Bad news for nostalgic 20- and 30-somethings whose childhoods were marked by love and adoration for a group of fuzzy, chubby-faced bears with tummy symbols: The bears are coming back to TV in 2012… as computer-generated images, according to reports. Sigh.
Normally, I’d applaud the efforts of studios to bring back beloved franchises in order to expose them to a new generation. But why mess with their look? The people behind the new Winnie the Pooh movie, out later this year, stuck with the classic look, and I don’t think the effect of the lovable honey-addict on a new generation of kids will be diminished because he’s in 2-D. At least, I hope not.
Of course, the idea for computerizing the Care Bears is nothing new. They were first depicted in CGI in 2004’s Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-Lot. The result was terrifying. I didn’t want to hug them anymore; I wanted to run and hide because their soulless eyes promised nothing if not my untimely murder. They took the care out of the Care Bears! If this TV reboot is truly a way to mark the franchise’s 30th anniversary, as reported, wouldn’t the best method be to honor the original bears? The ones with the warm, beady eyes, quirky expressions, and small tufts of fur sticking out everywhere?
Perhaps I’m being a Grumpy Bear. Maybe some people don’t mind the bears from the Land Without Feelings. That’s fine; I understand the support for animation evolution. CGI has done amazing things for animation (See: Toy Story), but still, we’d be remiss to forget and dismiss the work done by the talented hands that gripped a pencil instead of a mouse.
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