“These hiccups are starting to frazzle my fur!”

Care Bears: The Great Giving Holiday is a disc that puts together two episodes from the TV series Care Bears: Welcome to Care-A-Lot.

“Holiday Hics”
The story is a simple one: Tenderheart Bear (David Lodge) gets to help the Great Giving Bear (also David Lodge) hand out presents for Great Giving Day, the most care-riffic holiday in all of Care-A-Lot. But when he gets a really bad case of the hiccups, Tenderheart’s ability to beam is severely affected, so it looks like the gifts won’t be distributed.

“Holi-Stage”
This story features the Great Giving Day Pageant. Harmony Bear (Nayo Wallace) is worried when the Care Bears all seem more interested in their gifts than in helping put on the pageant. But when a boy (Sean-Ryan Petersen) comes to help, she has bigger problems than a lack of helpers.

Care Bears: The Great Giving Holiday is a notable offering for one reason above all: it’s one of the very few holiday discs that does not feature Santa Claus, though the rest of the Great Giving Day is clearly meant to evoke Christmas. I suppose this is so the disc can presumably be acceptable for any day, but I think youngsters will see the Christmas parallels and wonder where Santa is.

The 1.78:1 widescreen transfer boasts the bold colors and sparkly palette of today’s CGI kids’ shows. It’s not my preferred method of animation, but it presents a cohesive picture without pixilation or badly shaded characters, so little ones will likely not mind. The Dolby 2.0 audio track feels a bit underwhelming with a definite lack of scope to the sound space.

The special feature is an additional episode of the series, “Cheeri-no,” during which Cheer Bear’s (Patty Mattson) inability to say no leads her to fail when it comes to getting her job done.

There isn’t enough holiday cheer within this disc to warrant a recommendation. I want more cuddles and loving and less yelling about things that aren’t getting done. I can have that holiday myself.

THE VERDICT

Guilty.

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