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The franchise consists mainly of the Care Bears themselves, as well as the later additions the Care Bear Cousins. Both of them live in the Kingdom of Caring, which is made up of Care-a-Lot (the home of the Care Bears proper) and the Forest of Feelings (home to the Care Bear Cousins).
Accompanying them are the Star and Heart Buddies, who look out for the Bears and Cousins whenever they are on missions in caring; and the Birds, who are usually seen in the Forest of Feelings with the Care Bear Cousins and watch over them. A less recurring character is The Cloud Keeper, the portly gentleman who maintains Care-a-lot. He only appeared in some of the franchise’s early publications and on the DiC-produced TV episodes.
The ten original Care Bears consisted of Bedtime Bear, Birthday Bear, Cheer Bear, Friend Bear, Funshine Bear, Good Luck Bear, Grumpy Bear, Love-A-Lot Bear, Tenderheart Bear and Wish Bear. Later on, additional bears joined them, as well as the Cousins.
For the new 2007 TV series, five of the Care Bears were chosen to be the main characters of the show. As seen on the Care Bears website, they are Share Bear, Cheer Bear, Funshine Bear, Grumpy Bear, and the new bear introduced in the movie, Oopsy Bear. However, the other Care Bears still make appearances in the series. The unofficial role of leader of the bears, as of the new series, was transferred from Tenderheart Bear to Cheer Bear, although it could be possible that the role was transferred to Champ Bear for a brief period prior to being retransferred to Cheer Bear in The Big Wish Movie as he presided over all the meetings. The cousins were not relaunched in the 2007 series.