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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 Movie II: A New Generation is the sequel to "The Care Bears Movie."

The movie was released in March of 1986. It was directed by Dale Schott, written by Peter Sauder & produced by Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert & Clive A. Smith.

Plot

Beginning

True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse are the caretakers of the young Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins aboard the Cloud Clipper.

As they are sailing along, a storm starts, and a red dragon blocks their way before a rainbow appears and takes them up to the sky. Assisted by the Great Wishing Star, they begin the Kingdom of Caring.

The Great Wishing Star soon gives the Bears and Cousins their tummy symbols.

Humans

Some time later, True Heart, with stowaway Swift Heart Rabbit inside her bag, embarks on the Bears' first Caring Mission.

Landing at a campsite on Earth, she meets a cute and tomboyishly beautiful camper named Christy who feels she cannot do anything as well as her lead competitor, the boastful Camp Champ, save for marbles.

She attempts to run away from the site, and her friends Dawn & John follow suit, but the latter two end up being a little lost until True Heart invites them both to come and take care of the cubs back at the Kingdom of Caring.

When they arrive, True Heart Bear returns to Earth to help Christy. A bell tolls from the Caring Meter; she and Noble Heart suggest that Dark Heart has returned and they will both try to defeat him again should he really strike once more.

Dawn and John should never find out who he is, the two declare and they insist that their human friends now babysit the orphan cubs.

Antagonist

Dark Heart is the film's villain. In the woods near camp, Christy meets Dark Heart whom she falls unwittingly victim to & is later used by the villain as a tool to help him take out his evil deeds and destroy the Kingdom of Caring.

As his minion, he gives her the opportunity to do what she never could do before, even cartwheels, but she has to do him a favor to pay him back: to capture every single Care Bear inside his magic red bag, and forever trap them all in some secret place.

Once he has fulfilled the task, he will leave Christy alone.

Already aware of whom they will face, True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse move the Cubs to two new places: the Bears will reside in Care-a-Lot and the Cousins will live in the Forest of Feelings .

Meanwhile, without the Bears knowing it, Dark Heart is planning to capture the whole Family, from within his secret cave beneath the camp, located inside an outhouse at the site.

As he speeds off to Care-a-Lot, Christy is showing off her new winning abilities before the other campers, posing as the new "Camp Champ." Also treating the "losers" now badly herself.

Meanwhile, the Care Bear Family is getting ready to surprise True Heart & Noble Heart who are coming home from another mission, but then the Caring Meter goes awry & Dark Heart has arrived to ruin their preparation.

The Care Bears believe he is trying to have fun, but the Star and Heart Buddies are aware of his plan and drive him off.

Soon after, he stumbles near the Family, he morphs into his true form in front of them, a raging red cloud with glaring pink eyes.

When he goes away, thanks to the "Care Bear Stare ", True and Noble let the other Family members take care of caring while they are both gone to search for the villain.

Family

While True Heart Bear & Noble Heart Horse are gone, the rest of the Care Bears and Cousins take turns going on missions to help people with Cheer Bear clearing the departing bears and cousins and Share Bear guiding the returning ones back in.

Tenderheart Bear monitors everything while Wish Bear uses her telescope to seek out children in need of help.

As the day goes on almost none of the Care Bears seem to have come back from the missions they were sent on which seemed a little weird.

All of a sudden, Wish Bear spots Christy in a canoe without paddles in a lake. Tenderheart Bear and Grumpy Bear go down to Earth to her rescue, only to find Brave Heart Lion already attempting to save her, but they ending up falling in the lake instead.

The three then spot Share Bear, Champ Bear, and Good Luck Bear flying over in rainbow rollers with Friend Bear and Secret Bear chasing behind them telling them to stop, but Dark Heart who appears out of the woods thwarts their operation and fires lighting which causes Friend and Secret Bear's car to crash in the woods.

Share, Champ and Good Luck are unaware of this and still attempt to save Christy.

Good Luck Bear throws a rope down to Christy, but she doesn't grab it, Dark Heart once again fires lighting causing the three bears rainbow rollers to vanish. As they fall Dark Hearts magic bag catches them and they disappear.

Tenderheart Bear, Brave Heart Lion, and Grumpy Bear figure out that Dark Heart has made the Family disappear that way, and Christy has partnered with the villain.

Tenderheart insists a conference be held inside the Hall of Hearts with the remaining Cousins. Joining them later are Friend Bear and Secret Bear along with Dawn and John.

At this moment, there are ten of the Family members left. Upon the arrival of Christy's friends and their saviours, the Family finds new hope in getting rid of their villain.

Dark Heart's influence makes the campers ruin the entire place later that night. While Dawn and John help save their fellow camper while the Family looks for their lost members inside the villain's cave, but Dark Heart himself catches them and soon put them in cages.

Finding Christy, Dawn and John tell her that, with their help, things will be back to normal soon, once they convince Dark Heart to stop hurting the Care Bear Family. But she refuses their offer; it has been too late for her to get back to what she was before.

Only when she reveals the damage she has done with her villain has she finally paid him back. All three, as friends, set off to rescue the Family.

Climax

Dark Heart foils the Bears' plan to get his key and unlock the cages, and puts the other Bears and Cousins inside big rubies.

True Heart Bear, Noble Heart Horse, and the three campers have only arrived to see the Family's fate, but for Christy, her bargain with Dark Heart has ended, thus making it hard to put his wrath to an end.

She insists Dark Heart free the Family out of their prison and at once he takes away her abilities for good. Still, because Christy saved him earlier, he warns her to "Run and save yourself" from the evil he is about to do.

In an attempt to save everyone else, True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse use their Stare once more on his cloud, but while they do so, Christy is struck by a bolt of lightning coming from it.

Using her marble throwing skills, Christy lets down with one of her marbles, a chandelier that has the rubies.

After it crashes down, all of them return in action, joining True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse in the Stare.

As Dark Heart continues to rain down lightning, he suddenly notices that Christy has been hit and now lies motionless.

Dark Heart's rage stops and transforming himself into a boy for the last time, he comes down to her, remorseful for what he has done.

He implores the Care Bears to help "...bring her back from where I sent her!", but they believe that there is nothing they can do.

Conclusion

Dark Heart grows angry, asking them what good all their love and caring is if it cannot save Christy.

The bears listen, and implore anyone who cares to chant "I care!" with them. Soon, Dark Heart himself chants as well, and within a few moments, Christy is brought back to life.

Cheers from the group are short-lived, for soon after, the quickly-collapsing cave is rid of all its bad reputation and vanishes altogether before turning back into an outhouse.

Overjoyed by the change of their new friend (who once was Dark Heart), everybody runs over to the lake to have a good time with him.

Later on, the campers say goodbye to the Bears and Cousins. The former Dark Heart promises to help make the camp a fairer and better place for campers, now knowing the importance of friendship and being a "Camp Champ" when it comes to being a friend.

After the Great Wishing Star's last lines, which tell the film's audience that they are world-class Care Bear "Champs."

Flashbacks of the Care Bear Family's childhood are seen amid the rainbow colors of the Kingdom of Caring's fountain while the song "Forever Young" plays in the background.

Voice Cast

Uncredited

Movie Production

The Care Bears franchise was first created in 1981 by Those Characters from Cleveland (a division of the greeting card company American Greetings).

Early in their tenure, the characters appeared as toys from the Kenner company and in greeting cards by Elena Kucharik.

They starred in two syndicated television specials from a Canadian animation studio, Atkinson Film-Arts of Ottawa: "The Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings" in 1983 and "The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine" in 1984.

After the specials, Toronto's Nelvana studio produced the first Care Bears movie in less than eight months.

It was distributed in the United States by The Samuel Goldwyn Company, an independent outfit and grossed US$22.9 million at the North American box-office (making it the largest amount for a non-Disney animated film at the time).

The success of "The Care Bears Movie" guaranteed production of a follow-up film which was in consideration by May of 1985.

As with the original, the production took place at Nelvana's facilities and Taiwan's Wang Film Productions.

The Canadian studio also hired South Korean personnel to handle inking and painting.

This time, over one hundred Nelvana animators worked on the film over a seven-month period that lasted until February of 1986; the company itself received credit for the story development.

American Greetings and Kenner commissioned Nelvana to make the sequel on contract; television syndicator LBS Communications, a co-financier of the first one became the producer and presenter.

The movie was Nelvana's third animated feature film after 1983's "Rock & Rule" and 1985's "The Care Bears Movie."

The movie marked the directorial debut of Dale Schott, a Nelvana staff member who served as assistant director on the first Care Bears movie as well as the Nelvana/Lucasfilm TV series "Ewoks."

Several other crew members from the first film returned to the fold; Nelvana's founders (Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert and Clive A. Smith) served as producers while Peter Sauder wrote the screenplay and Charles Bonifacio handled the animation duties.

Once again, Jack Chojnacki (the co-president of American Greetings' licensing division Those Characters from Cleveland) served as an executive producer.

A roster of Toronto voice actors such as Cree Summer, Sunny Besen Thrasher, Dan Hennessey and Hadley Kay appeared in the sequel film.

Mickey Rooney and Georgia Engel (who appeared in the first film) did not return.

At one point, The Samuel Goldwyn Company was about to release the movie, but they lost the distribution rights after turning down demands from the producers.

Eventually, Nelvana went into negotiations with the Hollywood studio Columbia Pictures, which acquired worldwide theatrical rights in early 1986.

This led founder Samuel Goldwyn, Jr. to remark:

"The fact that Columbia is distributing the Care Bears sequel is typical of the greed of the big studios. Someone else has to go in and prove something works, then a studio will charge in."

By contrast, Goldwyn acquired the rights to the original film after major United States studios passed on it because they did not see the financial potential in a movie aimed strictly for children.

Movie Release

North America\Canada Release

Initially intended for a mid-year release, "Care Bears Movie II" opened on March 7, 1986 in the U.S. and Canada, grossing US$243,161 from 55 theatres and US$449,649 by its first few days.

During that time, it managed to rank above a reissue of Disney's 1959 production "Sleeping Beauty" (which also premiered that same weekend) however, when the final weekend box office results were announced, "Sleeping Beauty" outgrossed the movie by $59,000.

Its wide-release opening on March 21, 1986 brought in $2.5 million from 1,446 theatres, placing seventh on the box office chart.

Over the next two weekends, the movie earned little more than $1 million in 12th place.

During the movie's release, it faced competition from another toy-based film, Atlantic Releasing's "GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords."

At the time the movie opened in theaters, Richard Martin of the Ottawa Citizen commented:

"... The first Care Bears movie has become the most successful non-Disney animated feature ever. This second movie from Nelvana could very well surpass that record, since it held the attention of all, but the youngest members of the first-night audience and even has something to offer adults."

Ultimately, this installment earned US$8,540,346 in North Americ (which was about a third of what the previous one earned).

Over US$1 million of this total came from Canada. By 1988, it made over US $12 million worldwide.

Overseas Release

On July 25, 1986, "Care Bears Movie II" made its debut in the United Kingdom (via Columbia-EMI-Warner Distributors).

It later appeared on home video in that country under the RCA/Columbia Pictures and Video Collection International labels.

On April 8, 1987, Warner-Columbia Film of France released the movie under the title "Les Bisounours II—Une nouvelle génération." The publishing rights were held by Hachette Livre.

On April 9, 1987, the movie was released in the Netherlands under the title "De Troetelbeertjes Deel 2: Nieuwe Avonturen Van De Troetelbeertjes."

The film is also known as "Gli orsetti del cuore II" in Italy and "Krambjörnarna: på nya äventyr" in Sweden.

On December 11, 1986, the Warner-Columbia branch in West Germany released it under the title "Glücks-Bärchis, Teil 2—Jetzt im Abenteuerland" (or "Care Bears lucky, Part 2 Now in Adventureland").

It sold 174,550 tickets and ranked 84th place among the year's releases in that market (excluding re-issues), grossing approximately €665,000 (the equivalent of DM1,300,000, or US$824,000).

By comparison, Filmwelt's release of the first film that same year placed 47th with 538,487 tickets.

The film was released in Mexico on December 25, 1986 as "Los Ositos Cariñositos II" and in April of 1987 in the Philippines.

By the early 1990s, it was marketed as "Ursinhos Carinhosos II" in Brazil.

In China, the movie known under the title of "Baby Love Bears" (Chinese: "爱心熊宝宝; pinyin: Àixīn xióng bǎobǎo").

Critical Reception

The film received mostly negative reviews, in part because of their theory that it was part of the franchise's marketing scheme at the time of release.

This led The New York Times' Vincent Canby to begin his review by proclaiming, "Product merchandising marches on."

Another reviewer claimed to have seen almost every collectible within the film's first twenty minutes.

In The Motion Picture Guide 1987 Annual, Jay Robert Nash wrote that its title "refers to the new featured characters who, more than coincidentally, have ended up on the toy shelves of stores everywhere."

a critic from the Omaha World-Herald, however, found it misleading and complained that the Cubs "are not 'a new generation' at all."

Several critics considered the film a prequel to the original such as the Omaha World Herald reviewer, Edward Jones of Virginia's The Free Lance-Star, Charles Solomon of the Los Angeles Times and Bill Cosford of The Miami Herald.

According to Michael H. Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he stated:

"Care Bears Movie II is what the film industry calls a 'requel,' tracing the origin of the Care Bear family and relatives of other species."

In his Animated Movie Guide, animation expert Jerry Beck gave "Care Bears Movie II" a half-star (½) out of four and offered this consensus:

"Unfortunately not many critics cared for the television standard limited animation, bland songs, and blatent [sic] product placement in this film. Strictly for toddlers over age six, [it] tries too hard to cram new characters into the plotline. The characters are obviously introduced to create toy lines. This is the weakest of the Care Bear movies. Avoid at all costs."

John Stanley expressed his views likewise in his 1988 film guide, Revenge of the Creature Features, stating:

"[This] inferior sequel [is] rather charmless. This is strictly Saturday Morning at the Cartoons, a blatant commercial for Care Bear toys and related products ... [T]he bulbs are out as far as ideas are concerned."

According to Vincent Canby in his review for the New York Times:

"Care Bears Movie II is a sort of pre-sequel that, I suspect, requires its audiences to have some prior knowledge of Care Bears. Very young kids may love this, but anybody over the age of 4 might find it too spooky."

Hal Lipper of the St. Petersburg Times remarked that it "is an enormously engaging cartoon—quite a feat when you consider the saccharine psychobabble passing for dialogue."

The Miami Herald's Bill Cosford gave it two and a half stars out of four which was the same rating he had applied to its predecessor.

Edward Jones commented about the movie that:

"The animation can't compare with the best of Disney. Take a look at Sleeping Beauty [...] and you'll see the difference."

Likewise, Italian critic Paolo Mereghetti complained:

"[This is an] ugly sequel with awkward animation, and not even the small fry will find it fun."

Charles Solomon said:

"The new Care Bears film...is even more sloppily made and hawks its goods even more shamelessly. [...] The film makers seem more concerned with showcasing the toys than providing entertainment; shared profits obviously count for more than shared feelings. If someone started selling 'Hate Bears,' there undoubtedly would be a film about them."

Gene Siskel awarded the film zero stars out of four (along with "Thumbs Down" on the "At the Movies—the Siskel & Ebert" television show, having not been introduced yet.

Leonard Maltin gave it a "BOMB" rating in his "Movie Guide", adding:

"Your kids deserve better entertainment than this treacly stuff about the Kingdom of Caring. Prefab animation from the era of toy merchandising tie-ins."

The Gale Group publication, VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever gave it one bone out of four in its 1992 edition, but later revised it to two bones.

In 2001, the Los Angeles-based Hastings Bad Cinema Society picked the movie as one of "The 100 Worst Movies of the 20th Century."

Complier Michael Lancaster stated:

"Even suffering through a Barney video would be preferable to sitting through this."

Despite that, "Care Bears II" received some positive reviews as well.

Norma Dyess Michaud (of The Advocate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) deemed the movie "a must-see for preschoolers, especially those who are in the throes of the current Care Bear mania."

Richard Martin praised the script and climax along with the performances of the orphan Cubs, stating:

"Their pastel, birthday-cake-and-whipped-cream world has never looked sweeter."

The Philadelphia Daily News commented that it was "even better than the first one, which was good."

Merchandising

The film was produced to serve as the franchise introduction of the Care Bear Cubs and the Care Bear Cousin Cubs (who also had their own line of toys from Kenner).

The plushes (measuring 11" in height) consisted of Bedtime Cub, Cheer Cub, Funshine Cub and Share Cub.

The line of Care Bear Cousin Cubs included Li'l Bright Heart Raccoon, Li'l Proud Heart Cat and Li'l Swift Heart Rabbit.

In 1985, Kenner announced the introduction of the Cubs, shortly before the film opened and showcased them at the American International Toy Fair in February of 1986.

Home Media Release

On August 21, 1986, the movie was released on videocassette and Betamax[93] by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video and debuted in 12th place on Billboard's Top Kid Video Sales chart on September 27th of that same year.

On August 13, 1996, the movie returned on VHS as part of the "Columbia TriStar Family Collection."

On April 8, 2003, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment premiered it on DVD. The only special features in this edition were trailers for several of the company's family-oriented titles.

This was the last animated feature to be released by Columbia Pictures until the 2001 movie "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within."

The film won the 1987 WorldFest-Houston Gold Award for "Best Animated Feature."

Television Airings

The film first aired during 1987 on the Disney Channel and was broadcast in later years on the CBS network, the HBO network, the Showtime network and The Movie Channel.

Trivia

  • The relations between Christy and Dark Heart in this film has became popular on the internet, which inspired numerous of fan-made romantic drawings and art photos regarding their romantic relationships, which can be seen on sites such as DeviantArt, etc.
  • Cree Summer, Sunny Besen Thrasher and Hadley Kay, whom respectively voice Christy, Camp Champ and Dark Heart, also worked in the film's predecessor, The Care Bears Movie.

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