In 2015 Cartoon Network — in the peak of their New Tens hot streak — premiered the first episode of We Bare Bears. Created by Daniel Chong and based on a similar webcomic, it was about the daily problems of three different species of bear who walked around the Bay Area on top of each others’ backs. The series was another winner for Cartoon Network, who ended up producing six seasons and a movie (yes, We Bare Bears beat Community to that goal).
Every so often in the run, you’d get a “prequel” episode starring the bears as small cubs. They were together even then and wandered around the country looking for a place to call home. The “baby bear” cartoons were some of viewers’ favorite episodes and it made sense to spin them off into a show of their own once the original finished its run. We Baby Bears was officially announced in 2020 alongside the debut of the We Bare Bears movie.
It’s been a long time since then (or at least it feels like it), but the spinoff is finally ready to go and will premiere next month. CN uploaded both a trailer and the opening theme song to YouTube today. If you were expecting a continuation of the Baby Bears shorts, so were we, but it turns out We Baby Bears goes off in its own direction.
Little Grizz, Panda and Ice Bear still don’t have a place to live, but that doesn’t seem to matter much when they DO have access to a magic box that can teleport them anywhere in the universe. Baby Ice Bear speaks (he did not speak in the original shorts). The art style has shifted to more of an anime aesthetic (feels like Grizz made it) and Chong doesn’t appear to be involved…there’s a new showrunner, Manny Hernandez.
None of this means We Baby Bears is going to disappoint. If the spinoff manages to be just as witty and charming as the original, it won’t matter how different it is. Just don’t go in expecting more of the same. The series premieres January 1, 2022 on Cartoon Network.