|Those caring, sharing, staring bears finally got a series of their own in 1985. Created by American Greeting Cards in 1981, the Care Bears soon outgrew their greeting card status, spreading out into toys, books, a television special, and a 1985 feature, The Care Bears Movie. The surpising success of the film (which led to two sequels) pointed to a rosier future than even Cheer Bear could have imagined.
The syndicated series maintained the good feelings and easy-to-follow plotlines that had made The Care Bears Movie a hit with the preschool set. The title characters were a multicolored bunch of bears with names that matched their personalities: Funshine Bear, Love a Lot Bear, Grumpy Bear, etc. Just in case anyone was still confused, each bear had an identifying symbol on his or her furry tummy.
Hailing from the clouded land of Care-a-Lot, the Care Bears descended to earth in their Cloudmobile whenever some lonely boy or girl needed a smile and a hug. The villains were never too menacing, and if things got too hairy, the bears could always resort to the "Care Bear Stare," which sent beams of good will from the bears' combined bellies, enough to soften even the gloomiest heart.
In 1986, the Care Bears and their Care Bear Cousins (lions, pigs, raccoons, etc.) came to ABC's Saturday morning schedule as The Care Bear Family, produced by a different animation company.