Growing up, I'm so glad I was blissfully unaware of all these theories that have sprouted up in recent years.
The ones that are about how my favorite beloved cartoons were somehow trying to brainwash me or symbolized something dark and sinister. And I don't really tend to agree with any of them, but I'm truly shocked that the Care Bears have been brought into question!
Theory: The Care Bears symbolize Voodoo Gods and traditions, even where they live reflects Voodooism!
Is this far fetched, is it merely coincidental, does someone have way too much time on their hands OR is it believable!?
Take a look at the theory and decide for yourself!
1. Care bears = Carefours
The name Care Bears is similar to Carefours, which is a district of Port au Prince, an area right in the heart of the Voodoo world.
Their home in the clouds, the city of Care-a-Lot, could it be an idealized voodoo holy city? Or maybe it's just cute they live in the clouds?!
2. The Care Bears Are Lwa (Voodoo Spirits)
The Lwa, central to Voodoo beliefs, want to share the bodies of their worshippers, and are often referred to as 'friends' by their followers.
And we all know, them cuddly fellas just want to be friends with everybody with the motto 'share until you care!'
Coincidence? I'm guessing so!
3. The Symbols on Their Stomachs
As a child, I loved how sweet the Care Bears were, and, obviously, they had little cute symbols to match their names and personalities, but, the theory says these symbols run way deeper than that!
Voodoo is a religion that has lots of symbolism, the most important being the Veve symbols that represent each of the Lwa Voodoo Gods.
So, the link is that both the Lwa and the Care Bears have symbols on their stomachs.
4. Love-a-Lot Bear
A big connection is taken from Love-a-lot bear and Goddess Erzulie. Erzulie is often associated with the color pink, just like Love-a-lot and the twin hearts could be a nod towards the fact that Erzulie was the Goddess of love and motherhood.
But if Love-a-lot likes to love, well, a LOT, then having two hearts just shows how loving she is, doesn't it?!
5. Friend Bear
Friend bear has the symbol of two flowers crossed across his tummy, which is similar to the symbol of Legba, another Voodoo God whose symbol is two roses crossed. Also the name for Legba is 'friend' as people don't often say his name aloud.
Legba is one of the most commonly called upon Lwa as a messenger and Friend Bear has a similar role as a go-between among the other Care Bears.
6. Cheer Bear
Another connection is between Damballah, who is symbolized by a rainbow and Cheer Bear who also has a rainbow symbol. Cheer Bear, more than many other Care Bears, is shown using magical or mystical powers just like Damballah. Spooky....or coincidence?
7. Grumpy Bear
Grumpy bear, with his bad attitude is supposedly reminiscent of Capitaine Ogu, who also has a bad temper. The cloud on Grumpy's stomach is also said to be a similar shape to Ogu's ship.
Apparently, when watching kids movie Return to Care-a-lot, Grumpy can be heard muttering; “Gren mi Fret” or “My Balls are Cold,” which was apparently Ogu's greeting to people.
Surely a Care Bear would never say such a thing about his balls?! Especially not by means of saying hello!
8. The Way They Travel
They travel by magic ship sometimes, which, is said to be a reference to the slave ships which brought the first Voodoo practitioners to the new world.
There's no mention of their cute little cars though, I loved them.
9. Fancy Dress
Them Care Bears liked to dress up, especially Grumpy and Birthday Bear. Is it because it's just a fun thing to put in a cartoon because kids also like to dress up?
The theory thinks it's more elaborate than that.
When the two try on hats and other disguises, it isn't for fun, it's a nod to the characteristic behavior of the Guede Lwa who guard the dead and are known for wearing hats and fancy dress. Obviously.
10. We Will Never Know
Personally, I don't agree with the theory. When anything is scrutinized it's so easy to find similarities and comparisons, and I doubt kids are going to notice that Love-a-Lot is actually a Voodoo God. Ain't gonna happen.
But, another twist in the Voodoo tale is that a lot of the creators have died in suspicious circumstances. Mainly animator Lester Meyers.
When he disappeared a cryptic note was left by him saying he was going away to find out the “truth about where the CBs come from." His final credit card bill showed a charge for a ticket to Haiti. Nothing was ever heard from him again.
A strange coincidence? Or the power of Voodoo?!