Yogi Bear

24 Dec

Title: Yogi Bear
Eric Brevig
Brad Copeland, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, based on the characters by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Tom Cavanagh, Anna Faris, T.J. Miller, Andrew Daly, Nate Corddry
MPAA Rating:
PG, some mild rude humor
80 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
Rotten Tomatoes:

There has been a fan-made video making the viral rounds on YouTube that features an alternate ending to this film, and (spoiler alert) it’s basically a seriously well-done clip inspired by The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in which Boo Boo kills Yogi Bear. It’s a very very dark two-minute scene that’s also extremely captivating. And, for my money, a better investment of your time than this eighty-minute feature film about Yogi Bear, and Boo Boo and Ranger Smith. Just click here to watch that video and tell me if it’s not totally awesome in a very sick sort of way.

I mean, Yogi Bear is not a horrible movie, and I actually thought Justin Timberlake was a very good choice to voice one of our main animated characters, and I’ll always treasure a chance to see Tom Cavanagh on-screen, but I did think it was a quite unnecessary movie. And I don’t really know how to grade this film, I hated bits of it, and I appreciated some other parts (though to far lesser extents). But for the most part I guess a part of me felt it was nice for a film based on a Hanna-Barbera property to exist.

So yeah, I’m not gonna give Yogi Bear a failing grade right now. It was bad, but it was really harmless, it’s not the sort of bad film you leave the theater feeling pissed at yourself for having wasted your time. And, moreover, even if you do feel that way, then at least it’s not a bad film that wastes too much of your time, because with just an eighty-minute running time this one will, if anything, go by really fast.

And you know what, I will say one good thing about this film. Even though the new iteration of our beloved cartoon features 3D and CGI creations acting alongside live-action actors, the core remains true to its source. By this I mean that new adaptations of beloved material from these years are usually filled with more modern references and goofs and jokes that don’t make sense to the characters. While in Yogi Bear, even though the jokes aren’t that awesome, they are still quite loyal to the original cartoon, and we don’t end up getting another Chipmunks movie.

And that’s really the one good thing I can say about this film, that even though the plot is uninspired (it deals with Ranger Smith trying to save the park from an oil politician) at least whatever charm and laughs this film offers is still based on the timeless appeal of the original cartoon. And that’s really saying something considering that nowadays a kiddie film apparently cannot be made in Hollywood without containing half a dozen stupid jokes about farts and other crude-ish dumb situations. It really is refreshing to see some sweet and good-natured humor in these times.

As for the effects, well, Eric Brevig, the film’s director, is actually an Academy Award-nominated visual effects supervisor and has worked on films such as Pearl Harbor and Men in Black. And in here, much like he did in his only other directing effort, Journey to the Center of the Earth, he makes a few cool uses of the 3D technology. As for our two animated leads, well, as I said before, I thought Mr. Timberlake was quite terrific in channeling Boo Boo and made him a very charming sidekick to our title character. However, I didn’t forget to mention Dan Aykroyd when I gave praise to Mr. Timberlake, I just thought Mr. Aykroyd just didn’t embed in Yogi the effortless charm we’re used to seeing him posses.

Go see Yogi Bear if you have a kid under ten you want to entertain. They’ll most certainly get a kick or two out of it, and you as an adult supervisor could be doing much worse than this, especially when you consider this one’s short running time in comparison to some of your other options. But then again, your local theater is probably still running Tangled so you could just take your kid to see that one and you’ll be much better off.

Grade: C


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: