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Care Bears as allegory?

I'd been frustrated by the Care Bears Movie I and Care Bears Movie II havinginconsistant myths for the discovery/inclusion of the Care Bear Cousins. Not that they were earth-shattering, "break your faith in the Care Bears" inconsistancies. In movie 1, the 'cousins were isolated in the Forest of Feelings, didn't have their magical tummy emblems, lacked powers, and were unaware of the actual 'bears. In movie 2, some connection was implied between the two groups, the 'cousins had their tummy emblems from "birth," they were raised together but ultimately seperated to protect them from the power known as Dark Heart.

These are not 100% irreconcilable (except in Story I, no tummy emblems). It is vaguely possible that the bears forgot the cousins, if they broke contact at age 2 or so, although the montage shots in Story II imply that they watched each other from a distance.

It occured to me that the two stories are similer in some respects to the Garden of Eden v. Seven-Day Creation stories in the Book of Genesis--not entirely incompatible myths.

And that Dark Heart *loves* the form of a serpent.

And that Dark Heart had lost track of the Cousins in the Forest until he was lead to them by the Care Bears, though he always knew about Care-A-lot.

Postulate: The Forest of Feelings represents Eden, Care-A-Lot, heaven.

Because of the recurring motif of "stagnation/separation" that occurs in the book of Genesis:

Stagnation: Perfect paradise
Seperation: Fall from grace (of COURSE Yahweh knew they'd bite the apple)

Stagnation: Community of Babel building huge tower to live in, homogenous culture with no diversity
Seperation: Tower destroyed, "tongues of man confused"

Stagnation: Man falls into sin
Seperation: Noah and family spread to repopulate earth
...there are other examples...

it is possible that the Care Bear Cousins could not have reached their potential unless their Eden was broken.

However, it was only a later interpretation of Dark Heart as nemesis, rather than simple manifestation of emotions the bears regard as unwholesome, that allowed him to appear in the mythology as a negative independent character.

The construction of his name: Dark Heart - lends credence to this.

- It implies that an entity was needed to carry the load of the darker burdens, but perhaps they didn't need to be "marketed" in the same manner as Bravery, Loyalty, Strength of Character (Braveheart Lion, Loyal Heart Dog, Strong Heart Elephant).
- It implies that the higher power that created the Care Bears (whose power is most directly manifest in Tenderheart Bear, who is able to ordain the Cousins) created Dark Heart. Consistancy of naming convention. It also establishes that Dark Heart is of a lower order of powers than the 'Bears (the cousins derive their powers second-hand from the 'bears in movie 1.)
- Most interestingly, Dark Heart's name is more consistant with the "earthy" Care Bear Cousins'naming convention than the cerebral/heavenly Care Bears ("Secret Bear, Friendship Bear", "Playful Heart Lamb, Quick Heart Raccoon") This implies that he represents a force opposed by or seperate from heaven, but not necessarily opposed by *creation*.

Dark Heart represents *all* of the less friendly emotions--pride, greed, and so on. He's able to take on many shapes, whereas a zoomorphic personification of a single positive emotion can only take on a single shape.

Dark heart is also able to take on the shape of a human. This is quite telling, as a human can express *any* emotion.

It is quite probable that I'm thinking too hard about this.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2005 10:15 pm (UTC)
May. 29th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC)
In the Care Bears Movie II the bears also take on the role of "saviors" by attempting to guide the lost souls at the eternal purgatory-like camp of endless summer. Looking at it from this way the bears themselves are spirit-like animal guides meant to show the quasi-damned souls of children a higher path (and Darkheart is, as always the evil temptor). The cousins, too, have this birthright but are hidden away for their own protection so that they can keep their innocence and purity rather than spread it to others. Hey! Wait a minute! Now you have me over analyzing it!!!
May. 29th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Maybe the multi-faced evil dimensions/ single-faced good dimension element is a reinforcement of the individualism myth prevalent in the culture of origin. Those things that are "really themselves," whatever that means, are good, while the multifaceted is both A) singular, disallowing the idea that there can be groups of multifaceted peoples, just as groups of strong individuals, and B) cast as an unrelenting villain.

I'm deciding whether to go into the whole individualism-as-product-of-sole-child-of-god-Christianity vs. oneness/unity-as-product-of-multifaceted-Eastern-deities thing, but it's long and complex. I suspect you are familiar with it anyway.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )