Care Bears & Cousins

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Care Bears & Cousins TV Poster Image
Classic fuzzy crew teaches empathy, kindness, friendship.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The Bears and their cousins teach kids that it's OK to have a range of feelings and that it's important to share what you're feeling so others can understand. 

Positive Messages

The Care Bears and their cousins embrace all their emotions, and they're unfailingly friendly and considerate toward one another. Strong themes of friendship, helpfulness, and taking responsibility for your actions, as even the most well-meaning characters stumble at one point or another.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters share their feelings openly and respect each other's emotions. They even do their best to stay on good terms with the resident baddie, Beastly, who's always out to interfere with their plans.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

This series reboots '80s characters, and at the time of review the Care Bears have enjoyed newfound popularity with several series, specials, and a whole new marketing line. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Care Bears & Cousins brings more of the caring, sharing, and friendliness viewers have enjoyed from the Care-a-Lot crew for decades. Four new characters (not bears, but adorable animals in their own right) join the cast, but the messages about friendship and kindness will be familiar to those who have seen the Care Bears in action before. The show's singular baddie is a mischievous monster whose antics are limited to stealing things and sabotaging their fun, but all is righted in the end. Marketing is the biggest concern with this enjoyable series, as the Care Bears' images grace everything from toys and games to snack foods.

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What's the story?

In CARE BEARS & COUSINS, Care-a-Lot welcomes home the Bears' cousins -- Brave Heart Lion, Bright Heart Raccoon, Cozy Heart Penguin, and Lotsa Heart Elephant (voiced by Olivia Hack) -- after a lengthy mission to collect misguided Care Hearts that have lost their way to the Share Cloud. Now they're teaming up with Tenderheart Bear, Funshine Bear (Michael Sinterniklaas), Grumpy Bear, and little Wonderheart Bear (Michaela Dean) to keep Care-a-Lot the sharing, caring place that it is. 

Is it any good?

From the moment the cousins crash into Tenderheart's home and reunite with the Bears, this joyous series is an adventure of friendship and feelings and a menagerie of furry creatures. CGI does wonders for the visual appeal of these classic stuffies, and kids will be even more entranced by this version of Care-a-Lot because of the engaging animation.

Care Bears & Cousins simplifies emotions to a preschooler's level, assigning a dominant personality trait to correspond with each character's unique belly badge. This makes it easy for kids to identify how their actions relate to their emotions and to realize the same emotions in themselves. Add this to the show's themes of friendship and caring, and you have a hearty contender for kids' attention. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about kindness. How do you show that you care about your friends and family? Are there times when it's hard to show kindness to people? Do the characters in Care Bears & Cousins ever have this problem?

  • Kids: Do you have a favorite Care Bear or cousin? What do you like about his or her personality?

  • What other TV characters do your kids especially like? Are any of them classics such as the Care Bears? Which ones do you like to watch with them? Can anything be learned from them?

  • How do the characters in Care Bears & Cousins demonstrate compassion and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Character Strengths

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