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Western Animation / Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot

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"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.

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. Like the series before, the premise primarily centers around seven main characters: Tenderheart, Cheer, Grumpy, Funshine, Share, Harmony, and newcomer Wonderheart. 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 who 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 Tenderheart's niece, Wonderheart Bear, a Constantly Curious bear who doesn't quite know what her belly badge does, though she's trying hard to learn.

New episodes aired on Saturday mornings and repeats were seen throughout the week; episodes were presented in widescreen HD where available. Recent episodes could also viewed at The Hub's official website. The series only lasted one season of 26 episodes; after about a year with no new episodes, it was clear nothing new was in production. Hasbro's mismanagement of the Hub Network (and the franchise as a whole) effectively doomed the series and, in September 2014, it was announced that the network would become Discovery Family, dropping the show completely from its line-up. This was soon followed by an announcement that a new series would air on Netflix, one featuring the Care Bear Cousins for the first time since the franchise was revived in 2000.

Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot includes examples of:

  • Ad-Break Double-Take: Sometimes used, such as in "Sleuth of Bears" when the group encounters the supposed ghost of Benefair.
  • All Your Colors Combined: The only way to open Shiver Me Timbear's chest in "Bearied Treasure"
  • 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.
  • Anti-Hero / Anti-Villain: Beastly, depending on the episode.
  • 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 "Free Bird".
  • Beary Friendly: Well, these are the Care Bears after all.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: When Wonderheart Bear interviews Grumpy Bear, he tells her that he likes being alone and building stuff. And building stuff when he's alone.
  • Broken 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. It also totally goes against Grumpy's purpose in the Care Bears cast- teaching kids it's okay to sometimes be grumpy.
  • 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.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: Wonderheart is cute as is. But her cuteness is enhanced by Floppy Bunny, her Companion Cube plush rabbit.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Less so than the original series, but used from time to time.
  • Celestial Deadline: The feeling flu must be cured before sundown or else the personality swap effects last forever.
  • Chirping Crickets: In "Shunshine," when Funshine is introduced in the pie-eating contest, there is no applause because he's been acting as a jerk with a big ego ever since he won the Care Bear-athon. So a cricket chirping is heard instead, then he cheers for himself.
  • Color-Coded Characters:
    • Tenderheart: Brown
    • Cheer Bear: Pink
    • Grumpy: Blue
    • Funshine: Yellow
    • Share Bear: Light purple
    • Harmony: Dark purple
    • Wonderheart: Magenta
  • Deadpan Snarker: Grumpy has his moments:
    "Well, {Joy}'s not laughing because she's happy. She's laughing because I'm hilarious."
  • Doppelgänger: A duplicate of Share Bear created by her belly badge in "Share Squared."
  • Embodiment of Vice: In "Welcome To Grump-A-Lot", Grumpy's anger gets so far that he conjures up a storm cloud that causes the other bears to act the complete opposite of their personalities. Harmony becomes a stuck-up diva who's Hollywood Tone-Deaf; Funshine becomes a complete Lazy Bum; Cheer becomes negative and always complaining; Share becomes greedy and selfish; and Wonderheart becomes cynical and bitter.
  • "Everybody Laughs" Ending: "Share Squared," possibly others.
    • 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."
  • Friendship Song: There's the "Best Friends" song from the episode "Sad About You." At first, the human girl Joy is upset and bothered by it because her own best friend moved away. Then the Care Bears help her to feel better, particularly Grumpy Bear by accepting her sadness, and she joins in singing the song at the end of the episode.
  • Furry Reminder: Whenever Harmony would get very upset and angry, she would swipe her paws with a sharp sound effect.
  • 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.
  • Forced Meme: Trying to capitalize on the success of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, somebody in PR came up with nicknames for the potential periphery demographic, "Belly Bros" and "Care Dudes." Unsurprisingly, The Hub immediately backpedaled on this. It didn't appear to affect the chances of Welcome to Care-a-lot gaining a Periphery Demographic as reports came in that the premiere of the show, along with Kaijudo, delivered some of the network's best ratings to date in all demographic areas.
  • Foreshadowing: An easily overlooked one appears in the episode Night Bears, where Wonderheart uses the phrase Take Heart! to activate her belly badge powers in her dream sequence. This would come back in the sequel series Care Bears & Cousins not only as the cousins' catch phrase, but is also an important indication of Wonderheart's belly badge powers.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The premise of “Feeling Flu” has the bears and Beastly sans Harmony and Tenderheart catching the titular ailment that causes them to switch personalities.
  • Funny Photo Phrase: At the end of "Lazy Susan", Susan is about to take a photo of the bears. Share says, "Say 'tea'!", much to Harmony's confusion.
    Harmony: ...Tea?
  • Harmless Villain: 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.
  • Happy Dance: Grumpy Bear can do a good one when he thinks nobear is looking.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Comes up as a Running Gag in "Shunshine"; whenever Cheer asks Good Luck to give Funshine luck, he is too busy listening to music on his earbuds that he doesn't pay attention.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: Harmony Bear to Share Bear in "More Fun with Grumpy" when Share tells Funshine to "face the music."
  • Hiccup Hijinks: "Holiday Hics"
  • Hope Is Scary: This comes from Grumpy Bear of all bears in "Sad About You." He says that it's the bummer about being happy, that at some point it'll end and you'll just be sad.
  • In Name Only: The Beastly in this series is not the same as the one from the 80s.
  • "I Am" Song: Cheer and Grumpy have “That’s The Way to Be”, in which they mention what each bear does according to their personalities.
  • "I Want" Song: Wonderheart Bear's "Can't Wait To Be The One," as well as "Care Hugs," which is about Wonderheart Bear wanting her belly badge to work and learn what power it has.
  • 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."
  • Malfunction Malady: The hiccups Tenderheart gets in "Holiday Hics".
  • Marshmallow Dream: In the episode Night Bears, Grumpy dreams that he has a bottomless pantry, and he starts feasting on the food in the pantry. The scene then fades back to reality, showing that Grumpy is actually invoking this trope.
  • Me's a Crowd: "Share Squared"
  • Moving Angst: Inverted in "Sad About You". A girl named Joy is distraught about her friend moving away and decides to swear off friendship so that she'll never feel that kind of pain again just in case someone else leaves her. She decides to go back to befriending others once Share Bear tells her that she still has old memories of her friend to look back on fondly.
  • No Antagonist: In about half the episodes so far, particularly those that focus on the Bears' issues.
  • Noodle Incident: One of the pictures of the Bears' previous picture day in the episode Lazy Susan has Funshine puling on the tail of a goat while the other bears are fleeing, then followed by another of him lounging at the beach, piña colada in one hand, with a rather happy looking goat. No context or explanation for the latter picture was given.
  • 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 (which results in acquired immunity, no, really), 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.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Hayden and Jayden
  • 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...
  • "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The episode Sleuth of Bears presents this trope wholesale. Guess who's the mythical "Scare Bear". It even comes complete with a villain-unmasking scene.
  • Scout-Out: "Cub Bouts," in which Wonderheart Bear wants to join the Cub Bouts.
  • Series Goal: Wonderheart’s is to find out what her belly badge does and to unlock its power.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: The episode title "Sad About You" would seem to be a spin on Mad About You.
  • Short-Runner: Only one season of 26 episodes.
  • Slice of Life: Magical elements notwithstanding, of the stories are of this type.
  • 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!"
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: In "Shunshine," Funshine's face goes green after he can't stomach anymore pies in the pie-eating contest against Grumpy.
  • Title Drop: Pretty much each time a kid visits Care-a-Lot. "Welcome to Care-a-Lot!"
  • Title Montage
  • Title, Please!: Unlike previous series, the episode title doesn’t appear onscreen.
  • 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.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Wish Bear tends to punctuate "wish" with her sentences.
    • Secret Bear talks in a whispery manner to allude to her secretive nature.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: The outcome of "Bearied Treasure." Grumpy Bear, is very displeased, at least at first.
  • "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: At the end of "Night Bears," Grumpy Bear asks Sweet Dreams Bear if she can send him again his dream with a never-ending food cabinet. She tells him to "Keep dreaming," leading him to ask if that's a yes or a no, and to start begging.
  • 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.
  • You Mean X Mas: Great Giving Day


Can't Wait to Be the One

Wonderheart has waited so long for her belly badge to get its magic and sings about wanting to find out its power.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / IWantSong

Media sources: