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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain while introducing important values and behaviors.
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
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.
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Products & Purchases
DVDs are major marketing tools for the worldwide Care Bears franchise.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.