It was good to be a little girl on Thanksgiving in 1984. Many of the attractions tied in to the biggest girly fads of the time, not the least of which are these next two acts -- Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake!


As the Care Bears float rolls into view, there doesn't seem to be much to it. Yeah, it's pretty. A big ass blue castle filled with rainbows. Nice. Still, when you got a closer look, things seemed a little more engaging -- what were those big creatures running around? Oh! They're Care Bears! So it's not just a float -- it's a transport, and what's more, the Care Bears are real. This would've been enough to sell any little girl on the idea of an obsessive love for Everything Care Bears, but mere seconds later, they played a far bigger hand...



Broadway star Georgia Engel appears out of nowhere, busts into some siren song that summons all of the Care Bears from the sanctity of their wheeled castle, and just to make sure your eyes stay glued to the set instead of the rapidly cooking turkey, everybody dances together!

Now, this is no normal song Georgia's singing. It's a Care Bears song, with lyrics including such gems as "I wanna be a Care Bear." Jesus Christ. You really have to feel for all the poor fathers in the audience -- there's just no way anyone with a dick could be within a hundred feet of this float without feeling embarrassed. Georgia, dancing in a way that seriously doesn't emphasize the Broadway star within her, introduces each of the Care Bears, who in turn wiggle their asses around because that's the only movement their big blocky costumes allow. Some of the bears are cute, others are positively monstrous. "Grumpy Bear," for example, looks more like the kind of thing that should only appear after someone says his name five times into a mirror.


And it just goes on and on and on, well past the choreographed bit and into something far more challenging to sit through: a partly ad-libbed dance number starring Georgia Engel and the Care Bears. All signs of cohesion are lost as Georgia strays off to the side for a solo number, while the wacky bears just sort of stand around feeling themselves. The crowd becomes audibly restless, and it isn't lost on Georgia. Once she senses the waning interest of her many fans, her dancing grows more intense, and along with that, her facial gestures. Keep an eye out during the clip -- there's points where Georgia looks like she's trying to shit out a futon.


There's times that I believe in God, and there's times like this.

Do you wanna be a Care Bear? (8 MB)


Just as all of the guys in the crowd are finally shaking off the Care Bear cobwebs, Strawberry Shortcake's float rolls on in. Most of the floats just keep going without any stops for a musical number, and though Shortcake's looked like it was going to do that, it ends up stopping just before rolling out of view. You can hear a select portion of the crowd let out a collective "oh god please no please" if you listen carefully, and sure enough, it's time for another song capable of shrinking every pair of balls in New York City...


Unlike the Care Bears fiasco, this time we get unmasked actors playing the parts. They did a good job dressing up the Strawberry Shortcake chick, though the disguise isn't sure if it's patterning itself after Strawberry Shortcake or Helen Roper. Her berry friendly pals are similarly made up, with bright dresses and big hats and things that make you go oooh. Actually, seeing this makes me surprised that nobody gave a live-action Strawberry Shortcake television show a try. Wait, no, not "surprised," "thankful." You know what? I bet that whole thing was on purpose, too. They wanted to make us thankful on Thanksgiving. And they did sure did they yes sir sure did!

Course, not everyone from Planet Shortcake arrived without a mask. It wouldn't be a Macy's Parade float if someone with a two-foot clay head didn't step off and run in circles around it...


The Purple Pie Man and the Purple Puckering Woman arrive and endeavor in something that very scattered and low-numbering off-planet tribes might possibly consider "entertainment." I call it a reason to outplay Bryant Gumbel for the most trips to the bathroom. "Lust" from "Herman's Head" calls it something else, but "Brain" cut him off before Herman could say it.

....

Sorry about that.

Strawberry Shortcake laughs and sings in the face of evil. (5.2 MB)























 


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