed of The Eighties toy lines because of their overly sugary reputation — which is not wholly deserved when one takes some of their villains and plotlines into account. On the other hand, they're still quite popular. In 2002, the characters were relaunched with a toy revival and two direct-to-video animated films. In 2007, a redesigned line of the toys arrived along with another DTV film and a Saturday morning series on CBS, Care Bears — Adventures in Care-A-Lot. Adventures in Care-A-Lot is out of production, but the character line launched with the Oopsy Does It continued with films such as Giving Festival Movie and Care Bears to the Rescue Movie.On June 2, 2012, The Hub premiered a new series called Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot.Films include:
Be Careful What You Wish For: A major theme of the CGI Big Wish Movie. Wish Bear, upset that nobody likes her wishes, wishes for some bears to come to Care-a-Lot who like wishing just as much as she does. She gets her wish, but the new neighbors turn out to like wishing so much that they take away Twinkers, her wishing star, from her.
Grumpy's fate during the '00s revival. He pretty much VANISHED from all merchandising from the show (despite being the most iconic of the group) in favor of Bedtime Bear, another blue-colored Care Bear. Eventually, the decision was reversed in Adventures in Care-a-Lot.
Many characters got this treatment in the Nelvana series.
Wingnut, in the new Giving Festival Movie from the Adventures in Care-a-Lot era.
And No-Heart in the Nelvana series.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Soap Box Derby", one of the Care Bears creates a bridge out of a rainbow over the oil puddle the boys have made to help the racing girls (Trish and Cathy) get along safely. This gets the boys ticked off:
Willis: I don't believe it! Those girls made it, over a rainbow bridge! Benny: A WHAT?!
Considering how this "Rainbow Bridge" is getting young viewers who heard about this "pet afterlife" story confused... well... you get the idea.
For the Evulz: Pretty much the only reason almost any villain does anything. Except for Adventures in Care-a-Lot's Grizzle, who simply hates the Care Bears and wishes to take over, or at least be rid of, Care-a-Lot. Another exception is the Wizard of Wonderland from the third movie Care Bears Adventure In Wonderland. His motive is political power (he wants to become the new king of Wonderland). Beastly in the new Welcome to Care-a-Lot series isn't really evil and only makes mischief that he considers to be fun.
Just watch Nutcracker Suite. Count how many fingers Alan Prince/Nutcracker, his wife and their students have.
Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The Care Bear Stare had this effect in the DiC, to somewhat disturbing results. It was toned back into an all purpose weapon against evil in the Nelvana series before returning to its roots in Adventures In Care-A-Lot.
Green Lantern Ring: The Care Bear Stare can generate energy constructs, generate light, fabricate items, act as a prosaic energy blast, brainwash people into caring, free people from brainwashing, damage intangible entities, and shove objects around telekinetically, among other things.
Lighter and Softer: Adventures In Care-A-Lot manages to be this, even compared to the older cartoons.
Loads and Loads of Characters: Almost inevitable, given how many different versions there have been. The CGI Welcome to Care-a-Lot series seems to use pretty much every Care Bear that isn't part of the main cast or Chucked out of the series as either a background character or in a minor role.
Love Redeems: Or caring redeems, but Dark Heart became Cristy's friend in the second movie, and he felt so bad about nearly killing her, that it drove the evil out of him.
Merchandise-Driven: The first two films introduced new or revamped characters in conjunction with their toy line debuts: the Cousins in the first, and the whole gang's baby selves in the second. There are plush toys for bears from Adventures in Care-a-Lot that had maybe two lines on the show at most, if they even got to speak at all.
Well, of course, but Adventure in Wonderland actually goes so far as to show us the inside of Grumpy Bear's bathroom, which has everything you would expect except for a toilet. No wonder he's so cranky.
Even in the second movie's "I Care For You" song, all the diapers they changed seemed perfectly clean.
The Power of Rock: That one too. Grams Bear plays an electric guitar in one episode. (As an aside, have you noticed that these "Power Of" Tropes seem to be the Holy Trinity for 80's cartoons?)
Princesses Rule: Princess Starglo, who is the "mother of all stars", yet is not a queen.
Real Dreams Are Weirder: In the Adventures in Care-A-Lot TV series, all the Care Bears share a dreamspace where they tend to have rather mundane dreams (where they do the same things they tend to do in their waking lives), so it was rather refreshing to see the bears having more dream-like dreams in the Share Bear Shines movie.
Recycled INSPACE: One of the oddest examples this side of Fonzie and the Happy Days Gang. The final season of the original "Care Bears Family" cartoon featured two spinoffs. One was a Recycled IN SPACE Star Trek parody. The other was a Recycled In PrehistoriaClan of the Cave Bear parody. This, friends, is what a Dork Age looks like and the cartoon was canceled soon after.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Somewhat justified because the Care Bears are all about getting people to "share their feelings." It's heavily Flanderized in Adventures In Care-A-Lot, though, where the Bears (particularly Share) constantly inform each other just what emotion they're feeling at the time. The "Nothing's Going Right" song is probably the ultimate example of this.
"I'm mad, I'm so mad / And I'm frustrated, too... Do you know what I mean when I say nothing's going right for me today?"
Taken Up to Eleven in Welcome To Care A Lot where the Care Bears don't even bother to hide when they're annoyed with one another. In on particular episode, Share Bear messed up a special drink, causing the other bears' fur to change colours and patterns. the resident Diva, Harmony Bear, instantly throws "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!" at her. Wonderheart, within the same series, is brutally honest with her feelings. this is actually a very useful aesop for young children.
In the first TV special: "Allow me to introduce myself!/They call me Professor Coldheart..."
And from the Adventures in Care-a-Lot movie Oopsy Does It, "Grizzle's Bad."
"When I'm the King of Wonderland" in the Wonderland movie.
Wasn't That Fun?: In one segment from the "Giving Festival" movie, Oopsy and Wingnut help Trueheart get over her fear of rollercoasters. Part of their method involves riding the ferris wheel first, but they accidentally set the wheel to super fast, sending the wheel spinning at at a terrifying pace. Once they get it stopped, Trueheart seems to be in shock, until she says, "That. Was. AWESOME!" Later, after Trueheart gets over her fear of the Funderbolt, she completely embodies this trope, insisting on continuing to ride after the others have been tired out from riding twenty times.
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: No Heart was rather miffed with Doctor Fright's tendency to toy with his victims instead of just finishing them quickly. Arguably justified, as Doctor Fright at least claimed to feed on people's fear.
Would Harm A Child: No-Heart in an early episode tries to kill Grumpy and a kid named Alvin. If Grumpy didn't have that four-leaf clover that made him invincible...
Zombie Apocalypse: Adventures in Care-A-Lot has one when a Love Potion goes wrong, turning the other Care Bears into creepy "love zombies" bent on apparently hugging Oopsy to death.