And, much like the ubiquitousness of anything to do with Christmas, you can’t get away from the publicity campaign to push you into theatres later this month to see that lump of coal in your stocking—a film that purports to feature Yogi Bear.
The movie has outraged fans of the old cartoons in so many ways, they’re uncountable. But now the publicity is doing the same thing.
The one playing the larynx of the title character, Dan Aykroyd, is making the circuit. He chatted with David Germain of the Associated Press, who opens his story with this:
Dan Aykroyd has been rehearsing for the lead voice in "Yogi Bear" for half a century.
Then Aykroyd relates his tale of running past
And Daws Butler.
I loved Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live. But if Dan Aykroyd has really been rehearsing Yogi’s voice for 50 years, all I can say, as the kids put it these days: FAIL.
Even more stunning is the barefaced (I’m avoiding a pun here) comments by the movie’s director, as quoted by Mr. Germain:
I didn't want them [the actors] to imitate the characters. I wanted them to be the characters as you remember it, especially people who know the characters from their childhood.
Say what? You “don’t recognise” something as “you remember it”? That sounds like the kind of double-talk you’d hear out of
The director also comes up with this bit of understatement:
Dan’s version isn't actually identical.
50 years ago, Yogi could be seen twice every Wednesday in Ottawa: at 5 o’clock on CBOT (channel 4) and 7 o’clock on WCAX (channel 3, Burlington, Vt.). Yet Mr. Aykroyd’s childhood memories of the verbal nuances of Daws Butler have somehow been replaced by those he heard on the set of Caddyshack from Rodney Dangerfield. Or maybe it’s the director’s fault that Aykroyd’s Yogi sounds like he’s ready to pull on his tie and complain he gets “no respect.” You can read the AP piece for yourself HERE.
So, kids, before you run home from school past timberwolves or drunken politicians to watch cartoons, here is today’s lesson.
This is not Yogi Bear.
This is Yogi Bear.
What does the real Yogi think about all this? Perhaps this sums it up:
For Yogi Bear, the glass is always half full and every day is a gift ripe with opportunities, new friends, and tasty treats. The Tao of Yogi is one of love and tolerance: love thy neighbor, harbor no ill will, and share your gifts, and life will reward you with goodies. Live by these rules and you can't go wrong. Happiness is Yogi's message, his reason for being, and Life is a Pic-a-Nic is his manifesto.
Those are publicity notes from a new book by Yogi himself, assisted by a long-time acquaintance of his, Earl Kress. And that isn’t an exaggeration. Earl was a friend of the wonderful Daws Butler. I wish Earl resumed his blogging because I’d love to read more stories about the people he knew/knows in the animation industry. Nevertheless, Earl’s a busy guy with a resumé far greater than mine, but has taken the time to pass on the names of some of the stock music in the original Huck and Yogi cartoons. If you’re interested in the book, you can go HERE. The cover art’s really nice. Sure is better than CGI, isn’t it?