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Children's Video and DVD Review:

Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-Lot

Video - DVD Review: Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot

 

By FHE

Our Recommended Age: Ages 5-9

Our Rating: B+



about our reviews:
All reviews at Edutaining Kids are independent, impartial reviews. Children's video and DVD reviews are designed to help parents and caregivers decide which movies and videos are right for their kids. Evaluations and ratings are based on factors that include educational and entertainment value, originality, and age-appropriateness.
Journey to Joke-a-lot is the Care Bears' first venture into CGI animation. Young Care Bears fans are accustomed to seeing 2D cartoon renditions of the caring bears, and most will enjoy the chubby new look of the likes of Funshine Bear, Tenderheart, and Cheer Bear. This full-length animated adventure is not only more graphically rich, it's more musical.

Care Bears pictures

The basic story line of the movie is as follows: Funshine Bear is a joker, but one day he carries a joke perhaps a little too far, and he feels underappreciated for his sense of humor. Instead of resolving the problem with his friends, he embarks on a journey to Joke-a-lot, where the word "serious" is the dreaded "s" word. His jokes are not only well-received by the fun-loving residents of Joke-a-lot, he is made king of the land. Meanwhile, Funshine Bear's friends miss him and attempt to find their friend, hoping to bring him back to Care-a-lot.

Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (DVD edition) or Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (VHS edition)

This movie is colorful in almost every sense of the word. In all Care Bears movies we've seen, there is a distinct struggle between evil and good. We have found most Care Bears movies excessively focused on this concept, with some rather sinister "bad guys". Journey to Joke-a-lot features an evil rat who wants the scepter over which Funshine has guardianship. There are a few scenes that might be somewhat alarming or disturbing to some viewers, including a too-fast-paced rollercoaster ride and some rather disturbing group laughter directed at Funshine. In comparison to other cartoon-style Care Bears movies, however, this one features perhaps less focus on evil, but still too much in our opinion. This is the reason behind our suggested age group of 5 or more.

Care Bears Pictures

Social Skills/Messages: There are several themes and conflicts set forward in the movie that parents can discuss with their kids--the fine balance between joking and preserving friends' feelings, for example. Funshine Bear is crowned King Funshine the Great and everything he says (joke or no joke) is found to be funny in Joke-a-lot. Essentially, he gets his wish for his sense of humor to be appreciated. He struggles a little with his attraction to the glamor of his new role of king versus the basic love and caring he has with his friends from "back home".

Best For: Ages 5-6 and up.

For Care Bears Fans: Young Care Bears fans should enjoy the free games, including matching and simple arcade-style games, at the official Care Bears site here.

Care Bears Facts: Did you know that the Care Bears were created by American Greetings in 1981? This was the company's second group of characters they created. What was their first? Strawberry Shortcake. Care-a-lot is a play on Camelot, and the Care Bears met around a heart-shaped table rather than the round table of Arthur legends. 

Our Rating:

 

B+

more information:

For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (DVD edition) or Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (VHS edition)

Reviewed: April 2005

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see also:

Gift Guides for Preschoolers

Fun & Learning with Digital Cameras

 



Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (DVD edition) or Care Bears - Journey to Joke-a-Lot (VHS edition)

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