Care Bears: Grizzle-ly Adventures
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this DVD -- which is broken into two episodes -- is appealing to the usual audience for the TV show (ages 4 to 7). But the Grizzle character (think of a Teddy Ruxpin head on a Transformer) and his evil-doer antics -- including kidnapping and threatening to the bears to "crush their specialness" -- could give kids a scare. Also, a robot character turns bad, threatens the bears, and uses his saw hands to wreck a whole park. Emma, a character in the second story, is a positive can-do Latina character ... but unfortunately she looks more like one of the sexualized Bratz girls than Dora.
What's the story?
In two GRIZZLE-LY ADVENTURES -- "Broken" and "Emma's Dilemma" -- viewers set foot inside the cranky, bizarre-looking Grizzle's lair on another cloud within sight of Care-A-Lot. He always seems to be plotting something sinister. In "Broken," he's asked to fix his old robot pal Wingnut and fits him with an evil switch on the sly. When it turns on, watch out, Care Bears! In "Emma's Dilemma" Grizzle steals the Care Bears' prized possessions in hopes that he can find out how to "crush their specialness." Enter the Care Bears' secret weapon, Emma, who not only helps them find their things but saves them from Grizzle's cages as well.
Is it any good?
Naive, happy-smiley pastel bears with some power-filled tummy tattoos are out-there enough; in this somewhat unsettling entry, we've got bad-guy Grizzle. He basically looks like Teddy Ruxpin crossed with an overweight, rusting Transformer. And he cackles out his evil plans to a miniature robot who only responds by falling apart; its the same Gargamel/Azrael shtick, only weirder.
If you can get beyond that, the underlying messages that the Bears espouse on their TV show are still the same. There's a peppy sharing song, and Share Bear learns a lesson about sharing -- yes, sharing is even hard for her. They stick by their robot friend Wingnut, even when he does some bad things. And the Bears work together with their new friend Emma to escape Grizzle's clutches. Plus, the two-episode format is better for the attention span of the target age group.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about caring, sharing, and all the Care Bears like to stand for. What's the secret at the end of "Emma's Dilemma" that makes them all special? If you had a CBT (Care Bear Transporter), where would you beam yourself to? Which Belly Badge would you like to wear on your tummy?