Monday, November 5, 2007

Adventures in Care-a-lot, Episode 8

I can't tell you how happy this episode made me. What made this episode so special? Three words: Care Bear Library. Both parts featured the library, and since I'm currently working on a Master's in Information and Library Science, I find it a nice touch.
Ever since I first spotted the above image back in the first episode, I came to the conclusion that it had to be a library, and that Smart Heart is the official librarian (since she hasn't shown up in any episodes, I'm free to imagine her looking stereotypically librarianish, too, with her hair in a bun and glasses on a chain. If I could draw, I would create a bunch of pics of her, but that's neither here nor there at the moment).
Anyway, getting down to the episodes:

Part one - Rainshine Meadows
As usual, it's a great day in Care-a-lot. Funshine shows off his new Belly Ball move to Cheer, Grumpy and Oopsy, but it doesn't go quite as planned, and Funshine ends up in the fountain, splashing Grumpy, who is not amused (and later shakes the water off on Cheer and Oopsy). Funshine is committed to practicing, and not even a little water can stop him! He practices in the park where Cheer and Harmony are about to have PB&J sandwiches for lunch, and his ball whacks into them, effectively dumping the sandwiches on their heads. And Harmony just seethes (I love it!). Funshine passive-aggressively sighs that he'll go somewhere else to practice, and ends up at the Care-a-lot Library. Love-a-lot is working the desk, and she's wise to Funshine's "practicing." Luckily for her, he's actually there to research places where he can practice without bothering anybody. Love-a-lot loves that idea (as does everyone else, I'm sure), and finds info on a place called Rainshine Meadows, apparently the merriest place in Care-a-lot, where starfish live, and Upsy Daisys and wild bumbleberries grow. Funshine is instantly sold, but Love-a-lot has to remind him that they're in a library (which means be quiet).
Funshine makes his way to Rainshine Meadows and is shocked to find that it isn't very merry at all. Instead, it's dirty, smelly, and the river is full of sludge! I smell a story about pollution coming up. Has Grizzle been dumping his wastes in this meadow? Regardless of how it happened, Funshine ignores it and tries to practice, but just keeps getting a face full of yuck. Disheartened by the wilting flowers and slimy starfish, Funshine decides to take action!
Meanwhile, back in Care-a-lot, everyone is doing clean up in town square (Cheer has a little automatic rainbow scrubber, and Grumpy uses rain to wash trash off of the yard into the street for Oopsy and Wingnut to sweep and vacuum up respectively) when Funshine shows up, announcing that he has a project. Grumpy reminds him of the results of his last "project" (which had something to do with cows), but Funshine swears this is different. Wingnut instantly volunteers, but Grumpy gives us exposition: the meadow used to be beautiful, but after Hurricane Katrina a bad storm, it got all messed up. So it wasn't pollution after all, which means no Grizzle (boo!). Even Cheer thinks it's too big a job for them, so Funshine and Wingnut go to take care of it on their own.
Wearing protective goggles and gloves (an entire suit in Wingnut's case), they start by cleaning off starfish. But there's just so many! Later, Funshine transplants the Upsy Daisies while Wingnut cleans up debris in the stream. They pile up mud, but it avalanches down on them again. By the end of the day, they're both pretty dirty, but Funshine is sure that things will be easier tomorrow.
But the next day, Funshine goes back and it doesn't look like anything's changed. Discouraged by this, he just gives up, despite one of the clean starfish trying to get his attention. He's so depressed that he doesn't even want to join the others playing Belly Ball, which is pretty serious. Wingnut explains the situation, and Grumpy feels justified. But Cheer points out that Funshine usually doesn't give up on anything, and Share goes all psychoanalytical. Even Grumpy doesn't want to see Funshine unhappy (more like, doesn't want to be subjected to an unhappy Funshine), so they go to take a look at Rainshine Meadows for themselves. At first things look hopeless, but then everyone finds parts where Funshine worked the day before, and it inspires them to do a cleaning montage, dressed in protective glasses and gloves (and Grumpy looks extra cute in his ^_~). Wingnut leads Funshine to the meadow again, and everyone tells him how he did make a difference. And they all celebrate by playing Belly Ball, and Funshine falls in the stream. The end.

Is the fact that the info Love-a-lot pulled up on Rainshine Meadows was woefully outdated a comment on the state of our libraries? Perhaps so.

Part Two - Oopsy the Hero
The episode starts with Oopsy observing Funshine teaching Love-a-lot to ride a bike, Share bringing flowers to an ill Best Friend Bear, and Tenderheart making the winning goal in a game of soccer. He complains to Wingnut that he's feeling low because all his friends are special, and he isn't. Wingnut points out that he's still loved by his friends, but Oopsy counters with the fact that he doesn't get any attention, except when he has accidents (like tripping over an ant). In short, he feels insignificant.
Meanwhile, Harmony and Cheer are reading at the library (all hunched over their books, that can't be good for their backs), enjoying the peace and quiet, until Grumpy starts working on fixing the roof. So they decide to go read by the water fountain. All Grumpy's banging, however, starts to dislodge the giant heart on the roof...
The only way to stop feeling low, Oopsy decides, is if everyone sudden started paying attention to him, so he walks around with his eyes shut, imagining an Oopsy parade. If this were Maisson Ikaku, this is the part where he'd walk face first into a pole, but since this is Oopsy we're talking about, he trips over it instead and starts a chain reaction that ends with him careening wildly on a wagon. At the same time, Grumpy notices too late that the heart is about to fall, just as Cheer and Harmony exit the library. In just the nick of time, Oopsy crashes into Cheer and Harmony, pushing them out of harm's way. Grumpy, seeing the neatly split-in-two heart, makes a heartbreaker pun.
Harmony commends Oopsy as a hero, and she and Share run off to tell everyone what happened before Oopsy has a chance to tell them it was just an accident. Soon, everyone is paying attention to Oopsy and calling him a hero, just like he wanted. Oopsy having a good time, but Wingnut, being a robot, calls Oopsy on the fact that it was just an accident, and not real heroism. Oopsy doesn't see the harm, but Wingnut is adamant. So Oopsy gears up to tell everyone what really happened, but finds everyone throwing a party for him. Even baby Care Bears show up (who the heck are they?!) to ask for his autograph, and everyone serenades him with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow Hero, Our Oopsy." And then True Heart gets a speaking role!
Apparently, she runs the Care Bears Hero Website and plans to write up Oopsy's exploits, and even post his picture on the site. She goes all Rita Skeeter on him, turning his simple comments into purple prose. All these things only make it harder for Oopsy to want to tell the truth, despite Wingnut spurring him on the whole time. Finally, everyone leads him to the library, where Grumpy (reluctantly) unveils a new statue of Oopsy to replace the heart that fell off the roof, and Cheer announces that the name is being changed from the Smart Heart Library to the Oopsy Library. But Oopsy accidently trips and knocks the statue over. Grumpy manages to swallow his anger because Oopsy's a hero, and finally Oopsy admits that he isn't really a hero. True Heart, of course, asks why he didn't tell the truth, so Oopsy tells her that he was enjoying the attention because it made him feel special. Cheer insists that he's always been special, but Oopsy doesn't buy it. So everyone points out all the generic things that make him a good guy, except for Grumpy, who points out specifically that he broke the statue. And True Heart promises to write a story about him and post it on the website anyway, since he had the guts to tell the truth. And everyone serenades him again, and everything ends happily.

I still feel that Smart Heart is the head librarian, since the library is named for her. Hopefully she'll actually show up sometime to prove my hypothesis, but until then, I'll always have this episode.


Anonymous said...

Just thought you'd like to know... The baby Care Bears are called Hugs (the pink one) and Tugs (the blue one). They've been around with the Care Bears almost from the start, making their first appearance in the Bears' second animated outing, The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine. They also had small but important roles in the first Care Bear movie and made sporadic appearances in the Nelvada TV series -- seldom as major characters, but still.

They were usually referred to as "the cubs" by the older Bears.

I like your reviews, by the way!

The Zany Bishojo Evalana said...

I'm well aware who Hugs and Tugs are, but nothing says that they are the same as the cubs who appeared in this episode. If we had a better look at their belly badges, then it might be more apparent, but for the moment, we really don't know.