Care Bears: The Giving Festival Movie

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Care Bears: The Giving Festival Movie Movie Poster Image
Forgettable holiday fare with social lessons, product push.
  • NR
  • 2010
  • 67 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Intended to entertain and promote pro-social values rather than inform. Includes a brief explanation and example of "echo."

Positive Messages

Jam-packed with clear, positive messages. It's good to be helpful, even to those who may have wronged us; it's simply the right thing to do. Caring and sharing enrich life. Sympathetic friends can help someone overcome fear.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Care Bears are ideal models of friendship, teamwork, generosity, and helpfulness. They exhibit great resourcefulness and show how working together towards a common goal, as well as playing together, is great fun. The rascally Bears (Grizzle and Windle in these stories) sometimes learn lessons from the other bears.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of standard cartoon action and mild suspense; no injuries. The Care Bears are captured by a villainous, mustache-twirling little bear, hauled away from their home against their will; go on some scary amusement park rides (an out-of-control Ferris-wheel and a roller coaster); get trapped in a cave; and fight off a bear who controls the weather and subjects them to tumbling through raging wind and storms.

Sexy Stuff

The Care Bear franchise includes dozens of toys, books, DVDs and tie-in products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this "seasonal" story attempts to capitalize on the holidays and yet avoid identification with a specific holiday or religious celebration. Aimed at little kids, the Care Bears teach simple lessons that are relevant -– about sharing, helpfulness, teamwork, fears, jealousy. There are a number of cartoon action scenes, all of which resolve quickly and harmlessly, but might be scary for very young kids who don't yet grasp the idea of make-believe.

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What's the story?

The Care Bears are excitedly preparing for their annual holiday celebration. It's very windy with no end in sight! Everybody's worried that they'll have to cancel the Giving Festival. While they anxiously wait for the wind to stop, they recall other adventures that they've shared. In the first remembered tale the Care Bears have a run-in with their archenemy Grizzle, who ties their home to a cable and tows them far into the sky in an effort to get rid of them. A second flashback adventure finds the Care Team trapped in a cave when the entrance collapses, while, in the meantime, True Heart Bear is trying to overcome her fear of the Thunderbolt roller coaster by preparing for and taking a wild ride. In the final episode just when the Care Bears think they've solved their weather problems, Princess Starglo is kidnapped by Windle, the Bear who controls the wind. He throws all manner of gusts and ice to keep the Care Bears from rescuing her in time for the Great Festival.

Is it any good?

The Care Bears are cute, cuddly good citizens. They giggle and laugh. They rub their tummies so their special powers can work magic. They save their friends and even make their enemies feel better about themselves. And all the while, they spout simple lessons about caring, sharing, and helping others.

Still the Care Bear production team (American Greeting Cards launched the franchise in the 1980s, starting with a line of greeting cards) hasn't figured out how to make their movies (or merchandising pitches) clever, up-to-date, or truly engaging for anyone other than the very youngest kids, some of whom might find the villains' behavior a little too scary. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Care Bear movies and TV shows help the company sell their toys and games. Kids: Have you ever asked a grownup to buy you a toy after you've seen a movie or show?

  • How did Oopsy help True Heart overcome her fear of roller coasters? If there's something you're afraid of, do you think Oopsy's ideas might work for you?

  • Why is Grizzle so mean to the Care Bears? Do you think the fact that he's smaller than the others makes him feel bad?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holiday fare

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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