The Care Bears are a group of multi-colored bear characters created by artist Elena Kucharik for American Greetings. Since their introduction in 1981, they have appeared as toys and in TV specials, series, and films. Each of them has its own color and a specialized tummy insignia representing its duty and personality. After their initial success, the Care Bears went on hiatus throughout the 1990s but were reintroduced in 2002 for a new generation of children, and a couple of additional relaunches have been made since then.
History with the Macy's Parade
The Care Bears first appeared in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1983. Costumed character versions of Tenderheart Bear, Birthday Bear, Good-Luck Bear, Love-a-Lot Bear, Cheer Bear, Bedtime Bear, Funshine Bear, and Friend Bear all appeared with Lara Jill Miller, who sang a song about caring and feelings.
In 1984, the bears appeared on their own float. The float featured a 42-feet long rainbow spanning the float, a moon with Bedtime Bear riding it alongside a 5-story castle. Grumpy Bear joined the roster that year. In 1985, the Care Bear Cousins joined the roster to promote The Care Bears Movie, which they first appeared in. The float was retired after the 1985 parade.
In 2007, American Greetings sponsored a new Care Bears float to promote the franchise's 25th anniversary and the new redesign of the characters seen in the TV series Care Bears: Adventures in Care-A-Lot. The float: "Winter Fun-derland" features Grumpy Bear, Share Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear and Oopsy Bear near the Wishing Tree, with the latter Bears ice skating on Heartlake Pond. It also features a snowman beside a heart-shaped bench. This float was retired in 2009.
Listed below are the guest stars that have appeared/performed on the float, alongside the respective songs which they sang during the NBC Parade telecast.
- 1984 - Georgia Engel, sang "I Wanna Be a Care Bear"
- 1985 - Miss America 1986 Susan Akin, sang "Nobody Cares Like a Bear"
- 2007 - Kay Hanley, sang "Caring Changes the World"
- 2008 - Kristen Chenoweth, sang "The Christmas Waltz"
- 2009 - Carly Simon, sang "Let the Riverrun"