4YE’s Big Movie Binge: The Care Bears Movie (1985)

Credit: Nelvana Productions

The Care Bears were a hot commodity in the 80s. They spawned multiple movies, so many toys, and were always quick to give lessons on sharing and caring. The Care Bears Movie carried that tradition on and while the 1985 animated film was Nelvana’s highest grossing film to date that year (and some years after), for being a kid’s film, it was incredibly cheesy and boring.

The Care Bears Movie is about orphans Kim and Jason and how they just don’t care anymore until the Care Bears make it their mission to make them care. While attempting to appeal to the children’s hearts, Tenderheart Bear stumbles across Nicholas who has been slighted in his short life and thinks no one loves him. An evil spirit, aptly named “The Spirit”, in a book of magic tries to overtake Nicholas and the world and erase caring and feelings. The Care Bears promptly fight against The Spirit and show Nicholas he is loved.

Kids films typically don’t bore me very much. Honestly, I tend to enjoy children’s films because they’re so lighthearted and they aren’t mired in the realism of the adult geared films that sometimes seem to bog them down. However, this film was a struggle. I’m not sure what made it one but for only being an hour and sixteen minutes long, I felt it took three hours to watch.

This movie is one of those films where you’re starkly aware you’re not watching a Disney film. I will admit that the animation is great, and I still maintain that classic animated films are beautiful. This one is no different. It’s colorful and bright and appropriately scary but despite those colors and the scary imagery, I just can’t see how a child would be interested in the story. I can’t see how they’d be entertained and I, personally, wouldn’t show this film to my kids if I had any.

The Care Bears Movie simply didn’t have good balance of good versus evil. It also didn’t have catchy enough songs. Children may not recognize that the singing voices don’t match up with the speaking voices of the characters but it’s something the adults will notice, and it’s just distracting enough that I found myself falling out of the story and rolling my eyes and laughing at all the wrong reasons.

By the end of the film, I really wanted the Care Bears to fall victim to Nicholas and The Spirit. That’s how bad it was. I will admit that the “twist” at the end, the one that revealed Nicholas was our narrator the entire time, was a little bit nice and a tiny bit unexpected but the reveal didn’t salvage the hour and sixteen minutes of my life I won’t ever get back. Sorry, Bears. I just don’t care enough.

Shelby Arnold
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Shelby Arnold

Shelby is currently reviewer extraordinaire for 4YE. She is also currently the co-editor of Arkansas Tech University's paper The Arka Tech. She runs her own movie review blog called Shellin' Out Reviews where she crossposts many of her reviews. She previously was a staff writer at PopWrapped.

Shelby started writing at the age of 13 and has been hooked ever since. She's currently going to school at ATU for Creative Writing and English with a minor in Film Studies. She hopes to one day be a professor of film, a film critic, and a screenwriter. (Can you tell she likes the movies?)

She hopes to walk the red carpet one day. She contributes a long list of friends, co-workers, professors, and writers as the inspiration for her dreams and goals.

You can find Shelby on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
Shelby Arnold
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