Downton Abbey is a Care Bears Movie


For the uninitiated, the Care Bears franchise was spawned in the 1980s based on a set of multi-colored bears that were created for use on greeting cards. From this emerged multiple toy lines, childrens books, animated series, and three feature film releases. Each of the aforementioned bears represents a particular trait that can be easily identified by the badge on their stomach, and they promote caring and friendship as an answer to all the ills of the world. 

Now, the discerning reader is likely asking what this has to do with Downton Abbey, the 2019 film following up the critically acclaimed British period television series? The film chronicled the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants through the ups and downs of the 1910s and 20s in their eponymous manor house. While entirely different in content, the similarities of spirit become quickly apparent to someone familiar with both subjects. Both deal – for the most part – with problems that are not really problems as most would recognize the term, fail miserably when they attempt to branch into thematic areas outside of their specialization, and answer this drama with sickening level of idealism. This idealism manifests as caring and sharing in the case of Care Bears and steadfast dignity in the case of Downton Abbey. Moreover, their feature films can be summed up in the same words: unnecessary, bringing nothing special to the table, and unlikely to attract new fans. Like the Care Bears movie, Downton Abbey is essentially an overextended episode of the series pretending to be a film. If you enjoyed the series, you will likely enjoy the film. If not, it is unlikely to change your mind, and if you are entirely unfamiliar with the series, this is not a good entry point. 

Of course, both Care Bears and Downton Abbey are harmful in their own way, something I may possibly explore in future articles. But for now, I will summarize. 

3 out of 5. 

Theater worthy to a specific audience and skippable for everyone else.