Care Bears: The Great Giving Holiday

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Care Bears: The Great Giving Holiday Movie Poster Image
Ho-hum entry sells good deeds, a generic holiday, and toys.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 43 minutes

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Promotes positive values such as caring, helpfulness, teamwork, and doing one's best.

Positive role models & representations

The Care Bears, especially this story's Wonderheart, try to be caring and thoughtful and to work as a team. In this episode, the Great Giving Bear gives gifts only to those who've demonstrated they "care," so the bears' giving is shown to bring them material rewards. Ethan, an African American boy, is the human character. Initially, he is self-centered and boastful, but eventually he learns to value teamwork and friendship. 

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

The Care Bears movies are tied to the vast Care Bears toy franchise (toys, TV, games, merchandise, and more).

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know this short movie is a Care Bears franchise entry that, as with all the cuddly bears' adventures, focuses on caring, sharing, friendship, and teamwork. There are no scares here, only some very mild suspense: Beastly, the selfish, mischievous villain in the town of Care-A-Lot, hopes to ruin the bears' special Great Giving Day, but his efforts are mainly gloating and cackling at the bears' harmless misadventures. Midway through the episode, Ethan, a human boy, tries to take over the bears' annual holiday pageant, but he quickly learns a lesson about sharing and teamwork. Originally an American Greetings concept, the movie helps to sell Care Bears toys, games, merchandise, and other DVDs. 

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What's the story?

CARE BEARS: THE GREAT GIVING HOLIDAY is coming! On the big day, the Santa-like "Great Giving Bear" bestows gifts on all the bears who have been very kind and caring. Uncle Tenderheart is standing by to help the Great Giving Bear with his annual overnight delivery of the special presents. But when Tenderheart gets a serious case of the hiccups, it seems as though the whole holiday might be ruined -- much to the delight of Beastly, the little monster who doesn't like to see anyone happy. Hiccups aren't the only problem in the town of Care-A-Lot. With preparations for the Great Giving Day Pageant underway, the Care Bears meet Ethan, a boy who thinks the whole event should be about him. Special powers sure come in handy for Care Bears when they want the holiday and the pageant to be the best ever.

Is it any good?

The familiar, lovable Care Bears are all here for this rather bland story in which The Great Giving Day stands in for Christmas. In a departure from the usual Care Bear lessons about friendship, caring, and why it feels good to help others, the Bears have to prove that they're caring so they can receive the holiday gifts they've asked for. In the real world, of course, that's acceptable behavior, but shouldn't the Care Bears continue to be a bit more pure of heart and less greedy? For very young kids only.   

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss giving gifts as a reward for good behavior. What are some other reasons to be caring and kind and to work together? What are some other reasons to give gifts?

  • Ethan, the boy in the story, learns a lesson after he tries to create the holiday pageant all by himself. What are some tasks that you've learned are better done with the help of friends and family?

  • Did watching this movie make you want to get some Care Bears toys? Do you think the filmmakers hope you will ask for or buy their products?

Movie details

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