In order to understand this far too in-depth discussion of the Care Bears and Cousins and gender I started a week or so ago, first you have to understand the origin story of the brood, particularly how incredibly gay (not derogatory gay, like actually, actively pro-gay) it is.
This is also a little tricky, but the Care Bears and how they came to be is actually explained in Care Bears II: A New Generation. If you’re curious how on planet Earth they came to be, they were originally part of a line of greeting cards published by American Greetings. Then they became stuffed animals, each of which had a designated gender, which we will talk about later, as it causes some issues later on.
Back to the discussion at hand though. The creation of the Care Bears is legit biblical. The second movie begins with a bear, a horse, and an ark full of baby Care Bears and Cousins fleeing from the enemy known as Dark Heart. Before we keep going, I need to pause for a minute to talk about this “horse” name Noble Heart.
This is not a horse. This is a Care Bear who has been to too many Flock of Seagulls concerts. First off, it has no hooves. It has feet with toes. It also has opposable thumbs. It is the kind of appendage that, once you notice it, you can’t stop thinking about it, kinda like how the Swedish Chef on The Muppets has human hands.
Anyways, Dark Heart is a shape shifter and takes on the all too Adam and Eve-ish shape of water serpent before the clouds part, a rainbow spills from the sky, and the boat is lifted to safety.
So, let me just state this plainly right now. There are rainbows saving the day all over this movie. If you’re not aware, the rainbow became a symbol for the LGBT community in 1978, eight years before this movie was released. It is safe to say the people making this movie knew rainbows = LGBT. I am even more confident in this statement after what happens next, which is the ark basically gets turned into a Gay Pride Parade float.
Once they reach the happy space above the clouds, a God-like being that I will call Starlord just to piss off GoG fans informs the bear and horse they, “have found the two creatures whose love and kindness for others is so great that it sets them apart from the rest of the world.”
So the benevolent Starlord allows True Heart Bear and Noble Heart horse to get their all-important tummy tattoos and grants them entry into the Kingdom of Caring.
Kingdom of Caring looks an awful lot like the Care Bears permanent home, Care-a-Lot, but it isn’t. These are just temporary digs where these cute little furballs can grow up and introduce themselves to the world via a song entitled “Flying My Colors.”
I’ll take you through some of the more obvious images in this song, but first, just read the lyrics of the chorus and tell me this isn’t a gay anthem:
Flying my colors for everyone to see
Isn’t this the perfect way to introduce me?
They say that I’m different, I’m special it’s true
Let the magic of my color put its power on you.
But first, can we just take a second and admire how effing cute baby Care Bears are? Whoever came up with the idea of making them babies at Nelvana is a genius. My boy/girl Swifty the bunny is just too much.
So they disembark the boat on a rainbow Noble Heart shoots out of the symbol on his chest (for those not in the Care Bear know, these tummy symbols have the ability to manifest things, create rays of happy emotions via the Care Bear Stare and Care Bear Cousins Call, and give you an idea of each critter’s personality).
Note that Noble Heart is realizing the idea of letting infants slide down a rainbow onto a bed of clouds may not have been the best idea in hindsight. Considering the car seat laws in most states, pretty sure this qualifies as unfit parenting.
And yet, when the infants want to explore their new digs, the adults oblige and commission a fleet of rainbows to fly them wherever they want. I’m not exaggerating when I say “fleet.” See for yourself:
Once several individual babies introduce themselves, they reconvene with the parents and…I don’t want to use the word ejaculate here, so understand that when I say True Heart sprays her kids with literal love, this is what I mean.
It is worth noting the baby Care Bears then take these hearts and eat them. Why? I have no idea. Apparently tummy-produced hearts are just really tasty.
It ends with a tummy-produced fireworks show and everyone feeling great about their identity after an afternoon spent flying around on rainbows. Again, I don’t think I am stretching when I say this is very much a not coded at all anthem about how great it is to be gay and out.
While True Heart (a girl) and Noble Heart (a boy) are archetypical heterosexual parents, that is pretty much the only straight thing about the opening ten minutes of the movie, which very clearly establishes *this* is where Care Bears from. They come from a strange anthropomorphic star god who saves these little animals and their ark from the original sin serpent of evil with rainbows, clouds, and a whole lot of love that is delivered with sparkles, shimmers, and a whole heap of panache.
Granted, this origin story recontextualizes the first Care Bear movie where the Cousins live in the Forest of Feelings sans tummy symbols unaware the Care Bears exist. The sequel/prequel explains the Bears and Cousins were split up to keep them all from being destroyed at once, but no one really explained when the Cousins lost their memories and had their tummy emblems removed which, if we are following the timeline happened *during* the action of the second movie, which takes place over the course of one season of summer camp on Earth.
- Care Bears go from infants to adults in the span of, like, two weeks.
- During this fight with Dark Heart, the Care Bear family were separated, brainwashed, reunited, and fought against the evil in the original Care Bears movie.
- Care Bears either have a life span of maybe five human years or they are just babies for a very short span of an otherwise long life.
Okay, I’ve veered into nitpicking, but I do so only to draw attention to the point that, yes, it is possible this ode to rainbows and identity is accidentally a gay anthem, as numerous other elements of the cartoon lack consistency, but seriously, watch this entire song and tell me it wasn’t on purpose: