Saturday, October 15, 2011

Share Bear Shines at last!

Well, two years after it was slated to come out, Share Bear Shines, the first (but now last) of the Care Power Team movies, finally made it to the states.
This one starts up with Oopsy stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rapidly deteriorating cloud.  Fortunately for him, the CPT is on the job!  Once they spot him, Share calls for them to activate their care power, though that shouldn't be necessary, as they're not that far from him.  Just drive up and get him, seriously.  But of course it's not that simple, as the last of the cloud dissapates, sending Oopsy plummeting towards his doom.  And apparently the powered up bears are faster than their cloud cars, because the Team leaps out and follow Oopsy down, streaming sparkles all the way.  They even fall faster than Oopsy and manage to get beneath him.  Using their badges, they slow their descent, and then create a pool of light that catches Oopsy without much trouble.  With Oopsy safe, Grumpy demands to know what he was doing out in the middle of nowhere, but before Oopsy can explain, Bedtime falls asleep, breaking the pool of light and sending the other bear falling again.  Cheer quickly rigs up a rainbow slide to catch Oopsy, and Share rushes to the bottom to grab him.  He survives, but his berries do not.
With the rescue complete, the main titles show up, set to the modified AiCaL theme song.  Back in Care-A-Lot, Grumpy again demands to know what Oopsy was up to, and Oopsy explains that he went to pick berries in a cloud canyon, when a piece of the cloud floated off with him on it.  Which is why no one's supposed to go there alone, Funshine points out, even if the best berries grow there.  And they do, as Grumpy forgets himself for a minute to fanboy over them.  Oopsy is chastised by everyone, then sent to clean himself up before the night's festivities.  It seems that it's time for the twinklet migration, last seen in Adventures in Care-A-Lot episode 6.  The CPT plan on watching from the Care Tower, but there haven't been that many Twinklets these past few years.  Share is optimistic that this year there'll be more to make up for the deficit, and she fantasizes about the baby stars meeting Princess Starglo, the mother of all wishing stars.  When Grumpy scoffs at her for believing in a fairy tale, she responds by singing a song about believing in things and having hope. Despite the catchy song, even Funshine has his doubts, but Cheer humors her.
As night falls, bears all over Care-A-Lot get into position to watch the migration.  Up in Care Tower, Share shows off her holographic Princess Starglo storybook, telling of how the baby stars live in Glitter City until the princess grants their wish to be full-grown stars, then places them in the night sky.  By the time she's done, the first star of the evening appears, so Share wishes on it, to Grumpy's consternation.  The others force him to humor Share, who doesn't seem to have noticed him anyway.  But the time for the migration to start has arrived, so the bears keep their eyes on the sky.
As the night wears on, one by one the bears fall asleep, except for Share, who keeps watching, but no twinklets show up.  She wakes the other with a shout, then rushes off to do something about the situation.  Grumpy tells her not to panic, that maybe the migration is really tomorrow.  The others agree, and Bedtime sends everyone off to bed, much to Share's dismay.  But just as she's about to head home herself, a lone twinklet appears in the sky and makes a crash landing in Care Square.  Share and the rest of the CPT rush to its rescue, but it seems all right.  Grumpy claims this proves his hypothesis, that the migration is tomorrow, and this twinklet is just ahead of the group.  Share decides to take care of the twinklet in the meantime, naming it Gleamer.  But she still can't shake the feeling that something has gone wrong.
The others start to leave, but Share calls for all of them to go to Glitter City themselves and discuss what's going on with Princess Starglo.  Grumpy and Funshine tell her that no one's ever been to Glitter City, and that Princess Starglo is just a story.  But Grumpy promises to bring his telescope to Care Tower in the morning so they can look for the rest of the twinklets.  Share starts to protest, but Bedtime intervenes, sending her home to bed.  Though she tries to sleep, Share just can't forget her worries, and decides to go to Glitter City with Gleamer on her own!  Grabbing her book, she climbs into her cloud car, only to realize she has no clue where Glitter City actually is.  Neither does Gleamer, but this does not dissuade Share from her trip.  She resolves to simply find it, and takes off.
Share isn't completely without direction, though, as she knows the direction that the twinklets go when they migrate, plus, the poem from her book has a clue, too.  And as she has the poem memorized, she doesn't notice the book fell out of her car when she took off.  She looks to the right of the Big Dipper, as in the poem, but there's nothing there.  But since all stars, even twinklets, have a connection to Glitter City, she asks Gleamer to try sending out a signal, and sure enough, a tiny pinprick of light appears.  And so Share and Gleamer drive off into the night, heading for what must be Glitter City.
As they travel, they come to a green-gold cloud, and Gleamer warns Share not to go any further.  It's a cloud of stardust, apparently, so Share uses her badge to blow some of it out of the way.  This creates a hole in the cloud for them to go through, though why they didn't just fly over the cloud, I don't know.  Sure it was big, but not that big.  But that was just one cloud of many, and though the rest of the clouds are smaller, they're also stormclouds, so Share picks up the pace, narrowly avoiding lightning bolts.  That danger over, they suddenly see an island of sparkling spires right before them: Glitter City!
Back in Care-A-Lot, morning has arrived, but the sky is still dark.  As the CPT wonder what's going on, the stars in the sky start disappearing right before their eyes!
 Share lands her cloud car and approaches the main gate, which is open, and notices the city is devoid of any type of activity.  She wonders what's going on, and Gleamer has no clue, so they simply enter the city.  Share wonders where Princess Starglo is, and is bombarded with a bright light.  It seems that hearing her name summoned the princess herself.  Seeing that she was right along, Share is beside herself, and introduces herself and Gleamer.  But the princess is not glad to see her, proclaiming that she no longer makes stars, and sends both Share and Gleamer on their way.  She tells them to visit the gift shop, and disappears in a flash of stardust.  She reappears and disappears a few more times, spouting various non sequiters.  Share's surprised at how weird the princess really is, not at all what she expected.  Still, she follows after Starglo as she enters the tallest spire, asking for her help.
Starglo insists she's busy and sends them off yet again, flying to the very top of the spire.  Share unexpectedly finds an elevator and follows her up.  She and Gleamer find themselves in an observatory room, and watch as Princess Starglo mutters to herself and touches lights on an orb in the center in the room.  As she does, the corresponding stars in the sky go out.  Share can't understand why the princess would do that, so Starglo explains that the stars are still there, just not lit up, due to a lack of power.  It seems that believing in Princess Starglo and wishing on stars power the entire city and all the stars, but not very many folks do either these days.  Share points out that she believes and wishes, and while Princess Starglo is grateful, the belief of just one bear just isn't enough.  She heads off to turn off the rest of the city, ignoring Share's cries that without the city, the twinklets will have no place to go, which will lead, in turn, to no more stars.  Seems to me that there's plenty of stars already, but Share refuses to let that happen.
Down in Care-A-Lot, Bedtime despairs as the last of the stars go out, but no one is awake to help him do something about it.  So he heads into Dreamland, where everyone seems to be having gravity-defying dreams.  He comes across the rest of the CPT having a surreal game of Belly Badge Ball and uses his badge to wake them up.  Seeing all the stars gone, they start to band together to find out what happened, but realize that Share is missing.  They can't find her at her house, but Bedtime's slippers, which are sentient in the CPT universe, I guess, notice the book that fell, and bring it to Bedtime's attention.  This piece of evidence makes it obvious where Share's gone, but without daylight, all anyone wants to do is sleep.  So Funshine creates a mini-sun with his badge, bringing Care-A-Lot back to life.  Since the mini-sun is only temporary, the rest of the CPT get ready to roll out.  Bedtime suggests that he stay behind, just in case, and so Funshine, Grumpy, and Cheer get going.
In Glitter City, Share tries in vain to get Princess Starglo to stop powering down the city.  For some reason she thinks that she can turn everything back on with just a touch, ala Princess Starglo, but the real Starglo sets her straight: only she has that power.  As she laughs with glee, more of the city goes dark, and she prepares to leave.  Shares insists that she just can't do that, reminding her of her heritage as the first twinklet and mother of all the stars.  Starglo is not impressed, however, as she's heard all those stories, too.  For the first time, Share's belief starts to waver, but Starglo admits that all the stories are true.  This leads to a call-and-response song for the two of them, with Share trying to convince Starglo that she's still important, and the princess not quite buying it.
The song does lower the princess' defenses, and she reminisces about watching her stars take their place in the sky for the very first time.  But, she points out once again, without belief and wishes, there's nothing to be done.  Her point is made very clear when Gleamer suddenly grows weak and starts to fade.  Starglo gives him a jolt of power, but explains she can only help him for so long.  This right here is why she's putting out all the stars.  As she goes to her orb to make sure she didn't miss any, she sees the other members of the CPT heading their way.  Gleamer spots this and tries to alert Share, but as she doesn't speak star, she instead follows him to the orb.  Starglo tries to keep Share from spotting the image of her friends, but she spots it anyway.
With a wave of her hands, Starglo creates a cloud of stardust for the others to fly through.  Unlike Share, they immediately think to go around, rather than through it, but the cloud won't let them.  With another wave of her hands, Starglo has the cloud become a tornado, claiming that since Share got in too easily, she'll have to up the danger levels this time.  Share tells her to stop, but Starglo refuses, stating that Share set her back in her plans enough as it is.  But she promises not to actually hurt anyone, just spin them around until they go on their way.  Of course, she doesn't know the Care Bears very well, and they manage to hatch a plan to get out of there.  Funshine figures that stardust likes light, so he uses his badge to create a giant ball of light, which the stardust cloud takes off after immediately.
Not to be defeated so easily, Starglo ups the lightning in the stormclouds Share flew through earlier, which knocks Grumpy out of the cloud car.  Unlike last time, the other CPT members stay in the cloud car and fly down to catch him.  Seeing her lightning failed, Starglo makes sure the gates are closed this time, keeping them out, and her and Share in.  Share has finally come to realization that the real Starglo is nothing like the one in her storybook, but Starglo has no rebuttal for her.
The others finally make it to Glitter City and spot Share's car.  Finding the gates locked, Grumpy attempts to "coax them open" with a lightning bolt, which hits a few of the locks, but then makes a beeline for his bottom.  Starglo crows over her apparent victory, but Share goes to open the gates herself.  But of course Princess Starglo shuts off power to the elevator, trapping both Share and Gleamer while she goes to take care of other things.
Meanwhile, Funshine declares unlocking the gates unattainable, so Cheer suggests just going over them.  However, each time they try, then end up mysteriously back where they started.  So it's back to trying to unlock the gates.  This time, Cheer notes a pattern, and remembers Grumpy's lightning bolt changing it when he used it earlier.  Grumpy declines to try that method, though, since he still has singe marks on his behind.  But there's no other alternative, so try it they must.  Grumpy sends off his bolt and then gets well out of the way.  The locks begin to flash in a pattern, and so the reduced CPT turn on their Care Power and go in to investigate.  Cheer finds the answer, and fortunately they only have to turn three of the locks to get the gates to open.  The three bears enter the darkened city, remarking on how empty it is.
Share, meanwhile, attempts to get the elevator to work again by using the touchpad, despite Princess Starglo already demonstrating that only she has that kind of power.  She surmises it must be a "star thing," and asks Gleamer to give it a try.  And it works!  For a split second.  Oh, well.  Just then, Share spots her friends in Starglo's orb, and seeing they've gotten into the city ups her resolve to get out of the spire, one way or another.  And since Gleamer was almost able to make the elevator work, she assumes two Gleamers will do the trick, and uses her badge powers to double it.  The two Gleamers get it working for a full second this time, and Share, remembering what Princess Starglo has been saying this whole time about wishes and belief, repeatedly states her belief in the Gleamers, which gives them the power to get the elevator working for real.  The two Gleamers become one, and Share heads out with twinklet in tow.
Princess Starglo continues powering down the buildings in the city and hears the other bears calling for Share.  Funshine worries for Share, since she was so worked up about Princess Starglo, and now there's no one in Glitter City at all, but Grumpy is just adamant about the nonexistance of any Starglo.  Which of course is when Princess Starglo decides to show herself to them.  Grumpy freaks out, certain that she plans to eat them, and Cheer and Funshine's "Oh, you really are real," comments don't win them any points either.  Starglo rants at them about taking the stars for granted, and Grumpy starts to protest that he doesn't, but she shuts him up right quick and tells them all to leave.  (I'm kind of curious, how does Grumpy believe he doesn't take stars for granted?)  But they won't go without Share, so it's convenient that she shows up right then, isn't it?
The others apologize to Share for not believing in her belief, but Share tells them her belief wasn't entirely right, either, since she's learned the real Starglo is nothing like the one in her book.  As Princess Starglo continues about her business, Share explains the whole "no one believes in her or wishes on stars" thing, and they point out that they believe now, doesn't that count?  Nope, according to Starglo.  At last, she powers down the last building.  The Care Bears look around the darkened city, and Share just can't take it.  She demands Princess Starglo turn everything back on and call back the twinklets, but Starglo refuses.  As the princess flies off, Share tells the others she's tried everything to change Starglo's mind, but Starglo points out that she didn't try offering her a cookie.  Not that it would have worked, but the point  is made.  This last non sequiter is the last straw, and so the CPT decide it's time to help Starglo "understand."  Saying she's too upset to think clearly, they surround her for a Care Bear Stare, but first they have to sing the Care Power theme.
The Care Bear Stare leaves Princess Starglo feeling radiant, and optimistic that the belief of four bears and one twinklet is enough to give her the power she needs to restart the city and light all the stars!  She starts with the tallest spire, and for a second it looks like everything's going to be okay.  But then the light fades away, and Princess Starglo remembers that she can't turn the city back on once it's been turned off.  Not with just the belief of four bears and one twinklet, anyway.  Her very existence hinges on people's belief, after all, and sure enough, she's beginning to fade away.  Gleamer also feels this lack of belief, fading like it did before.  Share calls on the princess to help the twinklet, and despite the fact that Starglo is facing the end of her own life, she tries, but can't do anything.
Cheer immediately makes the leap from the end of Starglo to the end of Care-A-Lot, which is news to Share.  Funshine fills her in on what happened down there, which fills Starglo with remorse, as she didn't realize the ramifications of turning off all the stars (including the sun).  As the princess openly weeps, Share finds it in her heart to forgive her, and this belief in Starglo gives her a second wind.  If only more people believed in her, she could turn things around!  So Grumpy hatches a plan to make more people believe: send a beacon out to Care-A-Lot, and they'll know what to do.
Speaking of Care-A-Lot, Funshine's mini-sun finally gives out, leaving the others wondering what to do.  Bedtime, as the current representative of the Care Power Team, advocates waiting for the other members to get back.  The other Care Bears aren't so sure that those guys even made it to Glitter City, so Bedtime distracts everyone by reading from Share's storybook.  He reads the story of how Princess Starglo was once the only star, so she built Glitter City, and if everyone believes, all the twinklets will join her there, and together they'll fill the sky with stars.  The bears listening affirm their belief in Princess Starglo, but more than anything, they just want the stars back.  And just when it looks like things are going to get wistful, they all spontaneously burst out into Share's song of belief from earlier.
As the song ends, a spark of light twinkles in the night sky, and Bedtime recognizes it as Glitter City (somehow).  It's actually the other members of the Care Power Team shining light from their belly badges.  Princess Starglo can tell that it's working, but advises more sparkle from Grumpy, who doesn't appreciate the constructive criticism.  Gleamer, meanwhile, is getting worse, so Share gives it all she's got.  Down in Care-A-Lot, the bears cheer to see the light, and Gleamer starts to shine again, and even Starglo becomes more solid.  Bit by bit, the city comes back to light, shining radiantly in the night sky.
With belief reinstated, Princess Starglo goes to turn the stars back on.  Seeing that their job is done, the CPT prepare to leave, though Share wishes she could stay.  But Starglo is adamant, Glitter City is for twinklets and stars only.  Still, she's glad that they came, and even makes them honorary stars.  As for Gleamer, she makes him her personal assistant, and even gives him the entire show, which involves spotlights, a big announcement, and Starglo using her powers to make him the official wishing star.
The bears start to go, but Share hangs back, and Starglo gives her a hug, thanking her for everything.  Share also says her goodbyes to Gleamer, and Princess Starglo reminds them all to believe.
One year later, the CPT unveil a new light on the Care Tower, to guide twinklets and remind Princess Starglo that they believe in her.  When night falls, the CPT rush to the top of the tower to watch, and Princess Starglo materializes to join them, much to their surprise.  It seems she's letting Gleamer guide the twinklets this time, and is using the opportunity to view the migration from the other side.  She doesn't stick around long, though, as she has to train the new recruits.  As Grumpy wonders how she can blink through glass, the movie ends.
Watching this one, it's easy to see why the other CPT movies went the "glorified episode" route.  To stretch the story out, the whole "not enough wishes and belief" thing is repeated over and over, which just serves to make Share look like an idiot who doesn't pay attention to what people are telling her.  Speaking of which, that whole thing really was not handled well, at all.  Princess Starglo makes it clear that her and the stars' very existence is at stake, giving her the audience's sympathy.  Cheer keeps trying to convince her not to go ahead with her plan without giving any particularly good reasons why she shouldn't, yet the audience is asked to view her point as the right one.  Thus, when the other Care Bears show up and give her a Care Bear Stare, it feels like they're forcing her to go along with their views without considering all the facts.  And when Starglo uses up nearly the last of her power in the misguided attempt to relight Glitter City thanks to said Stare, it is the princess who ends up apologizing.  On the other hand, by turning off all the stars, including the sun, she nearly doomed all life on Earth and Care-a-Lot, for the sake of her own life.  But this point is barely touched on in the movie, and not until the end.
I guess the real problem is that Share left Care-a-Lot before seeing the stars going out, thus she had no real argument for why Starglo shouldn't turn them off.  So for most of the movie, Starglo's reasoning seems like the right choice, even though it isn't, really.  Maybe if she'd just left the sun on and turned off the rest of the stars, that could of worked?  And if the belief of four bears and one twinklet wasn't enough power to light up the city, how did the belief of twenty five Care Bears max do it?  And if Gleamer's belief counted, then shouldn't the belief of all the stars in the sky have counted?  That would have powered Starglo up for sure!  Then again, maybe Starglo was just humoring Gleamer.
Plotholes aside, there were a bunch of things I liked about the movie.  For one thing, it was nice to see the Care Bears having dreams that seemed like actual dreams, rather than the mundane dreams they had back in Adventures in Care-a-Lot.  As usual, Bedtime is adorable when he gets to be part of the action.  And Princess Starglo has the best expressions.  Seriously, the real reason I waited for the DVD to come out over here before writing this up is because I needed to be able to use the frame-by-frame tool to get her expressions just right:

The only special feature on the DVD is a game where you have to figure out the locks on Glitter City's gates, in case you were wondering.  Oh, and some trailers, but I don't really count those.

Misc. Screenshots:
Share rides a star
In Dreamland, the trees are smiling
There really is a Starglo
Happy Starglo
Cheering for the stars

And so the Care Power Team/AiCaL era comes to an end.  Sad to see it go, really.  While the new series might be good, I have severe doubts.  And no matter what, it will never be as cute as the AiCaL style.


Bernadette said...

Sushi pack! Come on!
(see the post: Cherry Jam music video, for my first few comments) *_~
Any way, big fan!

The Zany Bishojo Evalana said...

Don't know if you noticed, but the post immediately before this one was a Sushi Pack review.

Bernadette said...

oh ya... :?