"The Care Bears Movie"

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This one starts off in an orphanage, so you know it's going to be good.  The manager, Mr. Cherrywood, tells the orphans story of the Care Bears in order to get them to go to sleep.  And--spoiler alert!--Mr. Nicholas Cherrywood is also the villain of the movie, although you don't know that until the very end.  How is a kid young enough to be watching The Care Bears supposed to grasp the implications of the unreliable narrator?

As a child, Nicholas was a magician's apprentice who opened a book one day that had an evil spirit inside.  This book is scary, I mean really scary.  Together, Nicholas and the evil spirit-book destroy things, including the amusement park where Nicholas worked, and even parts of Care-a-lot and the Forest of Feelings.  Their goal is to remove all caring from the world, and as people stop caring, the Caring Meter falls all the way down to 3 (at 0 Care-a-lot disappears forever!).

The Care Bears enlist the help of orphans Kim and Jason to save Care-a-lot, and they do this by approaching the terrified children, addressing them by name and immediately claiming to be their "friends."  When the kids protest that they have never seen the bears before in their life, Friend Bear reveals that "Kim reads a lot of books and wants to be a nurse when she grows up, and Jason [...] want[s] to be a jet pilot." (No sexist norms here.)

The Care Bears provide an excellent model for future stalkers.  What are the weapons they choose?  The Stare and the Call.  That makes Secret Bear sound like the kind of guy who would peep in your window and then do heavy-breathing on your phone.

At any rate, the evil spirit inside the book is slammed back shut between the pages, Nicholas goes back to being an apprentice, and Kim and Jason meet their new adoptive parents at one of his shows.  The implications of a boy who attempted to destroy the world and suck all the caring out of it ultimately growing up to act as guardian to a few dozen orphaned children is never fully resolved.

Lesson learned:
Never open books.

The Care Bears Movie.  Dir. Arna Selznick.  Perf. Mickey Rooney, Jackie Burroughs, Georgia Engel.  Nelvana, 1985.
The Care Bears Movie
(See the trailer on YouTube here)

1 comment:

  1. My son is 3 years old and just watched the care is the first movie that has scared him. He refers to the book as "the bad book" and has had a nightmare about it.

    He is obsessed with superheros so we have let him watch some movies that are probably too adult/scary for him but none have appeared to bother him at all, but Care Bears? That freaked him out.

    I liked your other points about the bears approaching the kids (stranger danger)...I never even thought about those things. The Stare and Call part was funny too :)