December 09, 2023




(Syndication, September 14-November 23, 1985)
DiC Enterprises, Those Characters From Cleveland



Billie Mae RichardsTenderheart Bear, David’s Mother, Sharon Wayland, Keith, Kara’s Mother, Matthew Miller
Linda SorensonLove-a-Lot Bear, Amy, Benny, Jeffrey, Kara, Lisa’s Mother, Mrs. Peale, Paula Schaefer, Sandra, Talking Star, Wendy
Dan HennesseyGood Luck Bear, Brave Heart Lion, Loyal Heart Dog, Captain McDougal, Cloud Worm, Counselor Bob, Dentist, Mr. Miller, Mayor of Abbotsville
Patrice BlackFunshine Bear, Share Bear, Chris, Eddie, Joey and Elaine’s Mother, Linda, Mary’s Mother
Bob DermerGrumpy Bear, Frostbite, Narrator, Amy’s Husband, Carl, Charlie, David, Eddie, Charlie, Firefighter, Joey and Elaine’s Father, Ken, Mr. Bland, Mr. Poole, Race Flag Man


For the history of the Care Bears, check out the post here.


            Since their debut in 1982, Care Bears was basically a license for American Greetings to print money. Their greeting cards and plush dolls from partner Kenner rolled out alongside an aggressive merchandising campaign that saw the name and characters slapped on just about everything imaginable, and they all sold well. Their efforts to expand to other media were also well-met, with two highly-rated animated specials and a successful theatrical film. They decided to keep things going by continuing on from the film into an animated series.

Share Bear peeping down at Earth for a caring problem.

            Care Bears followed the adventures of the titular group of bears as they dealt with caring problems around the world. They resided up in the clouds in the Kingdom of Caring; specifically, the town of Care-A-Lot (a play on Camelot) in and around Care-A-Lot Castle. They peered down at the Earth below through a star-shaped telescope with a heart-shaped lens that always seemed to manage to land on a kid or kids in some kind of trouble. The bears would then descend in their cloud cars or cloud hot air balloon to meet the kids and try to help them find a solution to their problems. Occasionally, the Care Bear Cousins would join them from their home in the Forest of Feelings. Their special skill was their Care Bear Stare, which allowed them to project beams of caring from their Belly Badges that could perform various tasks or create a variety of objects. The Stare was often more powerful when the bears all worked together.

Care Bears "rolling" on up in their cloud whip to help bring the caring.

            The bears consisted the original 10 made for the franchise: de facto leader Tenderheart Bear (Billie Mae Richards), who organized their efforts to spread love and caring, kept Care-A-Lot in shape, and initiated new members into the family by giving them their Belly Badges; Birthday Bear (Jayne Eastwood), who loved birthdays and parties and was always ready to celebrate either; Wish Bear (Janet-Laine Green), who had fun granting wishes or working hard to make them come true; Friend Bear (Eva Almos), a social butterfly who knows how to make friends and be a good one; Love-A-Lot Bear (Linda Sorenson), who loved everything and everyone and worked the word “love” into most of her sentences; Cheer Bear (Melany Brown), who was very happy and perky, living up to her name; Good Luck Bear (Dan Hennessey, who also served as a voice director), whose positive outlook tended to help him manifest an endless supply of good luck; Funshine Bear (Patrice Black), who could always see the sunny side of life when not indulging in pranking others; Grumpy Bear (Bob Dermer), whose constantly sour disposition often proves helpful in dealing with kids of a similar personality; and Bedtime Bear (Theresa Sears), who, as you might expect, was constantly sleepy and was in charge of the sleep of others. Additionally, there was Champ Bear (Sears), who was great at sports and loved sharing their social and physical benefits with others; Share Bear (Black), who was selfless to a fault; and the tight-lipped Secret Bear, who tended to communicate via pantomime.

Care Bears and Cousins working together.

            The Care Bear Cousins were comprised of Brave Heart Lion (Hennessey), their loud and overbearing leader who wasn’t afraid to recklessly dive headfirst into a situation; Bright Heart Raccoon (Jim Henshaw), the intelligent inventor who relied on logic and reasoning to solve problems; Cozy Heart Penguin (Pauline Rennie), who loved making others feel better as much as swimming in chilly waters; Gentle Heart Lamb (Luba Goy), the shiest and most soft-spoken of the Cousins that could be hesitant to charge into situations; Lotsa Heart Elephant (Goy), the strongest being in the Forest although not always the most athletic; Loyal Heart Dog (Hennessey), an exceptionally-loyal friend who could relax anywhere just as easily as enter a fracas; Playful Heart Monkey (Marla Lukofsky), a practical joker; Proud Heart Cat (Louise Vallance), a perfectionist obsessed with order and cleanliness that tended to end sentences with some kind of cat sound; Swift Heart Rabbit (Almos), the fastest Cousin whose overconfidence often lead to trouble; and Treat Heart Pig (Rennie), who always loved a good time—especially if it involved snacks.

Prfoessor Coldheart, Auntie Freeze and Frostbite.

            For the most part, the Care Bear Family dealt with common issues: bullies, self-confidence, cheaters, bad feelings, etc. However, there were a few legitimate villains that the bears had to contend with, helping to spread negativity to the world—especially among children. Returning from the earlier television specials was Professor Coldheart (Len Carlson), a blue-skinned man with icy features and powers that hated anything warm and caring, and his bumbling sidekick, Frostbite (Dermer). New for the series was Auntie Freeze (Joyce Gordon), Frostbite’s aunt who loved causing misery and fear in others; Strato Nefarious (Carlson), a violinist from space whose home didn’t have enough light to see his sheet music necessitating his stealing stars from the sky; and the Cloud Worm (Hennessey), a giant worm-like creature who ate clouds—like the ones that comprised Care-A-Lot.

Model sheet for Professor Coldheart.

            Care Bears debuted in syndication on September 14, 1985. For the series, American Greetings went with DiC Entertainment; one of their considerations for producing the theatrical film before that job went to Nelvana.  Nelvana, instead, was retained to work on the film’s sequel. 11 episodes were made, each containing 2 story segments that could be broken up into individual presentations or moved around (at least one CITV broadcast in the 80s shows an exchange of segments between the last two episodes). Most of the film’s cast reprised their respective roles. The series was written by Eleanor Burian Mohr, Randal Case, Howard R. Cohen, Matt Geller, Jack Hanrahan, Don Hart, Shelley Karol, Francis Moss, Jack Olesker and Bruce Reisman, with Sandy Fries and Olesker serving as story editors. Doug McCarthy, Rachel Brenner, Judie Martin and Richard Moore handled the character designs. Bob Chimbel and Merry Loomis composed the theme, with the other music and sound effects selected by Fizz Sound Creation Co. Ltd. Marc Simon and Kelly Simon were music consultants. Following the conclusion of the series, American Greetings returned to Nelvana for a follow-up called The Care Bears Family that aired on network television. Despite its short run, the series had two intro sequences: the first three episodes featured a string of continuous scenes under the theme, while the remainder had a more traditional intro featuring original animation that kept more in line with the song’s lyrics.

The Care Bear Stare and Care Cousin Call.

       Buena Vista Home Video and Castle Communications released VHS collections of several segments each in North America and the United Kingdom, respectively. In 2003, Sterling Entertainment released four VHS and DVD compilations containing 6 individual story segments. The DVD versions all contained a 7th bonus segment, with the last release’s bonus episode being from Sylvanian Families, based on another line of animal toys by Japanese company Epoch. In 2004, Sterling released 7 DVDs containing 3 stories each. In 2013, Mill Creek Entertainment  produced 3 DVD compilations containing 3 complete episodes each; with the first re-released as part of the compilation package DVD TV Guide Spotlight: Totally 80s Toons. A Three Program FUNdle! was released in 2014 collecting all 3 DVDs. They released the complete series in 2016 and re-released it in 2018 as Care For YOU! Collection.



“Camp / The Birthday” (9/14/85) – The Care Bears help two boys with opposite personalities get along at summer camp. / Upset because his parents seemed to forget his birthday with the arrival of his new sister, Matthew trashes his house with encouragement from his friend.
“Braces / Split Decision” (9/21/85) – The Care Bears try to help Joey feel better about his new braces. / The Care Bears and his friend Mary help Carl up his soccer game to get bullies of his case.
“The Lucky Charm / Soap Box Derby” (9/28/85) – The Care Bear family helps Mildred get over her streak of bad luck while Proud Heart tries to keep Playful Heart out of her garden. / The Care Bears help two girls participate in a soap box race against two cheating boys.
“The Last Laugh / The Show Must Go On” (10/5/85) – Trying to make Grumpy happy causes Cheer to lose her cheerfulness. / The Care Bear Cousins try to get Patty’s father out of work so he can watch her in the school play.
“The Forest of Misfortune / Magic Mirror” (10/12/85) – Professor Coldheart and Frostbite plan to freeze the Forest of Feelings. / Professor Coldheart invents a magic mirror that turns anything that appears into it into its mirror opposite.
“Daydreams / Runaway” (10/19/85) – The Care Bear Cousins try to help Melanie reign in her daydreams while Professor Coldheart unleashes his latest plan. / Cara runs away from home jut as Professor Coldheart is snatching up runaways.
“Mayor for a Day / The Night the Stars Went Out” (10/26/85) – Professor Coldheart rigs an election so that he can become mayor of Abbottsville—and then, the world. / Wish Bear tries to make a wish on the stars when they’re taken by a cloud.
“The Magic Shop / Concrete Rain” (11/2/85) – Two kids take a device from Professor Coldheart’s magic shop that makes everyone they shoot mean. / Professor Coldheart’s plan to cover the world in concrete sounds appealing to skater Susie.
“Dry Spell / Drab City” (11/9/85) – Rescuing two kids who fall into a cave leads the Care Bear Family to discover a cure for the city’s drought problem. / The Care Bear Family must restore the color to a city.
“Wedding Bells / The Old Man and the Lighthouse” (11/16/85) – Prfoessor Coldheart plans to marry Auntie Freeze in Care-A-Lot as a ploy to destroy it. / The Care Bear Family try to convince a couple of kids that a man that lives in the lighthouse isn’t as odd as they think.
“The Cloud Worm / The Girl Who Called Wolf” (11/23/85) – The Care Bears must save Care-A-Lot from a cloud-eating worm. / Jill’s habit of lying gets her friends in trouble when they explore a spooky house for treasure she claimed was there.

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