|Index||10 reviews in total|
Fine enough for very VERY young children, but these are not the lovable
little bears we knew and loved. The storytelling was OK with enjoyable
songs and the animation was colorful but the jerky movement of the
characters could be quite creepy and grotesque.
But the biggest problem was the bears! Instead of having voices full of endearing charm and warmth, they sounded like 6-year olds with Down's Syndrome high on helium. Funshine Bear isn't even likable. He's more of a big bully than a Care Bear. What he did to poor Grumpy Bear in the beginning was cruel and he never seemed to be sorry.
Your'e much better off showing your kids the vintage sweet simple Care Bear films. They aren't painful to watch and actually have good morals.
BOTTOM LINE: You could care less about this bland charmless bastardization
I enjoyed the original 2d movies for their charm & imagination. My favourite characters were Grumpy Bear (reduced to a whiny toddler in this mess), Hugs & Tugs (baby bears) & the Care Bear Cousins. The babies & cousins were absent, as were any humans. The bears learn a lesson about there's a time to laugh & a time to be serious, but the way they treat Grumpy at the beginning is appalling. The original Grumpy was an able handy bear & he growled about things, but beneath was a heart of gold. You admired him. Here he just comes across as a wimp. The new voice was dreadful. The others were just as bad. In fact the only character I cared about was a sweet pig called Gig. The villains in the original films were scary, but the rat & mosquitoes aren't even vaguely threatening. Care-a-lot had been radically redesigned. 3d computer animation doesn't have the same appeal for me as 2d. It's too hard edged, perfect & unfluffy. Certainly inappropriate for Care Bears. Some bears had been coloured differently. Better to seek out the originals. This newbie lost its way entirely. 3/10
I absolutely loved the care bears from the 80's but can't stand these new ones. I hate everything about them. Why can't people leave well enough alone? Hollywood has reached rock bottom so they're remaking everything now but only worse. I'm tires of seeing the classics get ruined. The only comeback that should have been made is the old ones released on DVD. A few people that things are going to change but there's no reason to think so. The Big Wish movie was just as bad. And I'm sure that the new movie coming to the theater will be just as bad. Sorry I've been a bit long winded but I had to draw things out to meet the 10 line minimum for a review.
Just for the record, I don't hate the Care Bears. By all means I'm not a huge fan, but I do think some of the hate the franchise and characters garner do verge on unfair. Although I loved the 1980s show and the original movie, and enjoyed New Generation, Wonderland and Nutcracker, I found myself disliking Journey to Joke-a-Lot. It seemed cute on paper and the character of Gig certainly is so. But the jerky character designs and lurid colour schemes make the film visually unappealing, while the score lacks whimsy and apart from a couple of delightful ones the songs are mostly limp with uninspiring lyrics. The script is a very uneven mix of weakly-done silly and sweet moments, Funshine's coronation speech is one of the, perhaps even the, worst single scenes of anything to do with Care Bears. The story is structurally thin, some scenes such as most of the songs and the middle are little more than lazy filler and the messages are handled in a very heavy-handed way. The characters are not the simple and charming ones from especially the 1980s, the villains are completely insipid, Funshine is now a bully and Grumpy is an utter wimp here. The voice work is terrible sadly too, too high in pitch with next to no subtlety and it also sounded as though they had been recorded in a helium balloon. All in all, a poor movie and a bland one. 2/10 Bethany Cox
(OK, sorry I haven't reviewed any movie for a really long time at
IMDb--not since "Holes" last Independence season--but, here goes...)
In 2004, audiences were enchanted by one of the best animated sequels of all time, "Shrek 2", and later were wowed by the action-packed power of the superhero family, "The Incredibles"--and both were made in CGI. But in between, and a little after, these two blockbusters, a series of unfortunate events (not the Lemony Snicket kind) became stumbling blocks in the industry: among these mediocre messes came "Pride", "Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy", "The Polar Express", and now this--the most recent, most hilarious, and most horrible attempt at a comeback--"Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot". (A really good thing "The Princess and the Pauper" and "Twice upon a Christmas" managed to escape so far...)
Everyone's favourite bears are back, and at the beginning of this new DTV movie, they are all preparing for their annual fair when, all of a sudden, something goes wrong: as Grumpy Bear's newest carousel invention goes out of control, Funshine Bear's jokes about the mishap are sent the wrong way, and at once he decides to run away from the magical land of Care-a-lot. His travels soon take him to a land where humour is king, and laughter is nonstop: Joke-a-lot. But, upon being crowned King of the land, Funshine soon realises that keeping the title will make him stay here forever...or will he ever have a chance to return to where he really belongs?
Some aspects of the film are really horrible: to ever think of Funshine being a male bear is an embarrassment to true fans of the 80's franchise who grew up enjoying that character as a girl! Too many elements of the original franchise are missing here too: near the film's end, there is a scene in which the bears could have used their Stare on Funnybone, the half-villain of our story; it's too bad you never see it activated. The new faces in Joke-a-lot are so scary and not that familiar to look at, not to mention the small, pink Gig. And, even more shamefully, some of our favourite bears are missing from the adventure: Baby Hugs and Tugs, Proud Heart Cat, Swiftheart Bunny (the cutest one, and personally my favourite), and Grams Bear. There are no human characters anywhere within the plot. To top it all off: no real villains are present, which makes Funnybone the rat ever so close to the likes of Nicholas and Dark Heart...
But, fortunately, the five songs are nothing short of delightful. For those who have seen the trailer at amazon.com and the official Care Bears web site, the Joke-a-lot anthem is a worthy, congratulatory sing-along (when the movie premiered on Disney Channel on December 12th, I had a great time singing along with it). Otherwise, the rest are somehow forgettable.
So, in the end, "Journey to Joke-a-lot" is a somewhat above-average comeback of a well-known toy franchise from well over two decades ago, and only if fans and kids alike can ever survive its creepiness (and honestly I have). Bottom line: it's funnier than the Shrek films, but scarier than the Polar Express.
That being said, and the fact that I still love the Bears as a 18-year-old, gives this fourth instalment my most solid vote of 7 after "Jetsons: The Movie" and "Hocus Pocus". Yet I am still hoping for better to come when another movie is made.
To quote the amazon.com review by A. Wagner: "This movie had great potential - it's too bad they blew it."
ALSO RECOMMENDED: Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, Finding Nemo, the Toy Story and Shrek films, The Incredibles, and (of course) the original Care Bears Movie from 1985.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have never seen CGI this bad in my entire life. This is CGI that, if
it were to be handed in as an assignment at any art school for first
year students, would fail. And that is not an exaggeration. For one,
the unwrapping is horrendous; Nothing connects together and it is
completely broken. One example is on a bridge, where the underside of
the bridge is the exact same at the up side, and where the sides of the
bridge do not connect together with the up- and underside of the
(If you don't know what unwrapping is, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYW0y8y2hk0)
The CGI materials are also enormously inconsistent; sometimes they use bump or specular mapping, sometimes they don't, despite them being the same kind of object. (such as wood or dirt on the ground) That is not how one does CG. And the placement of the objects themselves... there are trees that clip right into the ground with no trunk whatsoever.
And the story... it's not worse than the 80s movies, which were already insanely bad, and the story actually focuses on one specific Care Bear that develops his character throughout the story, which is a godsend for this franchise. Still, there is nothing interesting about it and the narrative falls apart in its own plot holes and contrivances.
So, unless you want to punish your child, do not let him/her watch this movie. Put on the original Winnie the Pooh instead.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, I'm a child of the 80's, and LOVED the Care Bears back then, and
watch the TV show, saw the movies...owned a few myself. So, when I saw
that there was a new movie, in CGI, I was a bit skeptical. First, I
know just how many awful CGI movies there have been, and I wasn't sure
anybody could be trusted with the Care Bears. So, I saw Journey to
Joke-a-Lot come and go, and wasn't that interested in seeing it.
So, last night I happened to stumble on it on the Disney Channel, and decided to finally watch it. I was very surprised at how good it actually was. Yes, some of the classic things like the Care Bear Stare and the Cousins were not around, but that didn't really bother me at all. I found the animation to be very good for a direct-to-video affair, and much, much better than those awful Barbie movies.
The bears looked so cute, furry, and round in CGI, and the other characters were interesting. Even the rat had computerized fur. The songs were surprisingly good too, and seemed like something from a feature film, or a Disney film. I also liked some of the references to other movies like 2001: A Space Odessey. That happened when Funnybone would try to get into the vault where the treasure was hidden and the computer was much like Hal from 2001. It even called Funnybone "Dave" every time.
I really enjoyed this movie much more than I thought I would, and would highly recommend it to anyone. I have to say that even though I grew up watching the original Care Bears cartoons and movies, I would rate this one above those due to it's not pandering to kids and dumbing everything down. This movie had a nice balance, and would be easy for parents to watch with the kids.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just to start my comment off... I am a thirteen year old girl. At
school, anyone would die of embarrassment to be caught watching Care
Bears... except me. I love the Care Bears, and this movie is no
exception. I thought it was cute, and touching at the same time. I am
reluctant to admit this, but when Funshine sings about going home...
and questions about whether or not he is making the right choice, I
cried. Actually... crying is sort of an understatement- I bawled.
Even though I know that the Care Bears are not real... and in fact are animated- I still view them as real beings and follow their actions by caring. This movie is cute, funny, sad, and sentimental. I love the Care Bears!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Journey to Joke-a-lot" is a thoroughly enjoyable family film, with
catchy music, witty jokes, and a good lesson at it's core. It deviates
somewhat from the parameters of the original Care Bears world, but it
very enjoyable nonetheless.
This movie helps kids examine the balance between being responsible and having fun. The story centers on Funshine Bear, who leaves Care-a-Lot after some of his jokes provoke Grumpy Bear to get hurt and, well, grumpy. After leaving his home, Funshine stumbles upon the Land of Joke-a-lot, where he is declared king based on the word of the steward of the kingdom, Sir Funnybone. When his friends come to find him, Fushine has to decide between his friends and Care-a-Lot, or being king of a people who live to have fun. Meanwhile, Sir Funnybone the rat is hatching his plan to steal the royal jewels of Joke-a-lot.
While fans of the old-school Care Bears will miss certain elements, such as the Care Bear Stare, the Cousins, and really creepy bad guys, this movie has a lot of heart, and deals with learning to have a good time, but not at the expense of other people's feelings.
The music is a lot of fun. Had some of these songs been written with different lyrics, they certainly would get air time. We own the soundtrack as well, which has the five songs from the movie plus eight new tracks,and the music always gets our family up and dancing.
The CG animation is good, and helps add a really cute roundness to the Bears (it's pretty funny to watch their tummies move as they breathe). The gags, jokes, and one-liners are pretty funny (until King Funshine's coronation speech; I think these jokes are purposely written to be old hat, and therefore are not funny, but the Joke-a-Lotters laugh anyway. Also, adults may note the in-jokes: references to "2001: A Space Odyssey" and Bill Gates, for example.
If you enjoyed the Care Bears the first time, I think you will really like this new incarnation, and if you didn't like them before, give this a try. The movie blends a lot of the best of the old with some great new stuff.
As a parent forced to endure a fair amount of kids entertainment, it is
always a relief to find something that is at least tolerable to an
adult. When my son became infatuated with the Care Bears, I had sit
through the painful Care Bears Movie (1985) a number of times, and then
through some excruciating videos of episodes from the mid-80s TV show.
But then we got the DVD of Journey to Joke-a-lot, and the opening song by Jane Siberry immediately caught my attention. Then the story turned out to be engaging, and not too cloying, with enjoyable songs. And there's even a parody of scenes from 2001: A Space Odyssey! So I can say it greatly exceeded my expectations and I can recommend it as something at least passably entertaining to adults as well as children.
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