The normal script for a blog post about a beloved, kid-friendly property getting a modern update goes something like this: “Introductory sentence implying a re-launch is a horrible idea. Derisive description of proposed reboot. Paragraph bemoaning remake, wondering why greedy studios can’t leave our childhoods alone, con-flabbit. Plea for kids to get off my damn lawn.” I should know; I’ve written that blog post before.
But even though I should have been enraged when I heard that The Hub — the kiddie network behind Internet favorite My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic — will premiere a CGI-animated Care Bears program in June, the news didn’t leave me shaking and crying. Instead, I’m looking forward to revisiting old pals like Tenderheart, Funshine Bear, and Cheer Bear — and I’m curious to see if this re-launch will be as charming as the original.
Maybe my reaction has something to do with the nature of the bears themselves. For starters, these care-acters were created by American Greetings to sell cards in 1981 — and since they were always an explicitly commercial property, it seems silly to criticize a reboot as a crass cash-grab. Secondly, the crew from Care-a-Lot is all about promoting kindness, empathy, and general geniality; spewing bile at a new variation on that theme just seems wrong.
Sure, the stickler in me is annoyed that tummy symbols have been re-dubbed “belly badges.” And like EW’s Sandra Gonzalez, I worry that a computer-animated Share Bear won’t look nearly as adorable as the original. But then again… look at that cast picture. The chubby cheeks, the tiny head-tufts, the itsy-bitsy red heart on Harmony Bear’s keester — just seeing it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and totally saps away my considerable powers of snark. I don’t know if the reboot will contain catchy tunes or awesome villains or legitimately terrifying sequences — remember that evil magic book? — but I’d be happy to find out by watching an episode.
What about you, PopWatchers? Do you share my cautious optimism — or does word of a reboot make you channel Grumpy Bear?