Care Bears Ups and Downs is a modern (2008) instalment of the Care Bears series. These (admittedly sometimes too) sweet characters from Care-A-lot are featured in two 24 minute episodes on this DVD.
The first episode "Cheer Up" is about Cheer Bear wanting to throw a surprise party for Surprise Bear, but being thwarted at every turn. Cheer Bear's level of frustration reaches an all time high, she turns grumpy, and decides to give up. The second episode is "Down to Earth" and has the story of a little boy who has moved to a new city. He misses his old place and all his friends and has a hard time making new friends.
Both of these episodes are really good. I was pleasantly surprised with the story lines and the way they were presented. In the first episode, there are some "real-life" quotes that I hear my young children say when they are frustrated. There are also some good words of advice in the story without sounding preachy. The nice thing - there is a lesson to learn and you don't feel like you are being patronized. The second episode is equally good, showing kids how to make friends, and be a friend, once again with out being lecturing. In this day and age, with families moving frequently, this could be a help to young kids learning to fit in. Both episodes hit the mark in terms of being cute but not sugary sweet.
One other element that is worth mentioning in Care Bears Ups and Downs episodes is the musical aspect that was really good. Both episodes feature songs relating to the theme, and both songs are really well done, catchy, but not overworked.
My kids really liked this Care Bears DVD and so did I. There were both a great story and a great message, two things that count a lot in my house.