Western Animation: Care Bears Welcome To Care A Lot
"They'll always be there!"
Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot is a CGI-animated series airing on The Hub based on the highly popular Care Bears franchise. The series premiered on June 2, 2012 and has been ordered for 26 episodes. The series follows in the vein of the previous Care Bears: Adventures in Care-A-Lot by featuring both episodes in which the Care Bears must help out real kids, but also includes those focusing solely on the bears themselves. The previously introduced character of Oopsy Bear has been eliminated, as well as the villain Grizzle and his robotic minions. The series instead features Beastly, a villainous minion from the 80s series, though he has become much more of a comic mischief-maker, accompanied by two little "Beasties." The series also restores Tenderheart Bear as the leader of the characters, and introduces a new young girl bear named Wonderheart Bear, Tenderheart's niece, a Constantly Curious bear who doesn't quite know what her belly badge does, though she's trying hard to learn. New episodes currently air on Saturday mornings on The Hub and repeats are seen throughout the week. Episodes are presented in widescreen HD where available. Recent episodes can also viewed at The Hub's official website.Character details can be found here.
Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot includes examples of:
Amplifier Artifact: The Care and Share Charms that Tenderheart Bear sometimes gives children seem to have this power, bringing out latent courage or assertiveness they didn't realize they had within them.
Award Bait Song: "When Life is Like a Sad Song" from "Sad About You" has a definite feel of this and comes complete with Joy (the human visitor of the day) and Grumpy Bear waving candles, a reference to the candle-waving or lighter-raising often seen at the performances of certain power ballads, most notably Lynyrd Skynyrd's "FreeBird."
Broken Bird: In "Sad About You," Joy has given up on friendship and happiness because her best friend moves away and she's worried that if she makes friends, she'll just be hurt if she loses them again. The bears help her to see that the positive benefits of friendship are worth the possibility of loss and that even if someone does go away, you still have the happy memories.
Casting Gag: Jeff Gordon as the voice of a sports announcer. Jeff Gordon is the show's director, but he shares his name with the much more well-known NASCAR champion.
Celestial Deadline: The feeling flu must be cured before sundown or else the personality swap effects last forever.
Clueless Aesop: "Welcome to Grump-a-Lot" had a stated lesson about controlling your emotions when you get frustrated, conveniently ignoring that the only reason why Grumpy was so frustrated in the first place was that the others were acting like inconsiderate jerks towards him, ignoring his wish for privacy and refusing to leave him alone until he seriously lost his temper with them.
Doppelgänger: A duplicate of Share Bear created by her belly badge in "Share Squared."
When this happens at the end of "Welcome to Grump-a-Lot," Grumpy Bear comments "Enough with the laughter" and then tosses a wink at the audience.
Everything's Better with Rainbows: Rainbows have pretty much always had power in the Care Bears franchise, but in this series their power seems to have been turned Up to Eleven with rainbow rays and more. There's also a "Let's Make a Rainbow" song that has been used more than once. Official and full version can be viewed here.
Expendable Clone: Played with / parodied in "Share Squared." Share Bear comments that her duplicate will have to make the "ultimate sacrifice" and admits that she'll miss her... "for about an hour, and then I'll be over it."
Fantasy Sequence & Imagine Spotting: Hilariously Lamp Shaded by Grumpy Bear after Wonderheart does a song number in her head in which she imagines using her belly badge power. "Even had a fantasy sequence and everything."
Fix Fic: There are episodes now where Grumpy's stated purpose in the franchise, helping children to express and deal with their negative emotions is seen as the right thing to do. Previous series (most notoriously the Nelvana show) downplayed and derided this role, mostly using him as a mere curmudgeon.
Keep Away: Beastly pulls this on Funshine Bear with a ball in "More Fun with Grumpy."
Less Embarrassing Term: Grumpy Bear doesn't have a backpack. It's a "Care-y-all." Oh, and it also seems to be a Bag of Holding; in one episode Bedtime rummages through it but can't find anything. Grumpy reaches in, gets what he wants, and says it's "all in the grab."
Loads and Loads of Characters: Pretty much every Care Bear that isn't part of the main cast or Chucked out of the series appears as either a background character or in a minor role.
No Antagonist: In about half the episodes so far, if not more. It seems as though Beastly was put in simply because it was felt a "villain" was needed, though even when he does show up, it's only comic mischief-making at best. It seems as though the creators decided they didn't really need an antagonist, and so Beastly is fading away.
Out of Order: The episode numbers given on the videos presented on the Hub's website make it obvious the episodes are being presented very much out of order.
Personality Swap: Happens in "Feeling Flu" when all of the main cast members, bar Tenderheart and Harmony, catch an odd flu that causes them to swap personalities and feelings. Tenderheart already had it as a kid, and Harmony managed to avoid by taking extra-good care of herself in preparation for an upcoming concert. Cheer Bear gets Grumpy Bear's personality, while Funshine's goes to Share Bear. Grumpy Bear gets Cheer Bear's personality, and Cheer gets Grumpy's. Wonderheart Bear and Beastly directly swap personalities.
Picture Day: Seen in "Lazy Susan," Harmony Bear tries desperately to keep the other bears from getting dirty since they've always looked terrible in their photos before.
Record Needle Scratch: Used in "When the Bear's Away..." when Tenderheart interrupts Cheer's party fantasies.
Rebellious Spirit: In "Over Bearing," prim and proper Peter becomes this after Funshine Bear and Grumpy Bear start encouraging him to break rules. "I want to break all the rules in Care-a-Lot! I'll jump in the leaves! I'll yell in the house! I'll never follow another rule again! I'm a bear in the woods and I listen to no man! Mine!"
School Bullying Is Harmless: Type 2 and Type 3... subverted. In "Bully Exposed," when a girl named Madison keeps bullying a girl named Kaylee, the Care Bears advise her to tell Madison how she feels and even give her tips on body language. But when Madison still refuses to stop the bullying, the Care Bears pull off a magnificent Care Bear Stare and Madison is forced to cool down and explain why she's been bullying Kaylee. It turns out it was a case of jealousy. They do agree to be friends, but if not for that Care Bear Stare...
Scout Out: "Cub Bouts," in which Wonderheart Bear wants to join the Cub Bouts.
Shaped Like Itself: Grumpy Bear laments that Harmony Bear's flowers are so floral, her harmonies are so harmonious and her music is so musical.
That Makes Me Feel Angry: Adventures in Care-A-Lot was heavily criticized for this; Welcome to Care-a-Lot seems to be rather better about it, though it's still there. "You're not gonna believe anything I say 'cause you're mad at me. Fine, I can be mad at you too, you know!"
Title Drop: Pretty much each time a kid visits Care-a-Lot. "Welcome to Care-a-Lot!"
Title Theme Drop: With the closing credits theme immediately following the intro sequence in "The Emerald Bridge." Which was probably a good idea, since, thanks to Hub's promos, the only way people can hear it otherwise (other than the very beginning of it) is by watching the show online.
Tyrant Takes the Helm: Ethan in "Holi-Stage" - he basically just takes over the Great Giving Day pageant and makes the story of the pageant about him.
You, Get Me Coffee: In "Cub Bouts," when Wonderheart agrees to help Hugs & Tugs because their friend came down with bearcitis, they ask her to get them food, feeling that she can't do anything else for them because she doesn't have her belly badge powers yet. This becomes the catalyst for the rest of the episode, because Wonderheart is determined to do more than this.