What would the world be like without color? Thank the powers-that-be we never had to find out. Actually, thank the little girl who brings us color from the planet Spectra: that wee lass we call Rainbow Brite.
Rainbow Brite began her cheery, color-filled existence as a character on Hallmark greeting cards. As the girl grew too popular to confine to a single drawing, the card company brought her to life for a series of animated television specials in 1984. The theatrical release of Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer followed a year later.
Rainbow Brite’s color-carrying duties are threatened when the greedy Dark Princess plots to steal Spectra and leave the world a dreary monochrome. Down but never out, Ms. Brite recruits her regular pals the Color Kids (Shy Violet, Red Butler, Lala Orange and the rest) to get Spectra back.
Rainbowland’s arch-nemeses, Murky Dismal and his dopey sidekick Lurky, are also in on the evil plot, hoping to score Rainbow Brite’s rainbow-generating belt for their troubles. But good has a new ally as well: Krys, a young warrior riding the powerful black horse Onyx. Together with Krys, the Color Kids, and the furry little Sprites (with chief Sprite Twink leading the way), Rainbow rides Starlight-“the most magnificent horse in the universe”-into the fray against the enemies of all things colorful.
With the success of this low-budget feature, Hallmark financed a series of Rainbow Brite cartoons on the syndicated Kideo TV package. Sporting a big blonde coif and a sparkly, multi-colored dress, Rainbow Brite also made a splash in the toy world, bringing her rainbow coalition of adorable pixies and moppets along with her. And the world was once again safe for painters, bomb squads ("Is it the green wire or the blue wire?" "I can't tell, it's all black!" "*BOOM*") and springtime.