Care Bears through the years
May 31st, 2012
02:36 PM ET

The Throwback: 30th anniversary of Care Bears

The Care Bears turn 30 this year, and they're also preparing for a TV comeback.

Initially created as a greeting card line at American Greetings in 1982, the lovable, pastel-colored bears hit it big from 1983-1988, wherein there existed a Care Bears cartoon show on television, a full range of toys and products, and three movies.

Since 1988, however, the Care Bears have slipped in and out of vogue with various attempts to re-brand the franchise.

In 2006, the bilingual Amigo Bear was introduced as the first-ever Care Bear who was fluent in Spanish. And then there were the characters in 2005's “Care Bears: Big Wish Movie": Me Bear (a narcissist), Messy Bear (think Pig-Pen of "Peanuts" fame) and Too Loud Bear (self-explanatory).

But the 2012 re-launch, directly tied to the 30th anniversary, can be considered the most massive - and it most faithfully reflects the 1982 Care Bears we remember.

"We'd been toying with the idea of re-launching for several years," Gabrielle Oliff, vice president of brand and marketing at American Greetings, told CNN. "Now just seemed right because we had women who grew up with it. They're sort of in that sweet spot of (ages) 28-35, and they have kids that are about the age that would really like Care Bears. So from a timing perspective, it seemed like a great idea to push the brand out again."

The linchpin of the current reboot is a new CGI animated series, set to debut this weekend on The Hub Network, entitled "Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot."

Six fan favorite core characters are set to return: Tenderheart Bear; Share Bear; Cheer Bear; Harmony Bear; Grumpy Bear; and Funshine Bear. A new character will be introduced as well with Wonderheart Bear, Tenderheart's young niece that's roughly the preschool age of the average "Welcome to Care-A-Lot" viewer, although this is not explicitly stated. (It appears that Good Luck Bear didn’t make the cut.)

If the term "CGI animation" makes you cringe, or you're worried that the technology will forever ruin your treasured Care Bears memories, you need only look at pictures or videos of the 2012 Bears to realize that these guys truly are the cuddly, soft, big, huggable Care Bears you knew and loved as a child - right down to their fur.

"I really wanted to take it back to the classic bear," explained Sarah Finn, executive producer of "Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot." "The classic bear was so round and cuddly and the belly badge was so big. We just really wanted to go back to the '80s, but being able to use some of this great 3-D software that's out there, we were able to give it this cool, fresh, new look. But again, it's amazing how much we went back to the basics and sort of the DNA of the brand."

That's especially important, seeing that the Care Bears still resonate after three decades.

"We look at the brand and we think how lucky we are to have this evergreen property," Finn said. "Take it into any era, any time, and it still has the same meaning."

What about you? What are your memories of the Care Bears? Which Care Bear is your favorite?

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Filed under: television • The Throwback

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Millionaire care bear is scared somebody is going to

    take her boyfriend care bear away from her-

    December 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. its all in fun can't people take a joke?

    people live through their blogs...that's not mentally safe

    December 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. M

    AND WITH ALL THE HACKING SHE IS STILL TALKING....
    LEAVE HER ALONE...B-tch

    December 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. s.

    and with what is "mounted" she is still talking.

    November 18, 2012 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. mteam

    i see your message..if they do not unhook me they will paying a hefty check for punishment to a hospital–

    November 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. i have an

    3 co.'s on it.

    November 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tdcherry

    One memory that is very special to me is the time I tore the head off my sister’s care bear. Thinking about it still makes me smile, and now that I have children of my own, I am eager to purchase a new care bear for my daughter, and watch my son do what comes naturally.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Just!ne

    I can't believe Love-a-Lot Bear didn't make the cut. Wth!

    June 1, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      My thoughts exactly! If they wanted to bring back the originals, they should have brought back all 10. I just had my daughter Jan 2012 and was so excited to hear the bears would be back. I have been collecting care bears for as long as I can remember, and of course played with them when I was little (born in 1982). Love-a-lot is my favorite and my husband likes Good Luck Bear and Bedtime Bear (he had when he was little as well) And they didn't make it. I hope they change their mind and add the last four to next seasons show, and ultimately to the shelves of store!

      December 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Babs

    Actually, Good Luck Bear IS in the show, but he's a background character. So is Birthday Bear!

    June 1, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chanda

    Upset that Good Luck Bear didn't make the cut. Still have my good luck bear t-shirt and every time I wear it someone tells they love that bear!

    June 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • jess boldt

      No kidding. Good Luck Bear was a favorite. I have to say, my hopes for the show went down quite a bit after reading that.

      June 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. itzshif

    as long as they bring back the Evil Book and Darkheart (I'm sorry, DAAAARKHEART), all will be well

    June 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. wren

    Where is Wish Bear? and I want David the Gnome back too!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. jess boldt

    The first movie i remember going to was Care Bears. I was 5 then. One of the first things I bought when I found out I was going to have a kid was that movie on DVD.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. johnquepublique

    Lots of rainbow colors here, folks. May be a subervise force going on. Better start a "Tella-Tubby" investigation!!!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Kat

    My favorite was always Friendship Bear. I'm kind of disappointed that she doesn't get the recognition she deserves. I mean, friendship is one of the central themes of the Care Bears after all.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  16. swiftheart

    I have 98% of all the vintage carbears. I love carebears. The new carbear cartoons and stuffed animal look funny

    June 1, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  17. CBkid

    I loved all of the Care Bears and it would be nice to see them bring back some of the old story lines from the old series. I recall them taking on bullies and such. I even have a Care Bear book that deals with it too. Rainbow Brite needs to make a come back as well!

    June 1, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  18. libby

    personally, i think CGI and 3D graphics are ruining everything, no one actually illustrates with their hands and pencils/markers/crayons/whatever anymore. it's really sad. looking for a new illustrated children's book? good luck trying to find an actual BOOK nowadays as well. and you would think that as a 29 year old graphic designer, i would be excited to see my childhood TV shows being 'reborn' using today's best technologies... at least the creators of the 'new' care bears show seem to want to keep the integrity of the original, i can tell the bears look 'different'. i grew up watching carebears, my little pony, rainbow brite, strawberry shortcake, etc. all of those franchises have tried to relaunch and all of the newer versions look nothing like the originals.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I am excited they are bringing back a lot of the same things I watched and played with as a little kid. You're right they don't look quite the same, which is disappointing, but I much rather my daughter grow up playing and watching what I did versus what is cool now i.e. Bratz dolls, Monster High...ugly, wearing too much make up and not enough clothes dolls. Care Bears are wholesome, with a good message. It's not too hard to figure out what is wrong with the current generation.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  19. kj

    i loved the care bares.. but every time they call it a "brand" they kill some of my warm, fuzzy nostalgia. i know it's the truth but jeez... "WHERE ARE THEY? Where are you hiding the boy and girl?!"

    June 1, 2012 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  20. danni

    hope to see the actual toy carebears made again!

    June 1, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  21. Jenni Simonis

    We've watched all the remakes and they aren't bad. The most recent CGI version ones were pretty good. They look a little more dimensional while still carrying the "Care Bear look". They tried a different look and it didn't go over well.

    They also added more bears than the ones listed. For instance, Oopsy Bear is not listed. I like that one because Oopsy is a klutz like me. Cheer Bear and Grumpy Bear will always be my favorites. I still have my toys of both them and Cozy Heart Penguin. I always loved how Cheer and Grumpy played off each other and were such good friends.

    I have my daughter hooked on them (she's seen every movie), and she will be so excited to hear they are coming to HUB. We already watch Transformers, GI Joe, My Little Pony, Jem, the Batman tv show, and other such items that I watched as a child. I like how HUB is set up to be for parents around my age (I'm 34) and our kids.

    June 1, 2012 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  22. Rebecca blair

    My three year old grand daughter loves watching vcr tapes from the eighty care bear series. My daughters boyfriends neice adore s them also. Its a hateful hurtful world out there. Im glad good cartoons with good lessons on love caring sharing are coming back.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  23. Birthday Bear

    The Classic animation from the 80s is the best. I'm, not a fan of the CGI cartoons - it doesn't have the same quality or magic to it. I wish more stuff for kids today had the same feel and look that was out there when we were growing up. Very happy to see the Bears coming back, and Birthday bear better be in the mix. I still have my old Birthday Bear from the 80s. Great childhood memories of watching the bears and the movies. Looking forward with cautious optimism to see what this re-launch will look and feel like.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  24. 80's baby

    CARE BEAR STARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 1, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  25. Coyolxauhqui

    I grew up with the carebears and will always love them, especially Grumpy Bear. I do not in any way feel the same for the carebear cousins.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
  26. Cheryl

    @Hacksaw, I LOVE David the Gnome. I actually found episodes on YouTube. CHeck it out!

    The one I hope they never relaunch is Jem. The one from the 80s is the BEST. Remaking it would be a crime. "It's showtime, Synergy!" Happy to see a truer version of the Care Bears, though. I grew up obsessed with them. I had a stuffed Tenderheart. Loved that little bear :) He was my favorite.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  27. prairieghost

    I have a very distinct memory of being cross with my babysitter because she didn't rouse me from my nap in time to watch Care Bears, which was my daily routine at the time. Snack, nap, watch Care Bears, then go outside and play in the sandbox. They say your teenage years are the best days of your life, but I think my preschool days topped that by a long shot.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  28. Stew22

    They'rere-launching the Care Bears without Good Luck Bear. Not very smart.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  29. aman'sman

    grumpy bear, I like rain clouds. what... i'm not depressing.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  30. Gang raype

    I don't like what dey dis wit unshibe bear day hat us soo gay yo

    June 1, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  31. Bedtime Bear

    Yawn ... lullaby and goodnight to all the other care bears.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  32. RARITY IS BEST PONY

    FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC 4EVR {{MLP}} ~BROHOOF~

    ALL ELEMENTS AT ONCE FRIENDSHIP ONLY MAX PINKIE SENSE

    May 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Wish Bear

    I make wishes come true! Hip Hip Hooray for me and you. lmao

    May 31, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  34. ric

    I hate CGI cartoons...HATE them.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Funshine

    FUNSHINE IS THE BEST BECAUSE SHE LOVES FUN AND SHINE AND HAPPINESS

    May 31, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Mandie

    What about the other bears, like Hugs & Tugs Bear and Grams Bear? Will they be back too?

    May 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Juwairiah

    CARE BEARS = Awesome! :D <3 .....My little bro and sis are gonna luv this ! :D Whoooo. Care bears are just too cute :D

    May 31, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  38. genny

    I love all the Care Bears but my favorite is Tenderheart Bear and Cheer Bear Because I love hearts and rainbows. CareBears are so cute too.

    May 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Aeris

    Care Bear Stare! <3

    May 31, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Shila

    My daughter is going to love it

    May 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  41. UK

    I've always preferred the I-Don't-Care Bears: Boozy Bear, Floozy Bear, and that wacky Terrorist Bear.

    May 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  42. notredamegirl

    I love the care bears!!!

    May 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  43. 2D

    Why does everything have to be CGI now? First we have emaciated My Little Pony, then anorexic Strawberry Shortcake...I remain skeptical, despite the claims of this producer who was probably born in the 90's and thinks Rugrats is "classic Nickelodeon".

    May 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abby

      I 100% agree with you. I hate CGI. If they want to do a relaunch of the original they should use classic hand drawn style! I am a woman in that "sweet spot" and I much prefer the original animation style.

      May 31, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Funshine

      Shut up! It's Care Bears! Get over it!

      May 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • hacksaw

      As much as we may wish it... they arnt bringing back David the Gnome.

      Hell.. they dont even have relaunch it. Just show the old cartoons again. They were great then and would be great now. I wish I had them recorded, kids miss out

      June 1, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  44. Cloudkeeper

    Remember those obscure characters like Cloudkeeper and the bad guys? Coldheart and Dark Heart? Lotta memories.

    May 31, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |

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