This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Care Bears cartoon. I was a big fan of the franchise in the 80’s, so I thought I’d share my memories. Besides, with all the mocking the franchise usually receives these days, it’s time it received some praise.
However, to really start this right, I need to turn back the clock not to 1985, when the cartoon officially started, but to 1981. That was when the American Greeting Cards Company’s research and development program Those Characters From Cleveland created the characters where they made their first appearance. Back then, Those Characters From Cleveland was a huge property. In addition, they had other successes like Popples, Madballs, and Strawberry Shortcake, as well as some ideas that never really went anywhere, like the Get-Along Gang. The Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake were such a big hit that they gained the attention of Kenner, the makers of the original Star Wars toys. I actually had every single figurine that Kenner made, along with the Care-a-Lot playset and I think I had one Cloud Car too. I even had characters you rarely saw in the cartoon that would come later, like the Cloudkeeper, Proud-heart Cat, and Birthday Bear.