Tooncrap #14 - The Care Bears And The Land Without Feelings

I Don't Care
LBS Communications: 1983

Written by: Raymond Gallant

Ah the Care Bears. Next to Captain Planet, these unkempt ursine of the utmost kindness has easily been one of Tooncrap's most beloved whipping boys... er, bears. It really doesn't help that a lot of the stuff provided was really not very good. Now I still hold true that the Nelvana cartoon series was actually pretty good, even when it for no reason went from battling No-Heart, to random ass Star Trek knockoff, but thus is the 80's I guess. But it hasn't been all smiles and Funshine. The movies on the other hand have been a mix of decent enough, and the droppings of Satan himself. AKA Care Bears: Adventure in Wonderland.

So, with the fodder cannon already at max capacity, is there anything else to eke out? Well, there was the original specials by LBS Communications, like the review du joir, "Care Bears in the Land Without Feelings", or to quote the legendary Lou Pickles...

"Land without BRAINS is more like it!"

So, let's bear and grin it once more as we delve into more bearly competent television. Let's review this thing.

We open the special with two kids. and is one of those two kids a blonde haired little girl?

Yep, right on cue.

We see the girl, named Donna, talking to another kid named Kevin, who seems to be quite pissed over something vague. All we know is that he "just doesn't care". And trust me, he won't have any problems reminding us of this fact. Does it get to the level of Bubsy's infamous "What could possibly go wrong"? Well, it's sure one hell of a contender.

Cut to the clouds above where we see an old guy, who may care, but is indeed no bear staring down at them. He states the obvious that clearly these two children he's spying on are upset. You know if they learned that some creepy old guy was watching their every move, they'd have far better reason to be worried. Well, not so much Kevin, because he doesn't care.

Also, who the hell is this guy, you may ask? He's the cloud keeper. Essentially the guy who cleans up the clouds. So, in other ways, the Care Bears' personal janitor. It must be a taxing job taking care of the sky like he does, but I'm certain, like Kevin, he doesn't care.

We're introduced to Care-a-lot, and the denizens, our lovable multicolored ursa idjits, the Care Bears. Cut to a song about the Care Bears done in sort of a knockoff version of "The Candy Man Can". I guess there's still no earthly way of knowing how far the crap is flowing.

The song tells of how the Care Bears can keep you warm at night, and cuddle up and hold you tight. Jeeze, I thought an old guy creepily watching kids was bad enough, but the thought of a bear randomly coming to your house to cuddle you without warning just opens a whole new can of worm. We're introduced to the main cast of caring bears, available at the closest Gimbels near you. This includes Tenderheart, Funshine, and Grumpy. However, while still the patrician pessimist, he isn't the ultimately awesome Grumpy from the Nelvana series.

Gentleman, scholar, and cynical douche. What's not to love?

Despite the gimmicks like Wish Bear, Cheer Bear, and Friend bear, the cold hard fact is much like Sir Loves-A-Lot and Lord Huggington, they're pretty much the same bears, only with different color schemes. Except Grumpy, because, let's face it, Grumpy is a freakin' baller in every series. he's in.

And then there's Naptime bear, who's clear solution to everything is to sleep. I like his ideas, and wish to subscribe to his newsletter. Grumpy has a strong challenger for best bear here.

The saccharin slows for a bit as the Care Bears learn about the issue at hand with Kevin, aka the non-carer. He's concerned about moving away, and not being able to be close to his friends anymore. He hatches the brilliant plot of running away, because he doesn't care about anything. You know, other than the fact that caring about this moving business is something you do sorta care about?

So, the Care Bears decide that clearly Kevin needs help. And what better individuals to help deal with a kid's depression with moving away than a bunch of meddling random colored bears? Who instead of hatching a plan to help the kid, all try to jockey for position of which bear goes down to help him.

While the rest of the bears adorably argue over who should help Kevin, Tenderheart and Friend Bear decide to actually go and try to do some work other than get the glory. They meet the two kids, who of course are in no way concerned that not only are they in the presence of talking pastel bears, but these bears have been pretty much stalking them, getting involved in their conversation. Tenderheart and Friend try to cheer Kevin up. But Kevin, as you'd expect, doesn't care. Kevin leaves to continue not caring.

Tenderheart and Friend bear's solution to this care-less conundrum? Well, if two multicolored bears aren't enough to change his mind, then clearly 10 multicolored bears will do the trick. However, when they get there, they find out that Kevin has already ran away. The cloud keeper watches from above, instead of, you know, HELPING!

Kevin's journey of self not caringness leads him to an abandoned park. A talking fountain tries to warn him not to go into the spooky old park. Kevin is indifferent to the situation. As he laments to himself about his inability to care, he wanders through the park, which is somehow joined to a whole other land, which has a spot called Cold Heart Castle. Clearly this must be the Heat Miser's place.

No, it just belongs to Professor Cold Heart. Who, while a creepy enough customer, doesn't match the coolness of No Heart.

Cold Heart hears Kevin's cries of little caring, and heads to greet the lad. He tells Kevin that Kevin has come to the right place, as this land is filled with people who don't care. He then introduces himself, of course, through song. And honestly, the song is actually not too bad. He's c-c-c-c-creepy, c-c-c-c-cunning, and easily a bit c-c-c-c-crazy. He takes Kevin with him.

The care bears are in pursuit of Kevin, and eventually find their way to the park. They waddle in (seriously they waddle in a most comically adorable fashion). Inside the park, they learn that not only are the trees, rocks, and flowers sentient, but they don't seem to care about anything. Though when you are plants that can't move, and in the case of trees, have animals shit in and on you, you'd probably be a bit P'Oed as welll

Donna mentions that this is apparently the land without feelings, which has been that way since Cold Heart showed up. Funny that no one has ever, you know, kicked him out of there, or bulldozed the place. Though I guess since it means Cold Heart is out of other people's hair, then it's all good. Leave him be in his own douchery.

Bedtime bear breaks one of a tree's branches. And before the tree can lay the smackdown on his ursine ass, the care bears tell him essentially "bitch, you're a tree, you'll grow another." Then they sing that everyone has feelings. Of course he has feelings. He feels pain because your narcoleptic friend just took out one of his arms. But of course they mean feelings as in kindness. And this rather dumb song leads to an instant face turn to all of the grumpy creatures. They tell our protagonists of Kevin's situation.

Back to the master of uncaring, as he is at Cold Heart Castle. Professor Cold Heart offers his young guest a drink, hopefully not of the roofie-spiked variety. He gives a frothing yellow drink to Kevin, who willingly drinks it. I mean, it could be poison, but Kevin doesn't care.

But the drink turns Kevin into one of Professor Cold Heart's weird frog things.

The Care Bears, head off to rescue Kevin before it becomes even more too late. So, Tenderheart and Cheer pretty much tell Donna, Grumpy and Wish Bear to kiss off as they head out on their own. Seriously? Why not bring Grumpy? May I remind you of his freakin' baller status?

But Cold Heart sees what they're up to, and plots a plan to make them not care as well. As the bears use a surprisingly brilliant idea of using hearts as stones to cross the water, Cold Heart counters with a giant fan to knock them into the water, and then freezes the water with them inside.

And of course, instead of the rest working to save the others, they continue on. Care bears must be pretty dedicated to saving children, or they just really have no problems with their own kind suffering. Hell, even when they lose Bedtime Bear, Tenderheart is all "LOL Screw him. Let's go"

Tenderheart's a tenderdouche

They use a rainbow to cross over a cliff, to which coldheart counters by blasting it with a light beam. But unfortunately, the bears don't fall to their death, but two get stuck on the cliff. So, instead of using that trick again to climb up, they're like "keep going. Because you know, two bears are all you need." Seriously, Care Bears, how about caring for your own well being too. Jeez.

The bears try to cross a swamp with a heart balloon, but again Cold Heart counters them with a giant dart that pops the balloon. Boy, it's good that he had all of these convenient tools at his disposal. I guess it gets boring in the land without feelings, so you gotta build something. With one bear stuck in the swamp mess, it's up to the great leader Tenderheart to save everyone that he had no problem abandoning in the first place.

Tenderheart makes it to the castle, and in another surprisingly smart move uses hearts for suction cups. Those things are pretty damn convenient. But speaking of convenient, Cold Heart just happens to have a trap door on the side of his castle. Did he friggin' know this was going to happen beforehand, or is he really that paranoid about feelings and all things that are not not caring?

So, yeah, our teddy bear's picnic of idiocy have all gotten themselves kidnapped. Donna and the others worry about them. Well, Grumpy doesn't, because again, baller. Wish Bear wishes that they were all in the castle, and poof, they are. Boy, smart decision to not bring her along, eh Tenderdick? But let's not completely throw Tenderheart to the hot coals just yet. All this time, Wish Bear could have just wished that Kevin was back with them. Hell, she could even wish that Kevin's family didn't have to move.

I wish you weren't such a moron.

With all of the bears rescued via Deus Ex Wish Bear, they confront Cold Heart, who shows them that Kevin is now one of his weird frog slaves. The care bears huddle together to come up with an idea. They ultimately decide to use the care bear stare. Instead of, you know, HAVING WISH BEAR FIX THIS WHOLE THING WITH A WISH!!!

Our heroes pull out a massive stare that manages to turn all of the frog slave things back into children. While they all celebrate, Cold Heart escapes. I guess they didn't "Care" to stop him. But the now caring creatures of the forest continue to assault the ever not-loving hell out of him. And so our special wraps up as Kevin now cares more, the land without feelings feels again, and the care bears are back. And since they couldn't decide who should win the best carer award, they all shared it. Despite the fact that Wish Bear, again, is the only one who did anything worth a damn lately. And why even give an award out if you won't make a definitive winner? Whatever. I don't care.

And that's "The Land Without Feelings". I second the motion of Lou Pickles. It is indeed the land without brains. The animation is nothing amazing, the voice acting is rough, our protagonists have so little self esteem that they'll sacrifice themselves for caring, and again, if they had Wish Bear wish everything right immediately, this whole thing wouldn't have happened. In the end, it's a bland, forgettable short, that's surprisingly worse than the Nelvana cartoons.

In the end, you could say I didn't enjoy it.