Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation

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Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation

Original theatrical poster
Directed by Dale Schott
Produced by Michael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Clive A. Smith
Written by Peter Sauder
Starring See below
Music by Patricia Cullen
Editing by Evan Landis
Studio LBS Communications, Inc.
Nelvana Limited
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) March 7, 1986 (limited)
March 21, 1986 (wide)
Running time 76 min
Country Canada Canada
Language English
Preceded by The Care Bears Movie (1985)
Followed by The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland (1987)

Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation is an animated film produced by LBS Communications, Inc. and Canadian animation studio Nelvana Limited. It was released in the United States in March 1986 by Columbia Pictures, and was the second film based on the Care Bears toy line. It was directed by Dale Schott, written by Peter Sauder, and produced by Nelvana's three founders (Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert and Clive A. Smith). It starred the voices of Alyson Court, Cree Summer and Maxine Miller.

The film was commercially marketed as a sequel to The Care Bears Movie, and did not actually serve as a prequel to this predecessor, but to the Nelvana television series that would soon air on the ABC network the following September.[1] It recounts the origins of the Care Bear Family, and tells of the Care Bears' first Caring Mission, led by True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse. The story is narrated by a character called the Great Wishing Star, voiced by Chris Wiggins.

Care Bears Movie II gained mixed critical attention during its original release. The film grossed only US$8.5 million in North America, almost a third of what its original counterpart took, and was followed by a third installment, Adventure in Wonderland, the next August.



True Heart Bear and Noble Heart Horse are caretakers of the young Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins aboard the Cloud Clipper. As they are sailing along, a storm starts, and a red dragon blocks them in their way. But then, a rainbow takes them up to the sky, and, assisted by the Great Wishing Star, they begin the Kingdom of Caring. The Star soon gives the Bears and Cousins their tummy symbols.

Some time later, True Heart Bear, with stowaway Swift Heart Rabbit inside her bag, embarks on the Bears' first Caring Mission. Landing at a campsite on Earth, she meets a camper named Christy who feels she cannot do anything as well as her lead competitor, the boastful Camp Champ, save for marbles. She attempts to run away from the site, and her friends Dawn and John follow suit. But the latter two end up being a little lost, until True Heart invites them both to come and take care of the babies back at the Kingdom of Caring.

When they arrive, True Heart decides to return to Earth to help Christy. A bell tolls from the Caring Meter; she and Noble Heart suggest that Dark Heart has returned, and they will both try to defeat him again should he really strike once more. Dawn and John should never find out who he is, the two declare, and they insist that their human friends now baby-sit the orphan Cubs.

Dark Heart, the film's villain.

In the woods near camp, Christy meets Dark Heart whom she falls unwittingly a victim to, and is later used by the villain as a tool to help him take out his evil deeds and destroy the Kingdom of Caring. He gives his apprentice the opportunity to do what she never could do before, even cartwheels, but she has to do him a favour to pay him back: to capture every single Care Bear inside his magic red bag, and forever trap them all in some secret place. Once he has fulfilled the task, he will leave Christy alone.

Already aware of whom they will face, True Heart and Noble Heart move the Cubs to two new places: growing up, the Bears will reside in Care-a-lot and the Cousins will live in the Forest of Feelings. Meanwhile, without the Bears knowing it, Dark Heart is planning to capture the whole Family, from within his secret cave beneath the camp, located inside an outhouse at the site. As he speeds off to Care-a-lot, Christy is showing off her new winning abilities before the other campers, posing as the new "Camp Champ".

Meanwhile, the Care Bear Family is getting ready to surprise True and Noble home from another mission. But then the Caring Meter goes awry, and Dark Heart has arrived to ruin their preparation. The Care Bears believe he is trying to have fun, but the Star and Heart Buddies are aware of his plan and drive him off. Soon after he stumbles near the Family, he morphs into his true form in front of them, a raging red cloud with glaring pink eyes. When he goes away, thanks to the "Care Bear Stare", True and Noble let the other Family members take care of caring while they are both gone to search for the villain.

While True Heart and Noble Heart are gone, the rest of the care bears and cousins take turns going on missions to help people, with Cheer Bear clearing the departing bears and cousins and Share Bear guiding the returning ones back in. Tenderheart Bear monitors everything while Wish Bear uses her telescope to seek out children in need of help. As the day goes on almost none of the care bears seem to have come back from the missions they were sent on which seemed a little weird. All of a sudden Wish Bear spots Christy in a canoe without paddles in a lake. Tenderheart and Grumpy go down to Earth to her rescue, only to find Brave Heart already attempting to save her, but ending up falling in the lake instead. The three then spot Share, Champ and Good Luck Bear flying over in rainbow rollers with Friend and Secret Bear chasing behind them telling them to stop, but Dark Heart who appears out of the woods thwarts their operation and fires lighting which causes Friend and Secret Bear's car to crash in the woods. Share, Champ, and Good Luck Bear are unaware of this and still attempt to save Christy. Good Luck throws a rope down to her but she doesn't grab it, Dark Heart once again fires lighting causing the 3 bears rainbow rollers to vanish. As they fall Dark Hearts magic bag catches them and they disappear. Tenderheart, Brave Heart and Grumpy figure out that Dark Heart has made the Family disappear that way, and Christy has partnered with the villain. Tenderheart insists a conference be held inside the Hall of Hearts with the remaining Cousins. Joining them later are Friend and Secret Bear, along with Dawn and John.

At this moment, there are ten of the Family members left. Upon the arrival of Christy's friends and their saviours, the Family finds new hope in getting rid of their villain.

Dark Heart's influence makes the campers ruin the entire place later that night. While Dawn and John help save their fellow camper, while the Family looks for their lost members inside the villain's cave. But Dark Heart himself catches them and soon put them in cages.

Finding Christy, Dawn and John tell her that, with their help, things will be back to normal soon, once they convince Dark Heart to stop hurting the Care Bear Family. But she refuses their offer; it has been too late for her to get back to what she was before. Only when she reveals the damage she has done with her villain has she finally paid him back. All three, as friends, set off to rescue the Family.

Dark Heart foils the Bears' plan to get his key and unlock the cages, and puts the other Bears and Cousins inside big rubies. True Heart, Noble Heart and the three campers have only arrived to see the Family's fate. But, for Christy, her bargain with Dark Heart has ended, thus making it hard to put his wrath to an end. She insists Dark Heart free the Family out of their prison, and at once he takes away her abilities for good.

Still, because Christy saved him earlier, he warns her to "Run and save herself" from the evil he is about to do. In an attempt to save everyone else, True Heart and Noble Heart use their Stare once more on his cloud, but while they do so, Christy is struck by a bolt of lightning coming from it.

Using her marble-throwing skills, Christy lets down, with one of her marbles, a chandelier that has the rubies. After it crashes down, all of them return in action, joining True and Noble in the Stare.

As Dark Heart continues to rain down lightning, he suddenly notices that Christy has been hit and now lies motionless. Dark Heart's rage stops, and, transforming himself into a boy for the last time, he comes down to her, remorseful for what he has done. He implores the Care Bears to help "...bring her back from where I sent her!", but they believe that there is nothing they can do.

Dark Heart grows angry, asking them what good all their love and caring is if it cannot save Christy. The bears listen, and implore anyone who cares to chant "I care!" with them. Soon, Dark Heart himself chants as well, and within a few moments, Christy is brought back to life. Cheers from the group are short-lived, for soon after, the quickly-collapsing cave is rid of all its bad reputation and vanishes altogether before turning back into an outhouse.

Overjoyed by the change of their new friend, who once was Dark Heart, everybody runs over to the lake to have a good time with him. Later on, the campers say good-bye to the Bears and Cousins, and the former Dark Heart promises to help make the camp a fairer and better place for campers, now knowing the importance of friendship and being a "Camp Champ" when it comes to being a friend.

After the Great Wishing Star's last lines, which tell the film's audience that they are world-class Care Bear "Champs", flashbacks of the Care Bear Family's childhood are seen amid the rainbow colours of the Kingdom of Caring's fountain, while "Forever Young" plays in the background.

Release and reception

Critics gave mixed support for A New Generation during its original release, such as Vincent Canby in his New York Times review. "It is a sort of pre-sequel that, I suspect, requires its audiences to have some prior knowledge of Care Bears", he commented. "Very young kids may love this, but anybody over the age of 4 might find it too spooky."[1] Leonard Maltin gave the film a "BOMB" rating in his Movie Guide, writing "your kids deserve better entertainment than this treacly stuff about the Kingdom of Caring. Prefab animation from the era of toy merchandising tie-ins.[2]

Cover for the 2003 video edition.

On its initial release, A New Generation earned $8.5 million in the United States—almost a third of its predecessor's ticket sales. After a March 7 limited-release debut,[3] it opened in wide release two weeks later, coming in at seventh place with $2.5 million.[4] Over the next two weekends it earned little more than $1 million in 12th place, before disappearing unexpectedly from the box-office charts.[5][6] The film's wide break took place on the same weekend as another toy-based release, GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords.[7]

The movie was released on home video and Beta by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video in 1987, and had its cable premiere on the Disney Channel on April 25 that same year.[8] It returned on VHS as part of the Columbia Tristar Family Collection on June 28, 1993, and again on August 13, 1996.[9] Sony Pictures Home Entertainment premiered it on DVD on April 8, 2003, with no special features except the trailers.

A New Generation won the 1987 WorldFest-Houston Gold Award for Best Animated Feature.[10] However, it was also nominated for Worst Movie of 1986 by the Hastings Bad Cinema Society.[11]


The soundtrack album to A New Generation was released in LP format and on cassette tape by Kid Stuff Records.[12] This featured all of the film's six songs, which were written by Los Angeles musicians, Dean and Carol Parks:

Song Performer(s) Notes
"Our Beginning" (1:18) Carol Parks
"Flying My Colors" (2:21) Dean and Carol Parks Additional lyrics by Alan O'Day. Dean and Carol Parks' daughters, Acacia and Amanda, performed back-up.
"I Care for You" (2:10) Stephen Bishop
"Growing Up" (2:39) Stephen Bishop
"The Fight Song" (1:42) Debbie Allen Background vocals by Carol, Acacia and Amanda Parks.
"Forever Young" (6:10) Carol Parks

Voice cast

(in order of appearance)