Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AiCaL CPT - To The Rescue Movie

Thought I forgot about this, didn't you?  Well, not having my laptop set me back, and watching through Netflix wasn't exactly the most motivating experience in the world (it was the rewinding that really ticked me), but here it is, the first of the Care Power Team movies available in the states.

The scene opens at night, as various Care Bears arrive at a theater lit up by spotlights while a modified version of the AiCaL theme song plays ("We'll show you how it's done, ready set, Care Power on!").  Cut to backstage, where Grumpy and Oopsy make up the only stagehands.  Fortunately for them, Grumpy's created a remote control that will let him handle everything from the lights to the music to the curtain, though in demonstrating this, he accidentally starts the show a little early.  Hearing her cue, Share takes centerstage as the host of The Rescue Awards, where the best rescues of the year are honored.  And like so many hosts of award shows before her, she sees fit to open the show with a musical number, mostly about how she's the host.
To reward Oopsy for not messing up the opening number, Grumpy lets him use the remote for the next costume change, though this somehow teleports a wig that looks an awful lot like PJ's hair from Strawberry Shortcake - The Sweet Dreams Movie onto Grumpy's head.  Meanwhile, Share has continued on, and is announcing the nominees for Most Daring Rescue (Good Luck, Funshine, and Wish).  The winner, of course, is Funshine, which makes me wonder what kind of rescues Wish and Good Luck pulled off.  I really wish that each rescue had gotten a caption or something, so we'd at least have some fun Noodle Incidents to wonder about.  But ah well.  Since Grumpy's still fuming about the whole wig incident, he misses the cue to show a video of Funshine's daring rescue until Share prompts him.  And so the video begins.

Funshine's Rescue
The scene: An ordinary day in Care-a-Lot.  While innocently strolling along, Funshine spies Oopsy high in a tree and, despite Oopsy's protests, uses his badge to whisk him back down to the ground.  Whereupon it turns out he was only playing Hide and Seek with Bedtime.  Funshine is chastised, and Oopsy and Bedtime go back to their game.  Continuing on his stroll, Funshine comes across Share and Cheer, apparently fighting over a bit of rainbow.  To solve their problem, Funshine makes a sun that neatly slices the rainbow in half, which neither bear appreciates.  Turns out they were actually playing tug of war.  "But it looked like you needed help," Funshine tells Cheer, to which Share replies, "She did!  I was winning."  Chastised again, Funshine leaves the girls and continues on his way.  Elsewhere, Grumpy puts the finishing touches on his latest invention, a clean-o-matic, and sets it to work.  At first, all seems well, until the machine sets its sights on Grumpy... Hearing the spluttering, Funshine announces his intention to save Grumpy, but Grumpy, easily able to escape the machine, just sends him on his way, and not even all that grumpily.
All these false alarm rescues leave Funshine completely bummed out, which is observed by the Nimbits (ugh...).  Seeing that Funshine just wants to help someone, they provide him with an outlet by dramatically producing an unopenable jar of mayonnaise.  Funshine opens it easily, then asks the Nimbits what they're really up to.  They admit that they want to help him help someone, but Funshine doesn't see how.  So the blue one sends a bolt of lightning toward Grumpy's new machine, sparking it into action.  The machine runs loose and starts cleaning a sleeping Bedtime, so Funshine leaps into action.  Pleased that their plan seems to have worked, the Nimbits do some kind of weird secret handshake.
With a cry of "Take this, you cleaning machine of doom!" Funshine sends a ball straight for the machine, which breaks it completely into pieces.   Grumpy is not pleased to see the course of action Funshine has taken, especially when it comes to light that Bedtime was merely being tickled by the machine's feather duster.  While the others rag on Funshine for his latest blunder, the Nimbits butt in, protesting that they were just trying to help Funshine help someone, and continue quoting platitudes about helping until Funshine stops them.  The others call for a moratorium on Funshine "helping" people and driving them crazy, so Funshine agrees, specifically promising not to rescue anyone else that day.  But Grumpy gives him an exception to help him fix his machine.
Later, in the park, the other members of the Care Power Team are playing Hot and Cold, while the Nimbits sit above them.  Proving that they have learned nothing from the day's earlier events, they plot a "small rescue" to make Funshine happy, reasoning that as long as they don't touch Grumpy's machine, everything will be A-OK.  And so they create a small tornado that picks up Oopsy while he takes his turn as It.  They congratulate themselves on a job well done, but their congratulations is premature, as the tornado starts to pick up speed, creating such a gust that the Nimbits get sucked into it themselves.  The sudden wind does not go unnoticed by Grumpy and Funshine, but only Funshine hears the Nimbit's calls for help:
Funshine: Did you hear that?  Somebody's in trouble!
Grumpy: (dryly) For real this time?
But not only is the tornado much stronger, it's also much larger, so there's no denying that this is a real emergency situation.  Funshine and Grumpy head to the park, where they run into Share and Cheer.  Funshine calls for them all to follow him to the Care Power Station, but Bedtime, asleep on a nearby bench, is picked up by the tornado, unseen by the others.  At the station, Funshine assesses the situation, and decides their best bet is to use the cloud cars to go inside the tornado.  However, it turns out that there's a tornado inside the tornado, and that's where the Nimbits are.  The wind is too strong for the bears to get close enough to the Nimbits, so Funshine flies above the tornado and gets into the second tornado from the top.  The smaller tornado quickly sucks him in and sets his car to spinning, but luckily he has some kind of stabilizer button.  The stabilizer works long enough for him to get the Nimbits, but then it's back to spinning for all three of them.  In fact, they actually manage to spin out of the tornado, which is kind of "out of the frying pan, into the fire" for them, since they're now plummeting toward the ground at a rapid rate.  But Cheer quickly takes action, flies out of the tornado and creates a rainbow slide for Funshine and the Nimbits.  Grumpy helps out by making a cloud to catch them at the end.
Safely on the ground, the Nimbits ask Funshine how they can repay him, and he merely asks them to stop and think before they do something.  The Nimbits claim to have learned their lesson, but we all know that this is highly unlikely.  Funshine also asks them to help him get rid of the wind they created, and they head for the station.  Bedtime, meanwhile, was not actually sucked into the tornado, but was deposited on an archway, and is lifted again to land who knows where.  And so Funshine uses the Nimbit's life force to supercharge his belly badge and put an end to the tornado, gently dropping Bedtime in the process and setting Oopsy free (not that anyone seemed all that worried about him, anyway).  Funshine celebrates with the Nimbits by doing that stupid handshake thing with them.
But the story's not quite over yet.  After all, that tornado created quite a bit of damage in Care Square (somehow) which now has to be cleaned up.  Too bad Grumpy's automatic cleaner was broken earlier... but wait!  Sometime between the scenes, Funshine and Grumpy finished fixing it.  Grumpy starts it up and it goes to work...cleaning him again.  As if this weren't a hilarious enough note to end on, the clip finishes with Oopsy still playing Hot and Cold, unaware that everyone else has moved on.

Back at the awards ceremony, Funshine goes to accept his award and gets air-kissed by Share.  He thanks the Nimbits in his speech and then heads backstage.  Oopsy congratulates him, and Funshine says he hopes that he wins an award, too, but Oopsy is desolate because he's never been nominated, what with not having a belly badge and all that.  Funshine consoles him with talk of "there's always next year," which is enough for him.  As Grumpy gears up for another set change, Oopsy offers to take care of it, not with the remote, but by old-fashioned hard work.  Predictably, this ends with a piece of set almost falling on Grumpy.  Meanwhile, Share announces the nominees for Most Caring Rescue (Trueheart, Cheer, and Best Friend).  Give you one guess who won this one.  Once again, Grumpy misses his cue (still recovering from almost being hit by set) and the clip of Cheer's rescue starts up late:

Cheer's Rescue
The scene: Cheer's house.  While practicing weaving strips of rainbows into rescue blankets, Cheer hears a strange noise in her garden and spots a little pink bug (who sounds an awful lot like Wasabi) hanging precariously from a leaf.  Finding that the mini-blanket she just wove is the right size for a bug, she flings it toward the tree, just in time to catch the falling bug.  With the bug safe, she tells him to be more careful in the future, and sends him on his way.  But he keeps following her around, and when she learns that he's lost, she vows to take care of him.
Later, she shows off her new pet, dubbed Nibbley, to Funshine and Share.  While those two coo over the bug's cuteness, Grumpy arrives on the scene to question Cheer about Nibbley's origins.  His suspicions are not allayed by Nibbley's cute actions, and especially not by a surprise kiss.  Cheer just laughs at him and promises to care for Nibbley forever, leading to a montage of bear and bug having fun.  Once the montage is done, Cheer attempts to make Nibbley use a fork, but he just takes a big bite out of the table instead, much to her surprise.  Seems Nibbley has a bigger appetite than his small size would indicate, as he chows down on all the canned goods in Cheer's pantry, cans and all.
After a week, Nibbley is no longer a cute little pink bug, but a larger, slightly orange bug, though his appetite is as big as ever.  He munches on the stick Cheer threw for him, and claims her watering can when she promises him "a treat."  Share shows up for an impromptu visit, and seeing Nibbley lay waste to a plank of wood, she asks Cheer how long she thinks she can keep him.  Cheer is affronted that Share would suggest getting rid of a pet just because it isn't cute any more, but Share is quick to clarify: she's concerned for Cheer's livelyhood with such a hungry pet.  In an attempt to distract the bug, Share and Cheer take him for a walk, but this fails as Nibbley finds plenty to eat, including Bedtime's pillow, Funshine's apple, and Grumpy's stool (and his just-finished topiary).  The offended bears beseech Cheer to do something about her pet, but she doesn't even know what he is.  So it's time for a visit to the Smart Heart Library!
Flipping through some sort of bug compendium, Cheer spots Nibbley's baby form and takes out the book to show the others.  Turns out that he's a gobblebug, and everyone remembers what happened the last time gobblebugs showed up in Care-a-Lot.  Grumpy calls for Nibbley's deportation, but Cheer refuses to break her promise to take care of him.  She insists that Nibbley can't help it, but even Share is against a gobblebug living in their midst, especially when Oopsy accidentally sets Nibbley's mind to Share's garden.  The bug is off like a shot with the bears close behind.  Cheer refuses to let anyone stop him by force, but her commands aren't doing any good, either.  Nibbley takes the lead and thoroughly decimates Share's garden before anyone can stop him.
Surveying the ruined foliage, Cheer makes Nibbley apologize, and then apologizes herself for not learning about Nibbley sooner.  Things are looking grim, with the future apparently featuring a lot of Nibbley-caused destruction, until Share sparks the idea of making Nibbley a garden of his own, someplace far from Care-a-Lot where he can eat to his heart's content.  Cheer turns to the book again and reads that gobblebugs come from a cloud called Not-A-Lot where this is little to no food, hence their gobbling of whatever food they come across in other places.  With this in mind, the bears head to the Care Power Station to find the perfect place for Nibbley's garden.  Since Share knows the most about gardens, she picks out a cloud, and Cheer calls for everyone to get going.  They all pile into the elevator....and wait, since Grumpy hasn't joined them.  Grumpy protests that they don't need him for this, but Funshine yoinks him along anyway.
Once they reach the cloud, Share pulls out a handful of seeds to plant, which Grumpy points out is nowhere near enough for this hungry bug.  But Share uses her badge to multiply the seeds a hundredfold and plant them in the ground, whereupon she passes the baton to Grumpy, who brings forth a raincloud.  Then it's Funshine's turn to bring on the sun, and soon the plants are growing.  With the garden a success, all the bears cry "Hooray!" except for Grumpy, who asks, as only he can, "Do I have to say 'hooray?'"  And so, Cheer and Nibbley share a goodbye, and Cheer suddenly wonders about the other gobblebugs.  Well, wonder no more, Cheer, 'cause here they all come.  Nibbley goes to join his own kind, and even Grumpy is touched, though he blames it on allergies.

Cheer accepts her award and thanks her fellow nominees, along with Nibbley, now a full-grown gobblebug (and true to fashion, munching on his chair).  She then goes on to thank everyone she can think of, until Tenderheart leads her backstage.  Oopsy congratulates Cheer, and she offers to let him hold the statuette while she goes back to her seat.  Oopsy pretends to give an acceptance speech, but since the award is heavier than it looks, it throws him off balance and he tumbles into Grumpy, knocking them both down.  Grumpy comments that at least the remote was unharmed, only for the award to slip from Oopsy's hand, hitting a button on the remote that opens a trap door that Grumpy landed on.  He plummets to the area beneath the stage, with a mattress to break his fall but no way of getting back up once the trap door swings shut again.  Up above, Oopsy clamps a hand over his mouth, but Grumpy tells him to "go ahead and say it."
Unaware of the difficulties backstage, Share announces the nominees for Best Team Rescue (Champ and Amigo, Harmony and Love-a-Lot, and Grumpy and Bedtime).  Hearing that he and Bedtime won, Grumpy searches for an exit, but stops for a moment to get the rescue clip going (since he still has the remote).

Bedtime and Grumpy's Rescue
The scene: Care Square.  It's Pillow Appreciation Day, with pillow-shaped balloons and popsicles, among other things.  Oopsy's manning the Free Pillow booth, handing out a full-sized pillow to anyone who wants one.  And most bears do, much to Grumpy's consternation.  Rather than just wait in line, he pulls out his latest invention, a robot to hand out the pillows automatically.  Seeing this contraption, Oopsy is speechless, which Grumpy takes as gratitude, but in actuality, Oopsy would rather just hand out the pillows himself.  Once the line is taken care of, Oopsy sneaks behind and adjusts a screw on the robot's back, thinking that will slow it down and let him hand out some pillows.  Instead, it starts flinging pillows at everyone, hitting with extreme accuracy.  Sadly, this does not lead to a Care-a-Lot-wide pillow fight, but pillow pandemonium!
Grumpy quickly becomes aware that something is up with his robot, and goes in to find out what.  Oopsy confesses to trying to slow it down, to Grumpy's confusion.  And so Oopsy tells him that he didn't really want any help with his job, and Grumpy apologizes.  But enough of that, the robot is still going haywire.  Seeing Bedtime get hit (and then appropriate the pillow for better napping) gives Grumpy an idea, so he grabs Bedtime to help him with his plan.
Using an umbrella as cover from the flying pillows, Grumpy and Bedtime move in as close as they can get, then Bedtime uses his badge to make an autoharp that plays a lilting version of the CPT's theme, "Care Power On."  This sends the robot to sleep, as not even machines can resist the combo of a lullaby and comfy pillows.  Bedtime and Grumpy congratulate each other on a job well done, as Oopsy also succumbs to the lullaby.

With the clip over, Bedtime goes up to accept, but Share refuses to hand over the award without both him and Grumpy there, but no one knows where he is, and the crowd is getting antsy, so Share lets him give the acceptance speech at least.  Grumpy, meanwhile, is annoyed at missing getting his award due to still being stuck under the stage, and Oopsy laments not having his own belly badge to help.  But soon Grumpy finds a hatch that's unfortunately rusted shut.  Oopsy goes to try opening it from the other side, interrupting Bedtime's speech.  Without explaining anything, he asks to borrow Funshine's badge, so Funshine sends him a little sun, which Oopsy uses to slice open the hatch, setting Grumpy free!
The audience applauds Oopsy's rescue, and Grumpy goes up to get his half of the award and give his speech ("Thanks, I guess").  Oopsy congratulates the two of them for winning, and Grumpy assures him that he'll win an award someday.  But Share rushes on stage with a last minute Judge's Prize for Most Unlikely Rescue: Oopsy!  Unfortunately, since it's a last minute prize, there isn't an official statuette for him.  Oopsy is slightly disappointed, but still glad to have won.  But Bedtime has an idea, which he whispers to Grumpy, who in turn whispers it to Share, who frankly should have thought of it herself, c'mon.  She uses her duplication powers to make another statuette out of Grumpy and Bedtime's award, which she hands to Oopsy (guess he'll have to have it re-engraved later).  The rest of the Care Power Team (minus Funshine for some reason) joins Share on stage for a reprise of the award song, and Share closes the show by giving an extra hand to everyone who takes the time to show they care.  Grumpy lets Oopsy use the remote to finish the show, but predictably, he accidentally turns off all the lights instead.

And so that was Care Bears To The Rescue, a little taste of what the new series could have been.  IMO, the computer animated version never looks as cute as the 2D version, but it still has that Adventures in Care-a-Lot feel. No Grizzle this time around, but luckily for me, Grizzle does show up in the next movie, The Giving Festival.   And since that one will be released on DVD in November (thank you!), I'll wait until then to write that one up.

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