Reason for Inclusion: While virtually unwatchable today, (although there is a wonderfully creepy, “Ted”-esque moment early in the movie where two ethereal Care Bears accost some human kids in Central Park), “The Care Bears Movie” remains a genuine cultural watermark – years before movies were based on theme park rides or board games, this one was based on a series of characters originally created for use in greeting cards (its production budget was covered by American Greetings, cereal company General Mills, and Canadian television provider Lexington Broadcast Services – yes, seriously). The Bears have an arcane mythology and live in the clouds (or something), and the movie looks like it was drawn and animated by a really enthusiastic elementary school art class. The movie is notable in animation circles for crushing (at the box office, at least), Disney’s ambitious, troubled “The Black Cauldron,” which was seen by many as a wake-up call to the state of the industry and facilitated ‘Cauldron’ animator (and future “An American Tail” director) Don Bluth’s flight from Disney. The studio produced two cash-grabby “Care Bears Movie” sequels in the two following years – ‘A New Generation' and ‘Adventure in Wonderland.’ Neither matched the financial success or cultural impact of the original film. But they sure did sell a lot of toys and boxes of cereal.
Adorability Factor: The Care Bears, who have names like Lots-of-Love Bear and Funshine Bear, are so cloyingly cute that they cease to be cute at all and instead become repulsive – sort of like how fuzzy Gizmo gives birth to all those evil gremlins (that analogy probably worked better in our head). It doesn’t help that the sketchy, schizophrenic animation (which looks unfinished and pulpy-raw), which is meant to give life to the talking, walking bears, instead has them in a series of mostly-static poses. They come off as zombies or broken animatronics, not huggable teddy bears.
Reason For Inclusion: Because no other teddy bear on this list has the hardscrabble back-story, pathos and motivation more befitting some character in a Tennessee Williams adaptation than a children's plaything. Voiced by Ned Beatty with a honey dipped Southern drawl, Lotso (full name: Lots-O-Huggin' Bear) is a soured soul who feels like he was abandoned by his human owners and now serves as judge, jury, and executioner at the Sunnyside Daycare, forcing our beloved heroes (Woody, Buzz and the gang) into a prison-like lifestyle and generally acting like a complete dick. Arguably the most evil and unsympathetic bad guy in the 'Toy Story' trilogy (he was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain but probably lost to someone from "Twilight"), Lotso is as fascinating as he is bad. He's also the catalyst for all of those tears, since he was the character who didn't stop the conveyer belt at the dump, which led to that amazing moment where it looked like all of our favorite toys were going to be incinerated (we've never been more thankful for 3D glasses obscuring our actual eyes). The groundwork for Lotso had been laid since the first "Toy Story," when Woody addresses a vaguely similar teddy bear up on a shelf during his "moving buddy" speech (supposedly advancement in hair and fur simulators are what kept a teddy bear from ever becoming a major character beforehand). Well, it might have taken them three years, but they certainly saved the best for last – Lotso is an indelible, oddly sympathetic and totally tragic bad guy (and his fate reinforces all of this).
Adorability Factor: Pretty high, all things considered. Lotso is a pink plush bear (who smells like strawberries!) with a large plum-colored nose. Even after all of his dastardly deeds, a worker at the waste management plant picks him up and snuggles him (and then staples him to the front of a garbage truck). Lotso also walks with a limp, which gives him a certain degree of sympathetic dimension (he's damaged goods, through and through). But after the charm of the Southern accent wears off, it's very easy to hate him with all your soul. So visually, he's pretty cute, but inside, he's as dark as a starless night sky.