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September 18, 2014

The old Care Bears, so majestic and perfect, have been replaced. And no one should be happy about it.

Dear Creators of the New Care Bears,

Yes, I know I could look up your names on the Internet but you’re pretty much dead to me, so I’m not going to. You’ve failed me, me and perhaps everyone else who grew up with the Care Bears serving as our moral compass.

You see, I was once among the Care Bears’ biggest fans. I watched their shows, I owned their movies, I had the stuffed animal collection, I dreamed of one day going on a date with Good Luck Bear who, in my opinion, was always the most gentlemanly of all of them. I even wrote a letter to American Greetings with ideas for new and exciting bears. Yes, I was that obsessed…I mean normal.

I was such a fan, in fact, that I was thrilled to realize the band had gotten back together: episodes featuring the new Care Bears were scheduled to air on the Hub network under the title Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot. I sat my two-year-old daughter down and said, “If you want me to love you, you will love them.” Not in those words except exactly in those words.

But my excitement quickly turned to annoyance when I saw the new product. These were not my Care Bears. This show did not contain the enchantment of the original. Good Luck Bear was not the same bear whose name I promise I’ve never yelled out while in bed with my husband. These Care Bears were completely different.

Dear Care Bears, I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed.

I watched a few different episodes when - to my horror - it occurred to me that I no longer cared a lot; Instead, I didn’t care at all. And this is why….

Let’s start with Tenderheart Bear. Ugh, could he be any more pretentious? We get it Tenderheart, you’re a bear who can talk. You’re soooo much cooler than the ones at the zoo. But, seriously, did you really have to trade in your Cloud-Mobile for such a high horse? If I ever took my plush Tenderheart out for a night on the town, I know exactly how it would go. He’d talk incessantly about his stock portfolio while ordering a bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in an annoying French accent. After asking me where I summer, I’d be forced to kill him by taking out his stuffing.

The second thing that has turned Care-a-Lot into a place of apathy is the fact that almost everything that made the original Care Bears so awesome is now a distant memory. The Forest of Feelings,the Caring Meter, the Care-a-Lot Castle, the Cloud Keeper, the giant rainbow slides, the star friends….where has their prominence gone? Even the tummy symbols are now called “Belly Badges.” What, was “Abdominal Decor"already taken?

Which brings me to the family dynamics: where are all the relatives? Sure, Grams is probably long dead since she was always like a thousand but what about all the Care Bear cousins? Braveheart Lion, Swiftheart Rabbit, Brightheart Raccoon? Is it not important to keep in touch with loved ones? Way to spit in the face of family - it’s really no wonder the divorce rate is so high.

And don’t even get me started on Wonderheart, the new, young bear who serves no purpose. You must know she’s putting on an act, playing all sweet and innocent just because the cameras are on. She’s not fooling me for a second. Might I suggest a "very special episode” where she is accidentally turned into a Care Bearskin rug. Perhaps during Sweeps?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the lack of villains; how sad that my daughter won’t grow up in a world where she is forced to check under her bed for Professor Coldheart each night before she goes to sleep. Wizard No Heart, Frostbite, and Auntie Freeze are all gone too. The only villain who regularly appears in the new series is Beastly…and even then he’s nowhere near evil enough to unite the Care Bears in a stand for all that is good and pure in this world. And, he looks like a Furby.

Once upon a time, the Care Bears were full of wonder, magic, and life lessons always cued by music. Now they are surly (Grumpy Bear) and narcissistic (Harmony Bear) and bobble-headed and tragically mediocre.

RIP Care Bear Stare. All I can do is Care Bear Glare.

But, like I said, I’m not mad; I’m just disappointed.