Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Animation – Ken Muse; Layout – Dick Bickenbach; Backgrounds – Fernando Montealegre; Dialogue and Story Sketches – Charlie Shows and Dan Gordon; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yogi, Ranger, Chicken – Daws Butler; Boo Boo, Prof. Dingaling – Don Messick.
Music: Jack Shaindlin; Bill Loose/John Seely.
First aired: week of February 23, 1959.
Plot: Yogi Bear is lured by a crazy scientist into a brain experiment.
What can I tell you about this cartoon? A mad scientist switches Yogi’s mind with a chicken’s, then switches his with the Yogi-in-a-chicken’s and... well, it’s over.
Yeah, Boo Boo, I’m looking as dumbfounded as you about the whole thing. The cartoon just rolls along and then it stops. That’s what creeped me out about this cartoon when I was a kid. It’s not scary or anything. It just ends. Yogi’s mind is in the professor, the chicken’s is in Yogi and the professor’s is in the chicken. So how do they all get back to normal? I mean, this is a crazy scientist. He simply wouldn’t say “Well, my experiment’s done. Let’s put everything back the way it was and I’ll be on my way.” Mind you, that is kind of a crazy idea.
This cartoon had a chance to be somewhat as silly as its possible inspiration, the original brain-switching horror/comedy Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein (1948). After all, the studio got some silliness out of Huckleberry Hound’s encounter with a mad scientist (and giant wiener schnitzel) two years later in Science Fiction. But that was written by Warren Foster, one of the cleverest cartoon writers in history. This one’s the product of Joe Barbera and Charlie Shows. They came up with one joke. Yogi acts like a chicken.
Hmmm. We’ve only got two paragraphs here. A review has to be longer than that. So let’s emulate Charlie Shows and pad for time by presenting some odds and ends.
● Monty has enhanced the flip-up branch evergreens you see in almost all of Bick’s early Yogis. There’s foliage on the branches. The bushes in the front of the scene are on a separate cell; you can see where the edge has been cut out on the Boo Boo drawings and that Ken Muse has tried to mask it with a black line where Yogi’s body meets it (only the head moves in the scene).
● Here’s the new 1959 Bickenbach No-Door (with trailer) driven by the nutso scientist.
● Ranger Smith still hasn’t been invented so we get a generic ranger. Bick has designed the scientist with his eyes taking up the entirety of his legless glasses.
● “You are one of the good ones.” Charlie Shows loved that line and used it in several Yogi cartoons; Warren Foster picked it up the following year.
● Shows Rhyme Time. “How selfish can you get, yet?” Yogi asks himself when the ranger tells the scientist not to feed the bears.
● Shows Ironic Dialogue Alert. “You’re a brain, Yogi.” “Brainier than the a-verage tourist, Boo Boo.” Hey, the cartoon’s about brains! Get it?
● Do chickens sit on a perch like this? Maybe the professor switched its mind with a parrot before the cartoon started.
● Shows Ironic Dialogue Alert No 2. “You’re all brains, Yogi.” Yeah, we got it, Boo Boo.
● Muse brush strokes effect on the scientist (with whooshing sound effect) for speed.
● Shows Rhyme Time. “As a host, you’re the most.”
● Did you know the cartoon is now half over?
● The minds are transferred through the metal helmets. Hey, wait a minute. Yogi isn’t wearing one. The only way he can wear it is by turning that crank so the helmet can roll down onto his head. But never happens. How did the minds get transferred?
● Why heighten the effect of what should be a dramatic mind-transfer scene by stopping the stock music or changing it to something dramatic? It whistles away, ignoring anything on the screen. The music also serves to semi-mask the sound effects, including the standard Hanna-Barbera short-circuit-zapping noise used at least into the ‘70s. The electricity lines, Yogi and the chicken are on three drawings on ones.
● Shows Rhyme Time Again. “Oh, no. It ain’t so,” says Boo Boo when Yogi’s voice comes out of a chicken.
● Why doesn’t Yogi-in-the-chicken notice that his body is going past him? Twice.
● The chicken-in-Yogi turns out to be a rooster. And he cock-a-doodle-doos like a certain rooster that’s known and loved by the show’s sponsor.
● “I, like the scientists in the movies, volunteer for the test,” the scientist tells us. He sits where Yogi was. Hey, there’s no crank handle on the wall, the helmet just falls on top of the scientist. I guess that’s what happened before. The scientist made the crank handle disappear with electricity. Or something.
● Professor Dingaling-as-a-chicken declares he’s famous. Wouldn’t someone have to find out about it first? And if he changes everyone back after the cartoon, how would anyone know what happened?
● Why would Yogi-in-the-scientist say “I am a creature of the forest”? Wouldn’t he say he’s Yogi Bear? And while we’re on the subject, how come a mind switch also results in a vocal chord switch?
I guess we’ll never know. The iris now closes with everyone gathered in Yogi’s cave.
A mere five pieces of music are used in this cartoon, four by Jack Shaindlin. The sound-cutter tends to place it there without any compulsion to time it out to end with a scene, except at the very end; a couple of times, the music runs out in mid-dialogue.
0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title theme (Curtin).
0:14 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Yogi and Boo Boo in bushes, scientist talks to ranger, car pulls over.
1:48 - LAF-25-3 bassoon and zig-zag string march (Shaindlin) – Scientist gets into trailer, walks to chicken, “That, I, Professor Dingaling...”
2:14 - LAF-10-7 GROTESQUE No 2 (Shaindlin) – “...can transfer the brain of one...”, Yogi invited in, mind transfer, Boo Boo faints, scientist wants to transfer animal brain into human.
4:48 - TC-432 HOLLY DAY (Loose-Seely) – “But, first, I must get that chicken...”, Boo Boo leads chicken-in-Yogi to bed, “All right, all right!”
5:48 - LAF-21-3 RECESS (Shaindlin) – “How come I gotta wear this tin hat?”, Yogi-as-chicken and scientist switch minds, everyone in Yogi’s cave.
6:59 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin).