The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland (1987) is the third and final theatrical film in the Care Bears franchise.
The Care Bears are given a mission by The White Rabbit of Wonderland, who is Swift Heart's uncle. The Princess of Heart has gone missing, and the Succession Crisis will give an evil wizard the crown. The Care Bears go searching for her, but instead find a girl named Alice, who is a dead ringer for the Princess. She is convinced to impersonate the princess to stall for time while the Care Bears go searching for the real one.
Unfortunately, the wizard is on to this scheme, and hopes to expose Alice for what she is. It's up to Alice to prove her worth, and the Care Bears to find the real princess in time.
The box office for this film was the lowest of the three, causing a fourth film, Care Bears Nutcracker Suite, to be a TV movie. There would be no further movies until Direct to Video films in the Turn of the Millennium. It was distributed by the film distribution subsidiary of a Canadian movie theatre company, Cineplex Odeon (now known as Cineplex Entertainment).
This film also marked the last time the Care Bear Cousins (mainly Swift Heart Rabbit and Brave Heart Lion) played a major role in the Care Bears franchise, before getting shelved in 1994. The Cousins wouldn't get a major role with the franchise until the premiere of Care Bears & Cousins on Netflix (the Sequel Series of Care Bears Welcome To Care Alot) note
The Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptational Heroism: The Queen of Hearts, of all people, gets this.
- Adaptational Villainy: Tweedledee and Tweedledum as Dim and Dum.
- Animation Bump: In comparison to the previous two films, Adventure in Wonderland has a much smoother animation style far more fitting of its outsourced animation studio.
- Animated Musical
- Anything but That!: Dim and Dum's reaction when the Wizard orders them to retrieve the Book of Wonder.Dim and Dum: (Gasp!) Not the Book of Wonder!
Dim: (he and Dum dash off) Right away, boss!
- Bag of Kidnapping: Dim and Dum try to kidnap Alice this way; it looks like they succeed, but they get a pillow instead.
- Banister Slide: In a scene when the Wizard walks down his stairs in his castle, while talking to Tweedledum and Tweedledim, he realizes that they are not right next to him. As he wonders where they are, the two come riding down the banisters.
- Broken Aesop: The film's message falters at the end when convincing Alice she's special but only if she believes in herself to pass the Princess Test. Except the final part of the test wasn't her, it was the real Princess of Hearts who switched places with her offscreen to pull off the magical feat and trick the wizard.
- Canon Foreigner: The wizard and the Princess of Wonderland, neither of whom existed in the original story. It could be argued that they may be Expies of the Wizard of Oz (a villainous one) and Princess Ozma.
- Captain Ersatz: Dim and Dum are blatant copies of Beastly. Dim even has the same voice.
- Chekhov's Gun: Dim and Dum's fear of spiders is what enables the Cheshire Cat to provide a distraction long enough for Alice and the princess to switch places.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In contrast to the villains of the first two movies, which were incarnate forces of evil who duped human children into furthering their schemes to make the world more evil, the Wizard is a conventional cartoon villain, complete with two stupid, hapless minions, who simply wants to take over Wonderland and impose his idea of order on the kingdom.
- Court Mage: The Wizard.
- Crossover Relatives: The White Rabbit, whom Alice followed down the rabbit hole, turns out to be the uncle of Care Bear Cousin Swift Heart Rabbit. This is how the Care Bears are alerted to the situation in Wonderland.
- Damsel in Distress: Turns out that the Wonderland princess is being held captive by the Jabberwocky.
- Demoted to Extra: The majority of the Bears and Cousins are reduced to brief appearances in the opening musical number.
- Deranged Animation: One frame during the wizard's song◊ shows his face deformed to freaky proportions.
- Digging to China: No one digs a hole, but a brief scene shows that China is upside-down.
- Emergency Impersonation: After trying to find the princess, and instead finding a girl who looks just like her, they have Alice pretend to be the princess while the search continues.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: When the princess revives dying plants, it's done with a shower of sparkles.
- Evil Chancellor: The royal wizard, our Big Bad, abuses his authority in his quest to become king.
- Foreshadowing: When "Alice" is giggling at the chaos caused by a panicking Dim and Dum, her previously tattered outfit is now pristine - a hint that she's really the princess.
- Garden-Hose Squirt Surprise: Subverted in the credits. Bright Heart Raccoon is watering the flowers when the water stops. It turned out that Lotsa Heart Elephant had her foot on the hose which made the water stop, then she lifts her foot up again, causing the water to flow again. Bright Heart briefly looks in the hose before looking over to see Lotsa Heart walking away casually, just as the water squirts out of the hose while Bright Heart was holding it away from himself.
- Gasp!: Alice, and many of the Wonderland subjects, do this after the White Rabbit reads the details of the Princess Test.
- Again, the subjects (except for Alice, the King, Queen, and the White Rabbit) when Dum throws the Wizard.
- Gratuitous Rap: The Cheshire Cat gets two during the movie. And there's the rap song during the credits.
- Great Big Book of Everything: The Book of Wonder holds the rules that govern Wonderland. The physical book is so large that two minions, Dim and Dum, struggle to carry it.
- Green Thumb: A princess's touch has the power to revive dying plants.
- Hannibal Lecture: The wizard gives this to Alice, convinced she can't impersonate the Princess properly.
- The Hat Makes the Man: Almost literally. The Mad Hatter's hats cause personality changes to their wearers.
- Help, I'm Stuck!: The White Rabbit has trouble squeezing out of Grumpy's mirror and calls on him for assistance.
- The High Queen: The Queen of Hearts in this version is a benevolent ruler and the Big Good.
- Hypocrite: During his Villain Song, the Wizard goes on and on about how the insanity of Wonderland is not right and that it needs rules and order brought to it. He does this all while participating in the craziness, if not occasionally causing it.
- Identical Stranger: Alice to the princess, leading to Body Double.
- Identical Twin ID Tag: Dim's shirt has vertical stripes while Dum's are horizontal.
- I Just Want to Be Special: The main characteristic of Alice.
- Nephewism: The White Rabbit of Wonderland is Swift Heart Rabbit's uncle.
- Nightmare Face: The wizard sports one◊ for a brief second during his Villain Song.
- No Name Given: Neither the Queen, the Wizard, nor the Princess of Wonderland are known by anything other than their titles.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Stan the giant Jabberwocky. Kinda shoehorned in, because while having a thorn stuck in your paw may explain his ill-mannered rampaging, it makes no sense why he's holding the Princess captive in the first place.
- The Omniscient: The White Rabbit states that the Cheshire Cat knows everything that goes on in Wonderland.
- Oh, Crap!: Everyone's reaction when the Wizard starts to blow his top after Dim and Dum (startled by the Cheshire Cat who turned into a giant spider) accidentally throw him to the floor.
- Order Is Not Good: In his Villain Song, the Wizard claims that he wants to become Sorcerous Overlord of Wonderland so that he could use his authority to reign in Wonderland's trademark wackiness and instill calm and order. Of course it's obvious he just wants to be in control of everything and he's the only one bothered by his world's surrealness despite being surreal himself.
- Our Dragons Are Different: The Jabberwocky is enormous - so much so, everyone in Wonderland, even the Wizard, is terrified of him. Everyone avoids him, leaving the giant alone and rather grumpy.
- Pimped-Out Dress: The Princess of Wonderland has quite a few, of course, and so does the queen.
- Princess Classic: In Wonderland, a princess is so pure, there's a test for being a "true princess"... which a normal girl can apparently pass, provided she fails by doing the right thing.
- This is actually Fridge Brilliance: The first part of the test (climbing the mountain and helping the unicorn) any nice person can pass, but the second part (making the flowers bloom without the well water) is only something the Princess could do.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: The Wonderland princess has a pink dress (with purple trim) and royal cape, which rounds out her princess tropes.
- Public Domain Canon Welding: It's revealed that one of the Care Bears Cousins, Swift Heart Rabbit, is the niece of the White Rabbit from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Rampage from a Nail: The Jabberwocky, who's in a state of crankiness due to a thorn stuck in his paw. With the combined effort of everyone, the thorn is removed, inciting the Jabberwocky's Heel–Face Turn.
- Reality Warper: The Cheshire Cat.
- Running Gag: Grumpy Bear constantly grumbling about his hunger. In the end, this joke builds up to... a rap song during the credits.
- Samus Is a Girl: Swift Heart Rabbit is apparently female, since the White Rabbit outright calls her his niece.
- Save the Princess: The Care Bears set out to find the real Princess of Wonderland, while Alice undergoes training to impersonate her.
- Scenery Porn: Wonderland, as depicted here, looks gorgeous. It's surreal, colourful and lively. The inhabitants are diverse and interesting. The madness and chaos is embraced by all in strange harmony.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When the wizard starts going into his Villainous Breakdown, Dim and Dum can be seen tiptoeing away with armloads of suitcases and a teddy bear.
- Succession Crisis: Invoked by the wizard kidnapping the princess before her coronation.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: Heart symbols decorate the regalia worn by the queen and princess of Wonderland. Their dresses are covered with them in various places. Even the Queen's cape has hearts on the white ermine trim. The princess's ermine-trimmed cape has a heart-shaped clasp.
- The Theme Park Version: Does this for Wonderland.
- True Blue Femininity: One of the Princess's fancy dresses is bright blue.
- Unicorn: Alice encounters an injured unicorn foal in the mountains while on her way back from retrieving the spring water she needs for her princess test. She gives the water to the unicorn instead... which, it turns out, was exactly the sort of thing she needed to do to pass.
- Unmoving Plaid: Done deliberately with the patterns on the Cheshire Cat's fur, as it adds to his surreal, shapeshifting appearance.
- Villain Song: "When I'm the King of Wonderland"
- Voluntary Shapeshifter: The Cheshire Cat.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Crazily inverted. The Wizard's goal is to bring law and order to Wonderland. In any other context, this would ordinarily make him the de facto hero, in trying to bring order to chaos - but this is Wonderland. His plan would destroy the life and soul of this alternate reality.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dim and Dum are TERRIFIED of spiders.