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The Care Bears Movie
nailed1985 animated musical fantasy film The Care Bears Movie (after the 1983 film rock and rule, It introduced the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins in one of the earliest films based on the toy line. The owner of an orphanage (Mickey Rooney) tells a story about the Care Bears, who live in Care-a-Lot, a cloudy area. The Bears travel to Earth to rescue two lonely children, Kim and Jason, who lost their parents in a car accident, and Nicholas, a young magician’s apprentice, from an evil spirit. Kim, Jason, and their friends visit the Care Bear Cousins in the Forest of Feelings.
In 1981, American Greetings began developing the Care Bears movie. Later, the card business hired Nelvana to develop it, gave them the character rights, and financed the film with General Mills and LBS Communications. Directed by Arna Selznick and produced by the founders of Nelvana. Canada, Taiwan and South Korea hosted the eight-month $2 million production. Mickey Rooney, Georgia Engel, Jackie Burroughs and Cree Summer provided their voices for the characters. Carole King and John Sebastian wrote many of the songs. The Samuel Goldwyn Company, a newly established independent distributor, bought the distribution rights to the film and spent a record $24 million promoting it.
The film premiered on 24 March 1985 in Washington, DC. Strawberry Shortcake Meets the Berrykins, another Nelvana film, was shown in theaters. Critics questioned whether The Care Bears Movie was a full-length advertisement for the title characters. It earned $23 million domestically, winning a Golden Reel Award, and was the highest-grossing Canadian film of 1985 with $1.845 million. It set a Canadian and non-Disney animation box-office record with $34 million in international sales, and remains one of Goldwyn’s biggest earners. The picture saved Nelvana and revived American children’s movies. It has since been acknowledged as influencing a wave of toy-based animated and live-action features. The 1986 and 1987 sequels, A New Generation and Adventure in Wonderland, failed to match the success of the original. The Care Bears franchise consists of films, specials, and TV shows.
A middle-aged couple run an orphanage in Cherrywood. Mr. Cherrywood tells the orphans one night about the Care Bears and their cloud home, Care-a-Lot. Friend Bear and Secret Bear search the land for merry people. They meet Kim and Jason, two lonely orphans whose parents were killed in an automobile accident on Earth. The kids are introduced to Friend Bear and Secret Bear, who both remind the kids of their goals, but neither of them shows interest.
Tenderheart Bear sees Nicholas, a magician’s apprentice, at an amusement park. While emptying a trunk for “Great Fettuccini”, Nicolas finds a diary-locked book. When he opens the lock, he is brainwashed. With their cooperation, it destroys the park and leaves to eliminate Care.
Some of the other bears at Care-A-Lot are building the Rainbow Rescue Beam, a portal that can transport any bear to Earth and back. Village Bear’s two Care Bear pups, Baby Hugs and Baby Tug, are intruded upon by the Friend Bears, the Secret Bears, Kim and Jason. Bear shows the children his house. The Tenderheart Bear returns before the “cloudquake” caused by the spirit destroys Care-a-Lot. He shares Nicholas’s worldly woes. He sends Kim, Jason, Friend Bear and Secret Bear to the park with the Rainbow Rescue Beam. They enter a jungle of emotions when the portal fails. All the bears except Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, Grams Bear and the pups in Care-a-Lot find them on the Cloud Clipper in the neighboring river. Nikolas learns about Kim, Jason and the Care Bears and summons a cloud-like monster to capture them.
Bear and the baby meet the caring bear cousins the brave hearted lion and the playful hearted monkey in the jungle. On their ship the other bears discover more cousins, including Cozy Heart Penguin, Lotsa Heart Elephant, Swift Heart Rabbit, and Bright Heart Raccoon. During their stay, the devil attacks in the form of fish, trees and eagles. After defeating it, the Care Bears and Cousins return to Earth to rescue Nikolas.
Nikolas gathers the components for his “last spell” against the children, bears and cousins in the park while Kim and Jason hide. After casting it, the Care Bears fight for a long time. After fixing the Rainbow Rescue Beam, Good Luck Bear and Grumpy Bear help by shooting beams of bright light at it. As Bear and the Cousins’ strength dwindles, Nicholas and Spirit momentarily seize control. Kim and Jason reach out to her, and Nikolas sees his mistakes and leaves feeling shaken. Jason locks the book closed. Nikolas thanks them for saving him, the park, and the world. He joins Fettuccini while the Tenderheart Bear welcomes the Care Bear Cousins. The new parents take Kim and Jason to Nikolas’ show.
Nicholas is revealed as Mr. Cherrywood continues his story. Tenderheart Bear smiles, giggles, and returns to Care-a-Lot.
DIC Entertainment The Care Bears Movie was followed by an 11-episode Care Bears TV series. Another series, Nelvana’s The Care Bears Family, debuted on ABC in the US and Canada Global in September 1986 and later aired in 140 countries. Nelvana released two more films, The Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation (1986) and The Care Bears’ Adventure in Wonderland (1987), though neither was as successful. Columbia Pictures’ A New Generation grossed US$8.5 million in North America and US$12 million worldwide. Adventure in Wonderland, released by Cineplex Odeon Films and self-financed by Nelvana, earned US$2.608 million domestically and US$6 million internationally, barely recovering its costs. “It was just one sequel too many,” said Michael Hirsch. In December 1988, the Care Bears Nutcracker suite appeared on television and in the media. The following motion picture in the series, Journey to Joke-a-Lot, debuted on video in 2004. (Via Lionsgate and Family Home Entertainment).
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