"Care-a-lot is a place we all can go The Care Bears Movie
Whenever we choose it
Care-a-lot is a feeling we all know
We never do lose it"
is the first theatrical film in the Care Bears
The story is told in a flashback about three lonely orphan kids: the siblings Kim and Jason, who are helped by the Care Bears, and an older boy named Nicholas, tempted by an evil, sentient book.
The book gives Nicholas magical powers, and then convinces him to turn everyone he sees into hateful people. This damages Care-a-lot, causing earthquakes and threatening to destroy it all. Kim, Jason, and the Care Bears have to go and stop what's happening. Their quest gets sidetracked when they are forced to go to another land, which turns out to be the home of the Care Bear Cousins. In case you noticed watching the film, it is significantly the darkest
of the trilogy: a spell book with a hauntingly green face that seems to be prefer the world in heavily implied global anarchy rather than just plain Jerkassry
towards one's fellow man, eerie rides and a crazed eyed
possessed sorcerer wannabe. Even the soundtrack can be threatening at times.
This film was a modest success, but immensely profitable for American Greetings, and led to two more Care Bears sequels and a TV series.
The Care Bears Movie provides examples of the following tropes:
- Blooper: A couple of shots with the Care Bear Cousins feature them with their tummy symbols before they officially receive them at the end of the film.
- Care Bear Stare: Although it's used to stop a monster, even that isn't enough to save the day. It's up to The Power of Friendship for real to do that.
- Chekhov's Gun: The key from the first movie. Which had its importance greatly subverted by the fact that it could be duplicated rather easily.
- Darker and Edgier: As mentioned above, it is easily the darkest of the trilogy in tone.
- The Dog Bites Back: Nicholas
- The Dragon: Nicholas
- Flashback/Framing Device: Orphans are told this story by an elder Nicholas.
- Happily Adopted: The kids in the end.
- Hate Plague: A spell the book spirit teaches Nicholas.
- Heel-Face Turn: Nicholas at the end.
- Magic is Evil: One of the remarkably Darker and Edgier moral undertones to the whole story. Nobody has any problem with the Care Bears' metaphorically magical Applied Phlebotinum or with the sleight-of-hand parlor tricks Nicholas was learning from his mentor, but the book with the evil spirit in it smacks heavily of Black Magic and Demonic Possession, even urging Nicholas on to further violence when he starts insisting he's satisfied with the revenge he's gotten and doesn't want any more. That's about as Anvilicious a condemnation of sorcery as you can get in an animated kid flick.
- Narrator All Along: At the end of the film, it is revealed that the the narrator is an older Nicholas, with it hinted that an older Kim is his wife.
- No Name Given: The book spirit.
- Pink Means Feminine: Kim has a pink sweater and hair bow.
- The Power of Friendship: Kim and Jason talking Nicholas down.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The book spirit
- Shout-Out: The spirit has facial similarities to the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Suddenly Voiced: Secret Bear gets one very brief line when he shouts "YEAH!" during the end song "In a Care Bear Family."
- Tome of Eldritch Lore/Spell Book
- Troubled Production: Nelvana had some trouble with the outsourcing. Not with the Taiwan unit, but rather the Korean unit. Which is why the sequel was only animated in both Canada and Taiwan.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The book spirit. And Nicholas in the third act.
- When Trees Attack: A tree, possessed by a spell from the book, tries to capture Kim and Jason.
- Worrying for the Wrong Reason: A couple of kids and a couple of Care Bears are stuck in a tree and afraid of falling when Friend points out that they should be more afraid of the lion that's climbing up for them. (Fortunately, the lion turns out to be friendly and just wanted to help.)