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.