Care Bears won the hearts of millions across the world. They were created in 1981 by Those Characters From Cleveland. A staple of kids TV consumption during the 1980’s, Care Bears was a cheesy cult favorite that we couldn’t get enough of.
But what made this cuddly cartoon such a 1980s cult classic? First we need to examine the origins of the Care Bears cartoon and how this 1980s favorite came to be.
History Of The Care Bears Cartoon
Care Bears came into the picture in 1985 when DIC Enterprises produced it. This was the first animated series that was based on the franchise. The series was created by Linda Denham and Elena Kucharik. Linda is the co-creator of the Care Bear franchise, and during the 1980’s she was responsible for drawing the Care Bears on greeting cards.
Elena Kucharik was the children’s illustrator for doing artwork for various Care Bear items. She is also the co-creator of the franchise besides Linda. Elena’s illustrations of the Care Bears was an important part of the production of the cartoon.
When the first Care Bear series debuted, it ran in syndication. The storyline of the first series was about the Care Bears and their life in a beautiful place called Care-a-Lot.
Care-a-Lot was part of another place called the Kingdom of Caring. The Care Bears were responsible for going around the globe on missions on caring. Throughout their travels, they have to stop various villains, including the evil plans of Professor Coldheart.
The pilot episode of the 1985 animated series centered on a group of children preparing for their time at summer camp. Samford and Murphy are two boys going to summer camp. When they arrive at the camp, they come to the realization that the two of them think differently. The Care Bears teach the boys that people whom are different from each other can still become best friends.
The second part of the pilot episode centered on Matthew whom recently became a brother to a younger sister named Lisa. Matthew feels ignored by his family because of their attention to his sister. Matthew becomes angry and decides to wreck his home.
However, the Care Bears arrive to his home just in the knick of time. The Care Bears end up teaching Matthew the great aspects of having a little sister.
The initial pilot series was a success, and the show debuted in September 1985.
Popularity Of The Care Bears Cartoon
The success of the first series of Care Bears lead to another animated series, it was called The Care Bears Family. It debuted in September 1986 and lasted until December 1988. It was aired on the Global Television Network in Canada and on ABC in the America.
The series lasted three seasons, and it also lead to three feature films. These films came out over a three year period from 1985 to 1987. They were The Care Bears Movie, Care Bears Movies II: A New Generation, and The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland.
The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderful was based on the classic Alice In Wonderland stories by Lewis Carroll. During the 1980’s, over 40 million Care Bears were sold and millions of Care Bears cards were printed.
Though eventually the series dwindled in popularity, they still remain a fond memory for those of us that grew up in the 1980s.