TITLE: Care Bears Nutcracker Suite - A Christmas In July 2008 Review

:  1988

RATED:  Unrated

:  The DarkSider - 7/4/8
THE PLOT:  If there is one thing I don’t like it’s a Care Bear.  My wife seems to have a rather unhealthy addiction to their nonsense.  She had them as a little girl and when the 80s became retro (retro…Christ I’m getting old) she went out and bought several of the re-releases.  Luckily, they’re sitting in a room I seldom enter.  So I figured this Christmas In July I’d capture the true pain I usually feel in December. 

Our warm and fuzzy tale begins one day in Miss Walker’s classroom production of The Nutcracker.  She informs her lead roles Holly and Chris along with the rest of her students that several tales of the Nutcracker exist but that only one that’s her favorite.  One frickin guess on who stars in that story too. 

Quickly we jump into story mode where Hugs and Tugs are wandering about in the cloud filled Care-a-lot town.  Apparently it’s a crime free place where two baby Care Bears can wander about and not have to worry about Catholic Priests among other predators.  Hugs and Tugs search around for a bit for a certain something.  That “something“, as explained to us by Braveheart, is a special ornament for their tree.  Tenderheart and Lotsaheart offer to share their ornaments but the Care Bear Cubs insist hell no.  By the way I should add, for those not familiar with this crap, that Braveheart does not wear a kilt and wield a sword. 

Funshine Bear breaks up the party by alerting us to a sad girl named Anna she spotted on the telescope who is…dun da da…sad.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Funshine grabs Grumpy bear, who was the only one I could relate to, and drive off in a magical cloud car.  Thats because, as Braveheart points out, NO ONE should be unhappy on Christmas.   I wonder if they ever watched me on that telescope because I’m usually miserable thanks to in-laws and incoming bills.  Anyhow, this scene gives away to a silly car drive  set to familiar Nutcracker music.

After a few non threatening obstacles,  Grumpy and Funshine make it to earth to visit this Anna.  Figuring that illegal home invasion isn’t a big deal, the Bears enter Anna’s house to talk to her.  Anna’s little brother Peter, while playing pirate, knocks over some marbles which causes the Bears to stumble into Anna’s room.  It turns out, Anna is sad because her friend Sharon moved away and apparently she has no other friends.   Out of nowhere though, a magical porthole opens and a nutcracker arrives.  Anna, who apparently is used to magical portals opening in her room, gets acquainted with the solider who has lost his memory. 

The oddness doesn’t end there though because a fellow known as the Rat King and some of his minions arrive.  They charge Anna and her buddies who flee in terror into Peter’s room.  Peter, who mans things up a bit, charges the rats  with a baseball bat.  Everyone gets out and Funshine blasts them with the deadly venom of flower power.  Ok, so maybe its not deadly and its certainly not venom.  Rather, it’s a rainbow blast from his furry tummy.  I figure I have to make some of this sound interesting. 

Peter, who’s strategic nature impresses me for a kid his age, leads the group in coaxing the rats outside where they bomb them with snowballs.  The nutcracker, acting as a decoy, distracts the rats so the rest of the group can make it back to the house.  While doing this, the nutcracker runs into a tree which jogs his memory a bit.  When they get back to the stronghold, he informs the group that he is from Toyland where an evil Vizier has sent the rats to get him.  Oh dear, where is Keanu Reeves and Drew Berrymore when you need them? 

The chase continues with the rats breaking into the house again.  The Care Bears hold off the rats once again with their magical tummy powers.  Then the rats ensue chasing the group again which really started to confuse me.  You see, up until this point I couldn’t figure out why the group kept backing down from the rats.  It seems after a few blasts of Care Bear tummy power they get taken out quite easy.  Perhaps Care Bear power is a bit like Spawn’s necroplasm. 

The Care Bears lure the rats to where the portal once existed and blast them back into it.  I’m not sure why that happened but I’m assuming they crossed the streams like in  Ghostbusters.  Moving on, the nutcracker informs us that the evil Vizier and the Rat King are out to banish Christmas.  They even want to take away the toys.  Realizing this, Funshine and Grumpy send out their signal for help.  Braveheart, Lotasaheart and Tenderheart get the message and speed to earth in a cloud car.  They find out Hugs and Tugs have stowed themselves away.  They tell them and Peter to stay while they go through the portal to Toyland.  However, Peter convinces Hugs and Tugs to go into Toyland.
The car pooling Grumpy Bear prayed for days of lower gas prices.
At this point comes a break in the story where we join up with Miss Walker’s class once again.  Everyone is digging the story but Chris mentions, “I still think it would be better without all the cutesy Care Bear stuff..”  Bless you Chris and your wonderful mind.   That may sum up my whole feeling on this film.  Miss Walker jumps into the story once again and the evil Vizier is the subject.  He has kidnapped the Sugar Plum Fairy and is trying to get her to tell him the location of a ring.  (If I were him, I’d start in the Shire). She resists his hypnotism attempt and this rather upsets him.  The Rat King arrives to give the Vizier the bad news which pisses him off more. 

The Vizier conjures up some magic which shows him the location of his adversaries.  Turns out the group is just arriving in Toyland through the portal.  The Nutcracker apparently still is missing part of his memory when it come to where they are going.  However Braveheart, who enters the land of convenience-ville, finds a train wrapped in a present.  Everyone boards including Peter and his two buddies who sneak on.  Meanwhile the Vizier, not realizing his help was useless the first time around, sends out the Rat King once again to do his dirty work. 

Back to the Care Bears who are taking the scenic tour through Toyland which looked more like Willy Wonka’s factory than a land filled with toys  to be honest.  However, parts of Toyland are looking a bit ghetto thanks to the Vizier’s reign.  The group stops off to fuel up the train using strawberry soda.  I guess that would make Mountain Dew the equivalent to super unleaded.  Anyhow, Peter jumps out of the train to warn everyone of impending doom.  A bunch of malevolent toys try to train jack them but the Care Bears teach them a lesson. 

The toys apologize in so many words and explain they want to get out of Dodge…er…Toyland.  Apparently they have been beaten up pretty badly.  The Care Bears hear them out as they tell about the Vizier’s rise to power.  He overthrew the Prince of Toyland but failed to capture the Prince’s ring which he needs to truly take over.  The Prince’s whereabouts are pretty much unknown. However, unless you are a kid who ate paste growing up, you can pretty much guess at this point the Prince is really the nutcracker.  Yeah, no need to thank me for that spoiler.  The toys go on to explain how they were forced into labor by the Rat King to find the ring.  However, they pulled a jail break and that is why they are on the lamb.  The good news is, the Sugar Plumb Fairy hid the ring well and the Vizier has yet to find it. 

The Nutcracker tries to rally the troops but ends up  making a fool of himself when he trips over a piece of candy cane.  Anna gives the Nutcracker a “hang in there” buddy type of speech while Braveheart tells the others, in a nice way, to shut the f*ck up.  With the group strong again, they head out at daylight to the Vizier’s castle.  However the Rat King has his henchmen block  a bridge made of licorice with candy canes.  I’ve eaten a lot of licorice in my day and I did have to wonder how it could support a train.  But then again this is Toyland and anything is possible, um yeah.
"Ok we're here!  If we happen to get seperated lets all meet at the giant cotton candies."
The Rat King commands his army who ride into battle on pogo sticks.  Why, well I guess the element of surprise is always important no matter how little it makes sense at times.  Braveheart backs up the stopped train and commences ramming speed which proves to be successful.  The Rat King’s army gets wasted again but are successful in capturing Peter with Hugs and Tugs.  Meanwhile the Vizier, on his close circuit magical television of sorts, talks of a new plan to find the ring.  Muhahahahaha…

The Care Bears and company get on a wind up boat and start paddling upstream.  I couldn’t really figure out what the point of the windup mechanism was by the way.   They make it to the Vizier’s stronghold and roam about looking for their imprisoned friends.  Meanwhile Peter, Hugs and Tugs all cry like little b*tches about wanting to go home while locked up in their cell.  However, Peter finally grows a pair again and tricks the Rat King to letting them free.  The Rat King in turn gets locked in their cell because…well…he’s a bit stupid if you haven’t realized it. 

Cut to the thrown room where the Care Bears and company have let the Sugar Plum Fairy free.  It turns out she hid the ring inside a walnut on the Christmas tree.  Exactly why the Vizier had a Christmas tree up is beyond me.  Anyhow, since knocking down the tree apparently isn’t an option in films like this, the Care Bears all stand on each other’s heads to get the walnut.  Unfortunately  things go astray when the walnut ends up in the hands of the Vizier who was spying nearby.  The Rats arrive to cover the Care Bears with taffy which I guess is the weapon of mass Toyland destruction.  The Vizier demands the Nutcracker to open the walnut containing the ring. I guess that makes sense seeing he is after all a nutcracker.   The Vizier turns Braveheart into wood and threatens the same fate of all of the Care Bears.  The Nutcracker, who surprised me with this, refuses to help regardless of what evil the Vizier can conjure up. 

Everyone is hauled off to the dungeon including the wooden Braveheart.  Why, well maybe he was endanger of sprouting or something.  Soon joining them is a wooden version of Lotasheart and soon after all the other Care Bears follow.  I’m not exactly sure why they didn’t use their tummy powers in defense but then again, maybe the guards disarmed them or something.  I’m not going to eve guess at this point.  Anyhow, Anna finds herself the last to be hauled out which prompts the Nutcracker to crack.  Hey, that’s a pretty good joke there, get it?  Nutcracker…crack…oh f*cking forget it. 

Anyhow in the thrown room the Rat King, who had been released at this point,  reports to the Vizier that Peter and company have gotten away.  However, unbeknownst them, the kids are in the thrown room hiding behind the tree.  The Sugar Plum Fairy’s cell accidentally gets knocked over and she escapes while accomplishing getting the nut to Peter’s buddies.  This starts a rather long game of “I got it” in which the nut switches hands several times.  However, the baddies end up on top and the Nutcracker agrees to open it.
Unknown to many, toys made in sweat shops receive equally bad treatment as the employees making them.
When the nut is opened the Sugar Plum Fairy, who thankfully takes the easy route, swoops down and places the ring on the Nutcracker’s finger.  As predicted, he rematerializes as the Prince Of Toyland and puts the Vizier’s rule down once and for all.  After the dust settles the Prince  bids everyone adieux. He proceeds to give Hugs and Tugs the nut as their elusive Christmas ornament.  He also has a tearful goodbye moment with Anna who escapes with company back to earth through the portal. 

Quickly after this, Anna finds herself waking up safe in her bed.  Peter runs in with some exciting news.  No, Patrick Duffy is not in the shower but rather they have a new neighbor named Alan Prince.  He of course bears an uncanny resembles to the Price Of Toyland and gives Anna a nutcracker figure as a present.  Aw shucks.  Anyhow back in the classroom Miss Walker wraps up the story saying Anna and Alan became good friends. The kids ask what happened to Anna and she doesn’t really answer however a guy named Alan comes to pick her up.  It turns out the Care Bears are in the rafters too listening to the story and have a good laugh thus ending the show. 

I have to admit, going into this I really anticipated some intolerable spikes of sugar levels in my system.  Going out of it I have to admit it thankfully wasn’t all lollipops and fluffy clouds.  In other words, this could have been much worse and one could technically show it to a boy or girl.  If you minus the Care Bears, its actually pretty much the norm of most films I view.  Magic portals, evil humanoid vermin and a main villain who is out to vrule de world made me feel quite at home watching this flick.
YOU'RE A GRAND OLD A-HOLE (the A-Holes of the film get their moment)
1.)  The Vizier:  A guy who is looking to bust a nut for power should be feared.
2.) The Rat King: His attempt to rid the world of toys was futile seeing he appeared in an hour long attempt to market Care Bears merchandise.
"Kids, don't ask for anymore f*cking Care Bears.  We've run out of pastel materinal and the horsesh*t to stuff into them. As for all you adult folks who still believe in over marketing of Christmas, click on the banner below for more Christmas In July reviews."
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