I watched a short episode of the 80s cartoon Care Bears, this particular episode was called “The Night the Stars Went Out.” It was about a villain riding around in a cloud stealing stars from the sky so he could have light to see his music when he was playing his violin. The Care Bears find out who is behind the star stealing and they take him down and get back the stars. In the end Funshine Bear gives the villain some of her sunlight so he can read his music without stealing stars for light. The problem is solved and everybody goes off happily.
This PLC definitely portrays Cross’s fears that shows are no longer teaching kids how to deal with real life events. This show is purely fantasy, it takes place on a cloud and they take down the villain by throwing lightning bolts at him and by shooting him the Care Bear Stare. This show might not teach boys how to shoot a gun or fight in war and teach girls how to raise kids, cook, and clean, but it still emphasizes the importance of teamwork and friendship. Care Bears and other PLCs are not necessarily very educational but I do not see the harm in them. Fantasy genre shows I believe spark the imagination and I think that is a very good thing for kids to have. Cross believed that “the plaything as a tool to reenact the past or prepare for the future had largely disappeared.” He also believed that when PLCs and “toys lost their connection to the experience and expectations of parents, they entered a realm of ever-changing fantasy (309).” This is what ultimately scared Cross. When he was growing up boys and girls were expected to become certain things as they got older. The toys kids played with and the shows kids watched back before the 70s and 80s highlighted the gender roles that men and women were supposed to take. Nowadays these roles are becoming blurred and things are changing all time and toys and shows for kids are trying to keep up with the changing times.