A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Care Bears: Ups and Downs is a DVD release composed of two 23-minute tales designed to entertain very young viewers and help them manage everyday feelings of frustration or loneliness. Both stories show positive ways to accept and deal with these normal emotions. The Care Bears, as always, are cheerful, supportive, and creative, using teamwork and their individual talents (and powers) to solve the problems that come their way. Other than a contraption that noisily falls apart and a few bumps for Wingnut and Oopsy Bear, there's nothing scary here. This DVD is part of the vast Care Bear franchise that has been selling toys, games, clothing, multimedia fare, and related products since American Greetings issued its first Care Bears greeting cards in 1981. This DVD consists of two unaired episodes from the first season of Care Bears: Adventures in Care-A-Lot in 2007.
What's the story?
CARE BEARS: UPS AND DOWNS first tells the story of the day Cheer Bear and her friends plan a surprise party to thank Surprise Bear for the new street lights she put up in the town square. But Surprise Bear is always one step ahead of them -- and so full of surprises that she keeps showing up while they're preparing the party. She ALMOST spoils everything! Cheer Bear gets more and more disappointed, more and more frustrated, until finally she figures out a way to make everything turn out right. There's a little compromise involved, but what's wrong with compromise among good friends? Then the CBT (Care Bear Transporter) comes apart, and Funshine Bear visits earth to meet an unhappy boy named Jake. He's had to move to a new house in a new neighborhood, and it has made him very sad and lonely. Though the bears in Care-A-Lot work on the CBT, Funshine helps Jake weather the storm and teaches him some important lessons about friendship.
Is it any good?
These two short tales are simple to follow, offer direct positive messages, and model useful problem-solving skills. Each episode has a musical number that rephrases the desired takeaway, and, though the songs are bland and obvious, kids will find them appealing. It's a given that Care Bears are for sale in the broadest sense of the word. There's a substantial collectibles market in addition to all the merchandise currently available. But, as toy franchises go, this one is at least gentle and delivers positive values, as well as cute characters and easy-to-understand, mostly scare-free plots. These two stories are never-aired episodes (No. 14, "Cheer Up," and No. 15, "Down to Earth") of season one's Care Bears: Adventures in Care-A-Lot television series shown on CBS in 2007.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Care Bears toys, dolls, games, videos, and other items in the marketplace. How does a movie such as this one help the companies sell their Care Bear products? Talk with your family about why it's important to understand movies and TV shows as ways to sell stuff to kids.
Cheer Bear had a hard time keeping her secret from Surprise Bear. Which secrets have you had trouble keeping? Why is it easier not to have too many secrets from friends? Can other members of your family count on you to keep something private when you're asked?
Changes can be difficult. Jake was very unhappy about moving to a new place. Funshine Bear made him feel better by showing him that he could help himself make new friends. If your family has had to make big changes, who or what helped you manage them?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.