Unanswered Questions for 80s Cartoons
Spoiler: These are questions for “girl” cartoons. Enjoy!
As kids, we often easily accept the story we’re given, as long as it’s easy to understand and simple to digest. But as we age and we re-watch some of the shows we love…we realize that they sometimes just make no sense. And even worse is when they leave us reeling with questions that the move/franchise in question just doesn’t bother to help us answer! Such as when…
Care Bears the Movie 2
The Question: Dark Heart is Healed. Now was happens to him?
In Care Bears the Movie 2, a horse and a bear are put in charge of a whole mess of care-babies. As they’re sailing across the sea, they’re attacked by an evil red dragon. After they bravely protect all the care-babies, who will grow up to become the Care Bears and Care Bear Cousins they are granted special caring powers by the moon. Easy to follow, right?
The bulk of the story takes place on earth, in a summer camp. We follow a girl names Kristy and a set of twins named John and Dawn. Kristy is upset that she’s not the “Camp Champ”. The Care Bears head down to earth to give the kids a pep-talk about being true to themselves and all that trash. However, the evil spirit Dark Heart, is still holding a grudge from the last time the Bears kicked his ass and is vowing to get them and all their bogus caring power.
Dark Heart spies on Kristy and is attracted to her anger. He shapeshifts into a Peter Pan clone and together the two of them work together to trap all the Care Bears into individual crystals. In the end, he accidentally blasts Kristy with his power and feels as guilty as a dude who just punched his girlfriend and doesn’t want the cops called.
With the power of the Care Bears, and endless chants of “We Care!”, Kristy is not only brought back from the dead, but the evil power leaves Dark Heart. His eyes turn blue and he declares himself a real boy. He leaves behind a life of immortality and unlimited shapeshifting power, heads down to summer camp with Kristy and the bears, and enjoys a lazy summer of swimming in pond water and very likely, Care Bear poop.
But now what?
As every kid knows, summer vacation doesn’t last forever. Eventually, the fun stops, you strip off the tee-pee shirt, ride that bus back to the suburbs, and kiss your summer romance goodbye. So…what is going to happen to Dark Heart? Does he even have a regular kid name? Parents? A benefactor or a trust fund set up? Will he get dragged back to the real world and get forced to go to school? Hide in Kristy’s bedroom? Will he get his powers back? What is going to happen next, Care Bears the Movie 2?
The Question: Will Brian have Rainbowland Trauma?
Rainbow Brite is the story of a warm-weather and color spirit in the form of a child. The audience is introduced to a human friend named Brian in the episode “Peril in the Pits”. He is an eleven-year-old boy who is super bummed that he didn’t make the baseball team. With a glum look on his face and his head hung, he manages to walk his depressed self into a rainbow. The colors stick to him, and Rainbow very willingly rides down from the sky to meet him.
From there, Brian is taken to Rainbow Brite’s home world, Rainbow Land, and is essentially shown all the secrets of the chocolate factory. In fact, in the episode “The Mighty Monstromurk Menace”, Rainbow gives Brian a literal key to Rainbow Land. All he has to do is stick it in a closet door and a rainbow will appear. Brian can then ride the rainbow to Rainbow Land.
Spoiler: He uses the key five seconds after getting it and almost falls out of the sky.
The show paints the picture that Rainbow Brite, her friends, and her foes are immortal and on an endless loop of bringing color to the world and stopping those who try to oppose her goodness. Just keep those color crystals and star sprinkles safe and everything will be okay. But what about Brian? Will he also become immortal by hanging out in Rainbow Land? Or will he grow up while the girl he cares about never does?
And in the movie Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer, the cast experiences a long winter that rivals Game of Thrones when Spectra, the diamond planet, is covered with a giant rope so the color can’t come through. Brian knows all of this- everything he’s learned in school about weather patterns and the rotation of the earth is completely contradicted by the magical truths he’s learned. Instant and long-term mental trauma, I tell you.
Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails
The Question: What exactly is the conflict in this world?
Lady Lovely Locks is another one of those 1980s franchises that is a toy line, then a cartoon, as was a popular trend at the time. What with Rainbow Brite, Moon Dreamers, My Little Pony, Care Bears, and Strawberry Shortcake, these kinds of worlds were truly everywhere.
But while many other shows made obvious efforts to develop the world their characters inhabit, I was left confused by Lady Lovely Locks when I saw her as a child. In fact, the show always read less like a hero story and more like a lovers-spat.
Lady Lovely Locks is the blonde-haired princess of The Kingdom of Lovely Locks. She has three squirrel-like creatures that hang out in her hair, two maiden friends named Fair Hair and Curly Crown, a blind sorcerer, a dog friend and a horse friend and a cursed prince in dog form that can bust a Tuxedo Mask and save her whenever Lady Lovely Locks is in trouble (in a convenient human form).
The antagonists in this story are weak at best. The only villain present is an angry black-haired girl named Duchess Raven Waves. DUTCHESS. That means she’s a form of royalty too. She travels with her own version of the Pixietails called the Comb Gnomes, and a small ugly dude named Hair Ball, who once apprenticed under Shining Glory, the blind sorcerer.
The only ongoing evil theme I remember from the show is Raven Waves obsession with cutting Lady Lovely Locks hair.See the scissors in the screen shot? This girl means business. She was somehow convinced that if she cut off a piece of Lady’s hair, she could somehow control the kingdom.
And do what, exactly?
Fortunately, there were only 20 episodes of this show made and I don’t ever remember it being on TV. The only place I ever saw it was in the bargain bin at Pic N Save, which is exactly where it belonged. Now, if the show had overt LGBT themes and there was some kind of sordid past between Lady and Raven, that’s a show I could excitedly get behind.
But that’s what Fan Fiction is for, right?
What questions did your childhood cartoons forget to answer? Any story lines with big, crazy plot holes in them? Or should we just have some chill? Tell Nerdbot about it in the comments!