Care Bears: A Belly Badge for Wonderheart Movie

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Care Bears: A Belly Badge for Wonderheart Movie Movie Poster Image
Toy franchise cub misbehaves but learns lessons.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 65 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain while introducing important values and behaviors.

Positive Messages

In each of three short tales, Care Cub Wonderheart learns that not listening to her elders and behaving thoughtlessly in order to achieve a goal quickly gets her into big trouble. In each instance she comes to understand the importance of key values: honesty, patience, responsibility, and empathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

While the character arc of the featured cub requires that she misbehave in order to learn significant lessons, she is always likeable, sensitive, and well-meaning. The other members of the bear cast are compassionate, earnest, and brave. There is some competitive taunting among bear teams in preparation for upcoming "cub bouts."

Violence & Scariness

Weather provides much of the cartoon action here: a raging storm blows things around; the bears are subject to torrents of stardust; a tree falls and a melon runs into a "Gram" Care Bear seeming to trap her against a tree. Characters are chased by purple bat-like creatures; Wonderheart jumps and sprains her leg.

Sexy Stuff

DVDs are major marketing tools for the worldwide Care Bears franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Care Bears: A Belly Badge for Wonderheart is actually a compilation of three similarly-themed episodes from the 2012 television series Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot. Lots of clearly-stated and well-illustrated messages are included about patience, honesty, valuing individual differences, helping others, and willingness to work hard to achieve goals. A few stormy sequences provide the mildly scary action here, with crashing trees, gusty winds, tumbles, clouds of dust, and a short conflict with some purple bat-like creatures. One character sprains her leg. Care Bears' movies are a dominant entry in the vast Care Bear merchandising empire that includes toys, books, TV shows, and other products.

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What's the story?

In CARE BEARS: A BELLY BADGE FOR WONDERHEART MOVIE, the little cub is sad to learn that she can't participate in the approaching Cub Bouts because she doesn't yet have her Belly Badge Power. She just can't wait! In a series of three episodes (previously aired as part of a TV series), Wonderheart uses all the resources at her command to get into those bouts, even if means "kind of" stealing, "kind of" lying, and definitely pushing herself before she's ready. In fact, she almost forgets that Belly Badges are given to help focus caring for others, not for things bears want for themselves. It isn't long before Wonderheart causes near-disaster for all her friends, and learns valuable lessons about how much better it will be to discover her powers when she's ready and to use them wisely.

Is it any good?

Filled with messages about good behavior and knowledge of what's important in a kid's life, this Care Bears entry is relatively scare-and-suspense light and has some amusing moments. The soft visuals, relatable language, and the clarity of the lessons offered, provide an entertaining, gentle movie (actually three connected TV episodes) for the very youngest viewers.

But don't expect an ultimate payoff, because while Wonderheart's efforts each result in a teachable moment, the cub is still waiting for her special magic when the movie ends. She's wiser, but no more powerful. Thankfully, rather than just serve as a 65-minute commercial for the Care Bears franchise, the filmmakers seem to want those minutes to result in a positive, enriching experience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss the many important lessons Wonderheart learned in this movie. What are some ways you can prove you're responsible in your family?

  • Make your own Care Bear. Draw a picture of your Bear or Cub and decide what its special "Belly Badge Power" will be. Remember Belly powers are not for you, but for helping others.

  • As the movie showed us, it's hard to wait when we want something. Does watching this movie make you want your own Care Bear toys? Talk with your parent(s) about the connection between shows and toy companies and the difference between TV shows and commercials.

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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