And As Predicted, We Were Disappointed.
This morning marked the premiere of CBS’s Kewlopolis block. It seems to be targeted more to girls than it is to boys as we saw more commercials for toys that girls were more likely to play with (Bratz dolls, and My Little Pony) than toys that boys were more likely to play with (we saw one commercial for Transformers). The TV shows are also representative of those sentiments... How many boys do you know are interested in watching any of the following: Strawberry Shortcake, Trollz, Sabrina, Cake, or Horseland? Back in our day, we remember that programming was for the most part targeted towards both genders. One of our members watched some of the block with two teenaged boys who also agreed that if they were still kids, they probably wouldn’t watch this either and change the channel. We have read some industry estimates that this block is supposed to reach 14.8 million boys and girls through it’s year-long run, and we doubt that those numbers are actually going to be reached (at least with the boys). This is the biggest and most glaring mistake of this new cartoon block in our opinion.
And now for the news you’ve all been waiting for... what are the new Care Bears like? As you can probably tell by our subtitle, we weren’t impressed. The cast from the Oopsy Does It movie are reprising their roles in this 2-d animated cartoon. As we had mentioned before, Tracey Moore (Sailor Moon #1) plays Share Bear (and probably does some random voices of other bears as well). We also can confirm that Scott McNeil, famous for such roles as Duo on Mobile Suit Gundam, Koga from InuYasha, and Piccolo from DBZ, is playing Grumpy Bear in this show. What really surprised us more was watching as the other, additional voice cast scrolled by. We saw one very familiar anime VA - Richard Ian Cox (InuYasha). We’re not sure who he plays at this point (we think it’s one of the other bears) but nonetheless we were very surprised to see his name in the credits. This show was recorded in Vancouver too, which doesn’t surprise us that most of the cast is Canadian.
We had to sit through two fifteen minute episodes, A Little Help and The Tell Tale Tummy. The first one began with Grumpy Bear working in his garage, and he had conjured a power generator. The villain, Grizzle, lives in a somewhat scary dwelling, but he sure didn’t act like a villain in these episodes. More like someone who wants to sneak around to get his way rather than wreak havoc - which for those of us who grew up watching the original series looked forward to the crazy things Beastly and No Heart would throw at the Care Bears. More shocking was the fact that Grizzle lived in some kind of metallic cyber-suit - I mean come on, if kids are supposed to think that this character is to be feared by all, shouldn’t he not act like a kitten in his "costume"? Grizzle needed this power generator to keep his palace from floating away, so instead of asking for it, he decided to steal it. The bears needed it for a Rainbow Day Festival. A side plot in this show (intending to teach kids a lesson) is that they should never refuse help when they need it, as Grumpy was quite busy and refused Share Bear’s help in gathering bumbleberries. If anyone wants to hear some creative “cursing” by Grumpy , they should watch this show. His curses are too sweet even for Ned Flanders to use! When they caught Grizzle stealing the power generator, instead of taking it away from him and scolding the villain (which usually happens in a cartoon?) Grumpy just said that if Grizzle would have asked, he would have given it to him. How are kids supposed to fear this villain now? Tell Tale Tummy was a story that told kids to listen to their conscience and not lie if they break something. And Amigo Bear to us just seemed to be a token character who said the occasional word in Spanish to make a bad joke. We spotted Wish Bear in a quick glimpse but sadly Stephanie Beard is not voicing the character.
The old series had a multitude of bears (and other animals) with different personalities- that all seemed older than being children and served as figures kids could look up to and learn from. The bears are all young in this series and there are only four main characters, barely enough characters for new viewers to identify and pick their favorite. In fact none of these voices to us really seemed like they had character - the old cartoon which featured several of the VAs from Sailor Moon was better matched for the voices. The show has the E/I symbol which stands for Educational/Informative - but the script really made it seem like these lessons are pretty much written in forcibly or just for the sake of it. It just doesn’t jive at all. If you don't believe us, why not watch clips of the new productions that are posted here.
These first episodes were terrible and we really expected something a lot better - considering that American Greetings and other sites affiliated with the Care Bears were pushing the 25th Year Celebrations just months ago. And if you go to the Official Care Bears site, you will see that all traces of the old Care Bears have disappeared - no more listings of all the bears, and no more mention of any of the movies, from the old ones of the 1980's to the new computer animated ones released in the last few years. This may be because of the rights for the property going to DiC. We did manage to find buried in the internet this page with a few old clips. Our final word? We hated it. But why take our word for it? One blogger out there agrees with us , and we anticipate seeing more entries in the weeks to come. Sorry for all you Tracey Moore fans, while her acting is the best she can do with this , the show really isn’t worth watching. We are more likely to direct kids to watching the old reruns on Treehouse if they want to learn something and have a little fun too.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
And As Predicted, We Were Disappointed.