Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Ed Love; Layout – Ed Benedict; Backgrounds - ?; Story – Warren Foster; Story Sketches – Dan Gordon; Story Direction – Alex Lovy; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson (no credits on cartoon).
Cast: Narrator, Ranger Smith, Boo Boo – Don Messick; Yogi, Superintendent – Daws Butler.
First aired: Week of December 21, 1959.
Plot: After faking being hypnotised by Ranger Smith, Yogi hypnotises Boo Boo into thinking he’s a bird.
Many thanks to reader Scott for a TV bugless title card.
One of the things that happened after Warren Foster arrived at Hanna-Barbera was to marry Yogi Bear to a formula. In the first season of the Huckleberry Hound Show, Yogi roamed freely. He wasn’t always in Jellystone Park, he didn’t need Boo-Boo as an accoutrement and he didn’t utter the word “pic-a-nic” until the 19th cartoon. Rarely did he set out to put one over on a ranger, and whatever rangers appeared had different names (if any) and different designs in just about every cartoon.
Foster was hired to write the second season of the Huck show after Charlie Shows left. It was at that time that the all-blackout-gag and kiddie-rescuing versions of Yogi were tossed out. A decision was made to, more or less, create a permanent formula based on the first season’s Yogi Bear’s Big Break—Yogi tries to outwit a ranger at Jellystone, with Boo-Boo glued to him as a conscience/sidekick, though it took several funny cartoons to get there. And it was decided to give Yogi only one nemesis who viewers could become familiar with. Foster grabbed the name of one of the rangers from the previous year—Smith—and Don Messick settled on a voice. But it took a little time to come up with a design and this cartoon is proof. Nowhere does Ranger Smith look as odd as he does in this cartoon.
It’s a fun design, more so than one with the permanent five-o’clock-shadow which every Hanna-Barbera human seemed to grow. So, naturally, it had to be created by none other than Ed Benedict. And this Ranger Smith is animated with goofy-looking overbite expressions with individual teeth. So, naturally, the man at the light board had to be Ed Love, the former Disneyite later responsible for many commercials animated at Hanna-Barbera, and a stellar animator for Bob Clampett in his abortive attempt at a series at Republic (It’s a Grand Old Nag), Tex Avery’s unit at MGM, and at Lantz during its best period (mid-late ‘40s). This was Love’s first Yogi cartoon and the only one he animated in the 1959-60 season. Love drew the ranger in a more conventional style later so it would seem he was following Benedict’s layouts closely.
This is really a cartoon in two halves and the first one sets up the second one (Foster’s earlier Lullabye-Bye Bear is written the same way). The first half involves hypnosis and the second half features a variety of almost black-out gags to undo the result of the first half. The cartoon starts with cars and trailers leaving the park.
Narrator: As the tourist season comes to a close at Jellystone Park, the hard-working rangers relax by reading or pursuing some hobby.
The shot dissolves to Ranger Smith’s office with the phone ringing and Smith telling Bill (Hanna?) on the other end he’s been reading his do-it-yourself hypnotism book. He needs someone to practise on. The unheard Bill suggests using a park bear.
So Smith shouts to Yogi, who’s sleeping in his cave with Boo Boo. Yogi reports to the ranger’s office and Foster shows his sense of irony:
Smith: You’re getting sleepy. Sleeepy. Sleeeepyyy.
Yogi: You get me out of bed to tell me this?
The hypnotic attempt is augmented by a change from Bill Loose’s happy music to a flute and strings piece by Spencer Moore’s ghost writer. Yogi spots the hypnotism book on the ranger’s desk and decides to play along. There’s a colour error. Someone forgot to change Yogi’s muzzle to a tan colour for a few frames. It happens later in the cartoon as well.
The clever Yogi manages to finagle a piece of chocolate cake out of the ranger (“might help the acoustics”) before being able to “hear” his orders, though it’s munched on off-camera as we get a three-second hold shot of the ranger watching. “You are now a dog,” commands the ranger, and Yogi barks as the music segues into that echoey, creepy tune that pops up on the second-season Huck Show cartoons. The music reverts to more Bill Loose happy melody music when Yogi reverts back. It’s probably one of the best uses of music changes that H-B got out of its stock libraries.
Yogi toddles back to his cave and decides to try the “hypno-tizzicle stuff” on Boo Boo for laughs. I like how he tells the snoring Boo Boo “You’re getting sleepy” when the little bear is already asleep.
Here’s a great example of Love’s style of dialogue animation in medium shot. Instead of a Lew Marshall-style two-position head-bob, Love will use three or four different head positions and moves the mouth around a bit off-centre on the face; Yogi’s muzzle is big enough to take advantage of it. And Yogi (and Ranger Smith) sometimes talk through their teeth; other times, the mouth is open to varying degrees. On top of that, Love doesn’t always animate on twos. He’s following Daws’ delivery and, in this scene, he tosses in some threes and a few ones because characters don’t talk in an even, mechanical cadence. Ed’s getting the most out of limited animation.
At first, it doesn’t seem Yogi’s suggestion “You are a bird” has done anything—unless Yogi hears tweeting, sees Boo Boo flapping his arms atop the bed and then flying out the cave entrance.
“That’s ridiculous, Bill. I don’t care how people saw it. Bears don’t fly,” says Smith into the phone. Naturally, that’s the moment he spots Boo Boo flying in the background. Yogi and the ranger then track down the airborne bear “before the Commissioner hears about this” and watch as Boo Boo flies into a cliff and falls into a nest on a jutting piece of the face. That snaps him out of his hypnotic state so he’s a bear and can’t fly any more.
The rest of the cartoon is taken up with gags to rescue Boo Boo. The first one has the ranger on a teeter-board and Yogi adopt a station wagon. Yogi jumps on one end of the plank, the ranger sails up and gets unexpectedly stopped by an abutment. Smith lands back on the board and the laws of gravity send Yogi up and head-first through the roof of the station wagon.
Next gag has the Ranger atop the cliff lowering Yogi on a fishing line. But the bear’s “heavier than a sack of a cement” and Smith can’t control the line. Yogi zips past Boo Boo and crashes to the bottom. Then the ranger puts Yogi in a home-made ejector seat to send him skyward but blows up the bear instead. “Hmm. Needs a little work yet.”
Finally, Smith attaches balloons to Yogi to allow him to float up and rescue Boo Boo. It’s a success. But no one worked out how the bears were to get back down. “Oh, no,” groans the ranger. A phone on a tree starts ringing. It’s the Superintendent (what happened to the Commissioner?) telling him “there are two bears floating over the park.” The ranger starts crying as the camera fades.
Whoever did the sound cutting on this cartoon (the credits never say who it is, but my guess is Greg Watson) has the music running seamlessly in several places, despite the fact it is the work of different composers. All the regular stock composers are here, including Phil Green, a rarity for Yogi. I still haven’t been able to identify the creepy wa-wa echoey horn music.
0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title theme (Hoyt Curtin)
0:13 - C-14 DOMESTIC LIGHT (Loose) – Ranger Smith on phone, Yogi goes to ranger station.
1:23 - L-80 COMEDY UNDERSCORE (Spencer Moore) – Ranger tries to hypnotise Yogi; Yogi catches on.
1:51 - GR-259 AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER (Green) – Yogi snores, eats cake.
2:18 - creepy reverb trumpet music (Raoul Kraushaar?) – Yogi pretends to be a dog; snaps out of it.
2:32 - C-3 DOMESTIC CHILDREN (Loose) – Yogi hypnotises Boo Boo; Boo Boo out of cave.
3:45 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Boo Boo flies away.
3:58 - L-1158 ANIMATION COMEDY (Moore) – “I don’t care...Bears don’t fly.”
4:01 - TC-201 PIXIE COMEDY (Loose-John Seely) – Yogi runs into ranger’s office, Yogi and Smith look through binoculars.
4:37 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Boo Boo flies into cliff, lands in nest, Smith and Yogi run cycle.
4:57 - TC-303 ZANY COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Yogi jumps on plank.
5:05 - fast circus ‘scale’ music (Jack Shaindlin) – Ranger bashes head, Yogi lands in station wagon, fishing line gag, Ejector seat gag.
6:00 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – “Needs a little work”, Smith releases Yogi.
6:19 - LICKITY SPLIT (Shaindlin) – Yogi floats up, Yogi and Boo Boo float away, Superintendent calls Smith.
6:58 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin)