Movies That Ruined My Childhood – The Care Bears II “The New Generation”
Last December, we highlighted the gleeful horror show that was The Care Bears first film outing. This Christmas, we’re back to finish the job! Stiff animation, wooden voice acting, red headed children, murder and mayhem is what you’ll find in this precious children’s film. We’ve covered some pretty awful kid’s movies…even taken a trip to hell with All Dog’s Go to Heaven…but The Care Bears II may take the cake for worst movie aimed at children. Why? Cause Satan, that’s why.
The Care Bears II: The New Generation (1986)
The Care Bears II skips the niceties and gets right down to the traumatizing early. We begin in medias res, as the two…parents? caretakers? guardians? of the infant Care Bears (and their slightly more annoying spin-off characters, the Care Bear Cousins) are fleeing for their lives from a sinister threat. Their boat is attacked by a red eyed monster, and the two elders, Noble Heart and True Heart, are barely able to fend the creature off. Just as the sea serpent circles in for the kill, a magical rainbow opens up, and the boat is able to sail to safety, ultimately setting down in the Care Bear’s soon-to be cloud kingdom of Care-A-Lot.
Time passes as the young cubs grow into adolescents, and the two elder animals create a Caring Meter, with which to monitor the Earth’s level of kindness and good cheer. Kind of like Santa, with NSA technology. A strong dip in caring alerts the two protectors that their nemesis, the shape shifting demon, Dark Heart, may be making a play on Earth, so True Heart heads to the Earth, while Noble Heart continues to raise the children.
Midnight in the Campground of Good and Evil
On Earth, three young campers are having a rough time. Christy is jealous of the reigning “camp champ” who makes her, and her friends the twins John and Dawn, do all of the grunt work, like taking out garbage. Christy wishes that she could be the camp champ, and no sooner are the fateful words out of her mouth, then Satan…er, I mean Dark Heart, puts in an appearance.
Clad in the appearance of a red headed teenager dressed all in red (subtlety is lost on children, it appears), Dark Heart makes a Faustian bargain with Christy: he will give her the power to unseat the current camp leader, if she will do a favor to be named later. Christy
signs her name in blood agrees to this deal, and the stage is set for Dark Heart’s sinister, but appropriately convoluted and prone to failure plan to commence.
But First…Random Violence
With is his nefarious scheme all ready to execute, Dark Heart decides…to just say fuck it and invade Care-A-Lot by himself. Was he screwing with Christy just for the heck of it? Maybe he had a beef with the current camp champ? What was his favor going to be if he won the whole battle by himself… make him a bitching pop-sickle-stick cabin in arts and crafts? This was not a very well thought out endeavor.
Disguised as the red-headed boy, he flies into Care-A-Lot, and borks the landing. Instead of having a lick of sense and shooting anything with red hair and eyes (as Dark Heart always has, in any form) the do-gooders offer to help him up from his flight. This show of caring incenses our villain, who transforms into a giant red mist of blood. Technically it’s a cloud, but The Care Bears II never said it wasn’t, so I assumed it was blood at the time. The assembled bears and animals pull the trigger on their tummy cannons, and with the help of the two elders, send his ginger ass packing.
Deciding that Dark Heart is becoming too powerful (correct) the elders decide to follow him, leaving the adolescent Bears and Cousins in charge (very incorrect.) As soon as the elders are gone, Dark Heart switches to plan B, and has Christy pretend to be in danger of drowning in the lake. The trap works like clockwork, and Dark Heart is able to capture most of the young Care Bears and Cousins. The few left
alive un-captured run for back up.
Murder, Most Foul
The twin humans and the elders team up for a rescue mission…which goes about as well as you could imagine. Under Dark Heart’s influence, the camp has gone to hell, with kids running amok like it’s Clockwork Orange meets Lord of the Flies day. The twins manage to convince Christy of the evil of Dark Heart…whom she had actually been building a pretty solid relationship with. When Dark Heart sees that even she has turned against him, he is filled with remorse and gives up…
Nope, he murders her with lightning.
I won’t spoil the ending, but its a Care Bears movie, so you can pretty much guess how much staring and caring happens.
Is Psychotherapy Bear in the House?
The Care Bears II is awful in pretty much every sense of the word. I had vague, sweat inducing memories of this film being a bit violent and macabre from my childhood viewing of it, but a second screening as an adult convinces me that this film had two goals: sell the hell out of a new line of toys by introducing as many characters as possible…and scare the high holy fuck out of children.
The wooden voice acting and animation that doesn’t quite match up to the soundtrack adds up to an uncanny valley of the dolls in The Care Bears II, making horrifying mannequins of all the characters. Add to this that the main character (who has sold her soul for power) has a friend who is basically the indwelling of Satan (they call him Dark Heart, but he’s the fricking Devil, alright?) Now wrap all this creepiness up with an ending that features manslaughter, and you have a recipe for toddler-sized nightmare fuel. I just can’t imagine why the studio never got to make a third film…oh wait, maybe because the first two movies make it painfully clear that they hate children.