There are readers here, I’m sure, who expect the
• Yogi Bear is Rodney Dangerfield. Dan Aykroyd’s Yogi is so far off, he would have been closer to Daws Butler if he had done the voice of one of the Coneheads.
• Amusement Park Bear Suits. They didn’t really use expensive computer animation, did they? Those are really a couple of guys in costumes. With marbles for eyes. Right?
• Don’t Pander to Me, Bro! The stars say they used to watch Yogi as a kid and loved him. The director says the same thing. Then how come they can’t give us that Yogi Bear? Simple, they’re saying all this to get nostalgic old cartoon fans into movie house seats to add to the box office take. They know non-diehard H-B fans—newish moms, specifically—don’t know how far off it is and don’t really care anyway. The producers are banking they’ll kind of remember Yogi’s name, link it to childhood and take their kids.
• Run That Plot By Me Again. How can a mayor shut down a national park? And why don’t any humans think it’s odd they’re talking to someone in a bear costume doing an impression of Rodney Dangerfield?
So instead of getting a review from a highly-remunerated blogger such as myself, let me instead link you to a few critiques already on the web. Click on the author’s name for the full review. These were chosen entirely at random (honest!).
No Smarter Than the Average Sack of Doorknobs – Eric D. Snider, Moviefone. (He doesn’t like the old cartoons much, either).
This mostly live-action film is a bland 21st-century family comedy without a single moment that captures the wit, energy or sophistication of the original. – Mike Hale, New York Times.
The story about Yogi's fall from grace, Ranger Smith's self-loathing issues and the fight to save the park from rank commercialism comes to criminally little. – Michael Phillips, Los Angeles Times.
Yogi Bear is a big boo-boo. Or at least he needs to go back into hibernation. – Claudia Puig, USA Today.
Want a great gift idea for the kids? Here’s a surefire hit: Don’t take them to “Yogi Bear.” – Jason Heck, Kansas City Star.
A frenetic, unfunny mix of action, romance, dud dialogue, and icky things popping out of the screen. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe.
No animal was harmed in the making of this picture except the one Hanna-Barbera made a bundle on almost 50 years ago. – Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel.
“Yowp, you’re being unfair,” I hear you saying. “What about the favourable reviews? There must be one.” Well, actually, there is:
A charming mix of live action and computer-generated animation, the new and improved Yogi comes across like an obliging Walter Matthau covered in fur. – John Lekich, Georgia Straight.
Let me point out something. The Straight was, when it started in the 1960s, Vancouver’s anti-establishment protest voice in print. We can only presume pungent, skunky clouds from a hand-rolled, burning, home-grown leaf, the lingering remnants of the tie-dyed, Get-Out-of-Vietnam, Stanley Park Be-In days, are still wafting through the paper’s offices and influenced the writer’s review.
If any readers actually managed to brave a screening of the movie, please post your thoughts in the comments.
Instead of a review, let me give you a prediction. Yogi will be left behind by Tron in their opening weekend, receipts will drop during the second weekend and the Jellystone misadventure will vanish after New Year’s Day. That will make room for a real Yogi Bear—the one who celebrates the 50th anniversary of his own show at the end of next month. That’s something any Hanna-Barbera fan can certainly, um, well, you know the word.