| NICHOLAS WILL NOT LET THE SPIRIT SPOIL IT FOR YOU This article contains plot details that may ruin the plot of the story for you.
Read at your own risk. You have been warned.
Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot is the first computer-animated movie. It was the re-launch of the Care Bears' franchise.
The Care Bears live in a cloud-filled land known as Care-a-lot. One of the Bears, Grumpy, is working on a rainbow carousel for the upcoming Care Bear Fair. His fellow Care Bears come by for a look; one of them, Funshine, loves telling jokes and making the other Care Bears laugh. After they reluctantly agree to try the carousel, it goes out of control and sends them into the sky before crashing down. Grumpy feels even worse after Funshine tries to cheer him up with a joke on height restrictions, which the other Bears find funny. Grumpy is not amused, and even goes so far as to tell Funshine that if he doesn't understand that cheering up isn't making fun of, then maybe Funshine doesn't belong in Care-A-Lot. As a result, the Bears force Grumpy to apologise to the ursine comedian. Reading from a note, Tenderheart Bear realizes that Funshine has felt sorry for Grumpy and has gone in search of a place where his talents can be better appreciated. The other Bears are worried about his fate; as they cannot hold their Fair without him, they decide to look for him regardless and bring him back to Care-a-lot. Five of them— Tenderheart, Grumpy, Wish, Cheer and Share volunteer, while Laugh-a-Lot, Love-a-Lot, Friend, Good Luck, Bedtime and Champ stay home to get ready for the fair.
The day after he runs away, Funshine hears circus music in the distance, and strays from his camping spot to find out. Taking a seat on a bumper car, he embarks on a long ride which leads him to Joke-a-lot, a town where humour is dominant. The area's residents are astonished when he lands via parachute upon the town square; a female piglet called Gig tells him where he now is. Then a rat named Sir Funnybone arrives at the scene, and dubs Funshine the area's long-lost King (although Funshine insists otherwise). Funnybone actually placed the car within the woods so that he could begin to gain his own power; he tells that to his henchmen, a trio of houseflies named Phido, Cleon and Bidel.
Eventually, Funshine learns the hard way that "serious" is a very bad word in Joke-a-lot. The Joke-a-lot residents celebrate a "Laff-Fest" in his honour; Funnybone gives him a tour of the town, and takes him to his Royal Palace, where Funshine learns of the last two Kings and is introduced to the Royal Sceptre. Stored in a vault within the voice-activated Royal Treasury, the sceptre holds the Royal Jewels of Joke-a-lot, which Funnybone says are "the source of the magic power behind all the fun" there; only the king is granted access. Funshine wants to look, but Funnybone tells him that a coronation is about to take place. He plans to take command of the sceptre, now in the hands of a slow, elderly alligator called Grand Duke Giggle.
At the coronation, Joke-a-lot's new "king" tells his audience two jokes to pass the time, before Grand Duke Giggle proceeds to give him the sceptre. Meanwhile, the other Care Bears find his belongings and take the same ride that he did. After they crash into the Royal Palace, Funshine is delighted to see them, but the Bears are a bit puzzled over what he has become. They miss Funshine and want him to return to Care-a-lot where he belongs; thus, he must make a very difficult decision—to head back home with them, or remain King of Joke-a-lot. He then announces that he will go home, but Sir Funnybone wants him to stay as king.
During the "Laff-Fest", Giggle gives the sceptre to the new king. Funnybone orders Phido, Cleon and Bidel to steal it when Funshine is not looking. He gets into the Treasury with it, unlocks the Royal Jewels, and escapes with this loot on a pink dirigible. As Grumpy is fixing his carousel, the other Bears must use it to stop Funnybone. The machine spins onto the dirigible, bursting the balloon and sending it aground.
When the Care Bears come to the rat, he reveals his real name and homeland — Basil Ratbone, from the No Fun Atoll, whose inhabitants have lived through a "serious" modus operandi. He wanted the jewels so much to enliven his fellow residents that he planned on stealing them from Joke-a-lot, and even pretended that Funshine's "tummy symbol" was the royal birthmark. Instead, the real one — a "smiley mouth "— was at the back of Gig's ears. The other Bears open the chest to find a jack-in-the-box, and other toys, which Funshine assures them are the real magic jewels. Funnybone apologises for his misdeeds, and soon all of Joke-a-lot attends a coronation in which Gig becomes their Princess (though she is really more like a Queen). The Bears promise to return to Joke-a-lot on occasion, and ride home on the flying horses from their carousel.
- With All Your Heart
- Make 'Em Laugh
- In the Land of Joke-a-lot
- Here I'm a King
- I Like My Friends a Lot