You know you want to be a Care Bear (unless you’re a 13-year-old boy, maybe).

All my favs! Photo by Aimee Ray via Flickr.
All my favs! Photo by Aimee Ray via Flickr.

Talk about holding a grudge. I mentioned to my brother that our mum had bought Freya a Care Bears DVD (the original series) for Easter and he instantly transformed into a sullen teenager:

“I still can’t believe I had to go and see that stupid movie with you,” he grouched.

Dude. It was 31 years ago. LET IT GO!

I was almost nine when the original film came out, which would make him 13 *snigger*, and it is the first time I actually remember going to the cinema, which was a huge treat. I’m not sure why he was the one to take me rather than my mum or dad but clearly we bonded.

The Care Bears still hold a special place in my heart (and not just because I was a horrid little sister and delighted in terrorising my brother). I got a bit nostalgic when Freya started to enjoy the new series on Tiny Pop.

So sweet and lovely, I thought.

It was a few weeks after Easter before we got chance to watch the DVD. She was feeling a bit under the weather so I decided to make her a Shepherd’s Pie for her dinner and left her snuggled on the sofa with the DVD on while I cooked.

She suddenly let out a scream that could have shattered glass.

Imagining all sorts – she’d fallen off the chair, been sick, or worse, there was a wasp flying about – I rushed in… to find her on the edge of the sofa pointing, eyes wide, at the television.

Ah, Professor Coldheart.

One of the great (blue) Machiavellian villains.

I had completely forgotten about him. He’s not in the new series at all. In fact, in Welcome to Care-A-Lot even the “baddy”, King Beastly, who is described as a “frenemy”, is really quite cute and cuddly.

As I couldn’t make her un-see him, I sat down and gave her a reassuring cuddle while we carried on watching. I had to agree, it was actually pretty scary – even the Care Bear Stare is a bit sinister without the beautification of CGI.

FullSizeRenderAs we normally stick to more appropriate children’s tv, it’s the first time she has seen anything remotely upsetting (aside from Postman Pat’s shocking disregard for the parcels he is charged with delivering, obviously) and I was desperately hoping it wouldn’t give her nightmares – we have enough trouble with sleep as it is.

All was fine though and now when the new Care Bears come on at breakfast time she will say: “No, not those ones.” And demands the DVD.

Not quite sure what that says about her.

Anyway, it got me thinking about tele from the olden days. I know she is still very young and we have a lot of children’s television in front of us but, is it me or were kids programmes just more frightening back then (in the 1980s)?

I remember watching several that genuinely had me hiding behind the sofa and no one seemed to think anything of it – certainly no one turned it off.

For example, while I loved Worzel Gummidge, even though he regularly took off his own head and I think once murdered a fellow scarecrow (if that is possible), the minute the Crowman came on I was gone. Doctor Who, which I was allowed to see because my brother loved it, was often viewed through my fingers and Chocky, which everyone at school was watching, actually gave me nightmares.

I’m intrigued to find out what awaits us on CBBC or Pop. Hopefully I won’t find myself behind the sofa again – especially as I am now the one responsible for cleaning behind it and it’s not pretty.

Do you remember any frightening programmes from your childhood?

PS If this is making you yearn for kids programmes from the 1980s/90s please check out Haylee’s excellent nostalgic post featuring many more.

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12 thoughts on “You know you want to be a Care Bear (unless you’re a 13-year-old boy, maybe).

  1. Thanks for the shout out lovely! I’d forgotten about Prof. Coldheart too until I played the clip. Never seen Chocky though – might have to see if the scare factor holds up now!
    I definitely think it’s all gone a bit soft these days. And a lot of the time this saccharine sweetness has diluted the storylines too. Bring back Grimms’ Fairytales, compulsory reading at all primary schools, that’s what I say!

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    1. The new Care Bears is so different, I can’t believe I didn’t remember what the old one was like considering I loved it so (although it was a long time ago). Part of me thinks it’s good that it’s all a bit nicer now but then another part thinks it didn’t do me any harm to have a bit of healthy fear at that age.

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      1. I think I’d be quite worried about it if I had my own children – don’t want them scarred for life. But I agree, never did me any harm!

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  2. It is not just you! I popped in a couple of older cartoons last year–Care Bears, My Little Pony–and was shocked by how grim they seem compared to my kids’ usual fare!

    (I have a half dozen MLP–two old, four new–on my work desk, but seeing your picture here still made me beam like I had’t just seen some minutes ago!)

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  3. Apart from the odd show, I think that kids and other tv was pretty tame back in the day when compared with grisly fairy tales. So now there is petulant teens on tv, more realistic violence and bare bodies along with some shocking ads on during times when children may watch tv. Perhaps Care Bears is worse than I thought. But some of those Disney films ahead of you and Freya are scarey too. Apparently it is purportedly a way for children to deal with frightening things in a safe way….but I am not so sure.

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  4. This made me laugh. I was never into the Care Bears. Having done the maths, I think I’m probably two years older than you and was just about too old when they launched. But it still amazes me that the only thing my 40yo brother remembers of his childhood are the negatives, so he would totally have remembered being forced to watch a Care Bears film!
    It’s amazing as an adult what you notice as being scary when you’re seeing things through a small child’s eyes. A remarkable number of current U films can be quite scary. I don’t remember much of TV in our day, but I know that my now 14yo couldn’t watch Numberjacks on CBeebies as it terrified him.

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    1. Aww Numberjacks, how sweet. Freya used to be frightened of the shapes on Mr Maker. My brother was generally good about taking me places but I think Care Bears was just one step too far. Hehe.

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  5. Hi Tara, I never watched the Care Bears, I think I was a little old when it started. It sounds as if your brother is still baring the scars though.

    I loved Worzel Gummidge, but is was unsettling when he changed his head and Aunt Sally was a bit creepy too. Dr. Who used to have me clutching pillows too, those Daleks were nasty creatures!

    xx

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    1. Yes! Aunt Sally was a bit creepy now you mention it. And looking at their relationship, as an adult, it’s a bit of a worry! Hehe. Thanks for commenting.

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