A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain and sell toys, not educate.
Bad dreams are part of our Dream World, just like good dreams; it's part of your imagination, and when you wake up everything is fine. It’s easy to become frightened when we let our minds take us to scary places. Rational thinking and problem solving will help. Everyone gets frustrated sometimes; "don't let your grump get the best of you."
Positive Role Models
Care Bears exhibit distinctive personality traits (grumpiness, cheerfulness), and together they are concerned about each other, try to help, and accept each bear's unique behavior.
Violence & Scariness
Mildly scary moments in "Nightbears" (Funshine chased by his ATV; Wonderheart feels very small and lost) and "Welcome to Grump-a-Lot" (a storm comes up and blows everyone and everything around like a tornado). The middle story, "Sleuth of Bears," uses scary movies and ghost stories as plot elements and contains far more frightening scenes than usual Care Bears fare: loud noises, thunder and lightning, ghostly figures in windows, a large bear who chases and roars at the frightened Care Bears. Numerous sequences in which the startled, shrieking little heroes cower in fear.
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Products & Purchases
Part of the massive Care Bears franchise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Care Bears: Mystery in Care-a-Lot is made up of three, 22-minute stories from 2012's Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot television series. Each segment comes with a clearly stated message, and, in each, the bears learn something that can help them understand some of life's complexities (dreams, frustrations). Two of the tales are standard Care Bears stories with a few mildly suspenseful scenes in which the little bears are briefly frightened (a chase, a windstorm); however, the middle story, "Sleuth of Bears," contains multiple plot elements that could scare toddlers and preschoolers who do not yet fully understand the difference between real and cartoon violence. There are ghostly images; dark, spooky scenes; thunder and lightning; and a lengthy sequence in which a ghost bear chases the heroes while roaring and growling at them. In those scenes, good-guy bears are frequently alarmed and react by shrieking and cowering. The Care Bears are part of a successful and extensive toy-game-film-product brand that American Greetings Corporation has been marketing since 1985. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's not as hard to tolerate the gratingly adorable Care Bears when the stories are gentle and sweet, but this DVD's "Sleuth of Bears" story may be very scary for the brand's target audience. And the messages here tend to run over potential young audiences like a cement truck ("We all get frustrated but must learn to control our emotions"), as they're not very subtly integrated into the story. Stick to "Nightbears" and "Welcome to Grump-a-Lot," which are actually quite clever and fun. Skip "Sleuth of Bears," as it's not only too violent but also has a story that meanders all over the land of Care-a-Lot.
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.