Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot is an animated series based on the Care Bears franchise that was produced by Sabella Dern Entertainment and distributed in the US by DiC Entertainment, and is in fact one of the last series to involve the company shortly before it was acquired by Cookie Jar.
The show centers around Cheer Bear, Share Bear, Funshine Bear, Grumpy Bear and Canon Foreigner Oopsy Bear (first introduced in the movie Oopsy Does It!). No Care Bears show is complete without a villain of course, and the villain of this incarnation is Grizzle, a puny grizzly bear who spends most of his time in a robot suit and seeks to convert Care-a-Lot into part of his machine empire. It's a lot less scary than it sounds, owing to the fact that Care Bears incarnations of the new millennium have been toned down as to not give younger audiences nightmares. As a matter of fact, Grizzle is an ineffectual villain at most, with most of his plans hilariously backfiring on him one way or another, and in the final special of the series, Grizzle was removed altogether.
The full series franchise for this incarnation consists of the movie Oopsy Does It!, 24 episodes and two TV specials split across two seasons, and three more direct-to-video specials before the franchise was unceremoniously revamped.
It can be said that the franchise was ill-timed. Shortly after the release of the series, Hasbro acquired the master license to both Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake from both Play Along Toys and Playmates respectively. Hasbro then proceeded to sit on the franchise until 2012, when they launched another revamp in Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot.
This page focuses on the TV specials and the TV series. The direct-to-video specials and Oopsy Does It! should be placed in their own pages.
Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-Lot features the following tropes:
- Absentee Actor: The five main bears don't appear in every episode.
- Adobe Flash: Though the show itself is traditionally animated, the theme song uses this kind of animation.
- Art Shift: The movies and direct-to-video specials were CGI. The TV shows and TV specials were traditional animation.
- Art Evolution: The bears' designs were radically changed for this incarnation, creating a broken base over the new designs. This design was dumped when the licensee was changed over to Hasbro.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the episode 'Growing Pains' Cheer Bear and Share Bear use magic glitter to enlarge their flower gardens, when their gardens get too long, they use the glitter on themselves, causing them to grow so tall that Care-A-Lot is as big as their own feet.
- Bears Are Bad News: Grizzle. Even if he doesn't successfully harm the Care Bears and receive his dose of Karma at the end, he still does cause considerable collateral damage to Care-a-Lot indirectly.
- Beary Friendly: Every bear except Grizzle.
- Birthday Episode:
- "Present and Accounted For" for Love-a-lot Bear.
- "Cheer Up" for Surprise Bear.
- Canon Foreigner: Oopsy Bear, Wingnut and Grizzle.
- Color-Coded Characters:
- Cheer Bear: Pink
- Funshine: Yellow
- Grumpy: Blue
- Oopsy: Green
- Share Bear: Purple
- Demoted to Extra: Tenderheart Bear. This is basically one of the causes of the Broken Base in the fandom.
- Disembodied Eyebrows: Wingnut
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Remember, Cheer Bear is the leader in this incarnation.
- Evil Is Hammy: Grizzle, with his Fake Brit accent.
- Everyone Laughs Ending: The estimate is that as much as 90% of the show's episodes ended this way.
- Feud Episode: "Erased" is this due to a side-effect of New-B's eraser ray. The bears only care about what their belly badges stand for and argue amongst one another because they think the other's caring mission is not the one at hand.
- Five-Man Band:
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The Care Bear Stare can once again be used for this purpose in this series.
- Genre Shift: The final TV special of the series did away with villains and is completely Slice of Life.
- Growling Gut: A strange example in "Tell Tale Tummy", where Share's stomach making jingling noises.
- Harmless Villain: Grizzle, most of the time. In the times he does succeed however, he is quickly outwitted by the bears.
- Heavy Sleeper: Bedtime Bear. Wakes up, mumbles a short sentence, drops back off to sleep.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The purpose of the Forget Me Ray in "Forget It" is to cause the bears to forget they ever knew Grizzle, but it is taken Up to Eleven when they forget everything.
- Licensed Game: One for a relatively unknown console called the V-Smile Baby
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Inevitable given that it's the Care Bears we're talking about.
- No Antagonist: Grizzle doesn't appear in some of the episodes, but the final TV Special, Down to Earth, is fully antagonist-free as it focuses on an earth kid having just moved to a new place and feeling lonely from missing his old friends.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Grizzle seems to be only capable of this (doubly as to not install Adult Fear in the viewers). Nontheless, the bears fall for it every time.
- Pep-Talk Song:
- Share has "The Sharing Song" from "Broken", as she teaches Wingnut how to share.
- Funshine has "Rain or Shine" from "Down to Earth", which encourages Jake that making new friends is fun.
- Real Dreams Are Weirder: 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).
- Short Runner: Only 24 episodes (with 2 segments in each episode) and four TV specials across two seasons.
- Slice of Life: The show drifts in and out of this, but the final TV special is straight up slice-of-life.
- Status Quo Is God: No matter how many times the bears try to reform Grizzle, in the end he always goes back to being a villain by the start of the next story.
- Start My Own: In the episode, "Whose Friend is Who?" a bit of a club war gets started because Cheer, Harmony, and Love-a-Lot reject Funshine and Oopsy's help in making a "project" with their human friend McKenna. So, with Grumpy, they make their own "project" and a subsequent club to go with it. The girls retaliate by forming their own club, and a montage of the two clubs one-upping each other in their projects ensues, with McKenna stuck in the middle, not wanting to pick a side. She eventually gets the two clubs to see how silly they're being by making a club with Wingnut, and calls them out when they band together to exclude her club.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: Heavily flanderized, where the Bears (particularly Share) constantly inform each other just what emotion they're feeling at the time.
- Theme Tune Roll Call: The extended version of the theme released as a music video has this.What do Cheer and Share and Oopsy do? / Bring smiles, give gifts and help you, too / Funshine's a fun one, Grumpy's blue, ooo-wee-ooo...
- V-Sign: Most official artwork of Oopsy depicts him doing this.
- Washy Watchy: Justified (as well as providing the trope image) in "Down to Earth." The mother of the boy that Funshine Bear is helping, Jake, tossed him in with the laundry, believing him to be a plush toy. Fortunately, this won't harm Funshine because he isn't a normal bear, something that he assures Jake of before actually going into the washing machine. At dinner, Jake has a bad case of the giggles because from his seat at the dinner table, he has a view of Funshine's antics in the washing machine— wearing goggles and a snorkel, as well as a bathing cap and scrubbing as if he's taking a bath.
- Zombie Apocalypse: One episode, when a Love Potion goes wrong, turning the other Care Bears into creepy "love zombies" bent on apparently hugging Oopsy to death.