Saturday, 22 June 2013

Yogi Bear — Love Bugged Bear

Produced and Directed by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera.
Credits: Animation – Bob Carr, Layout – Tony Rivera, Backgrounds – Vera Hanson, Written by Warren Foster, Story Director – Alex Lovy, Titles – Art Goble, Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Yogi Bear, Male Bear – Daws Butler; Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, Girl Bear – Don Messick.
Music: Bill Loose-John Seely, Geordie Hormel, Jack Shaindlin.
First Aired: week of February 13, 1961.
Episode: Huckleberry Hound Show K-051.
Plot: Yogi spends all his time trying to charm his new girl friend.

Warren Foster’s philosophy on love:

● Women play abusive games with men and don’t care about it.
● Women are fickle and will run off with any guy.
● Men are stupid enough to put up with either one or both of the above.

Well, that’s pretty much the impression you’re left with from this cartoon. Or from Popeye cartoons when it comes to the second item, for that matter. Come to think of it, Foster wrote gags for Popeye cartoons in the ‘30s, didn’t he?

This is the kind of cartoon that drives continuity fanbois nuts. Yogi tells Boo Boo he doesn’t believe in love. But what about Cindy Bear, who Yogi had a crush on years earlier in Jellystone Park? Well, Cindy wasn’t invented until the following season and nobody cared if the backstory fit each and every cartoon that came before it. Obsessive fans only started getting worked up about even the most trivial inconsistencies a couple of decades later.

Something else continuity freaks would probably find maddening is this is the fourth cartoon in the 1960-61 season that takes place at the opening of the park season (the others are “Booby Trapped Bear,” “Bearface Bear,” “Do or Diet” if you’re not keeping track). How many openings in a year are there anyway? And this is the second cartoon of the season where Yogi decides to explain the birds and bees to Boo Boo.

This is also one of seemingly countless cartoons that opens with narration over a pan of the Jellystone Park scenery. There’s a shot of one of the many designs for the entrance gate to the park, followed by a slow pan to the right over a background by Vera Hanson, wife of Production Supervisor Howard Hanson, originally hired at MGM to work in the Tex Avery unit at the behest of Ed Benedict, according to John Kricfalusi.

Yogi tells Boo Boo about the birds and the bees. “The birds have feathers and the bees make honey.” Boo Boo gives the audience a bit of an incredulous look. “And that’s it?” he asks. “Gee, I thought it had something to do with love. Where does Dan Cupid and his arrows fit in?” Yogi assures him there is no such thing. “Do you think for one moment they would let a curly-headed kid run around in three-cornered short-shorts and shoot people with arrows? They’d send a kid like that to bed without any TV.” Yogi explains his first love is tourist-type food and he has no interest in a nearby female bear. Of course, while this conversation’s going on, Cupid descends from somewhere and shoots Yogi in the butt with an arrow (with a suction cup on the end). So much for tourist-type food. The chase is on after the giggling female.

Now the love-chase is on, with the unidentified female bear treating Yogi like crap just to be an itch. Or a similar word. She shoves the gentlemanly Yogi to the ground. She trips him, sending him flying. Yogi gets his rhymes in: “Hey, hey, hey! Don’t run away!” and “The feminine ruse but it’s no use.” He tries to impress her by walking on his hands (like Mr. Jinks did to try to win the female neighbour cat in “Woo For Two,” also written that season by Foster) and then one hand.

Meanwhile, Ranger Smith is upset. Five hours have passed and Yogi hasn’t stolen one picnic basket. He thinks Yogi is sick, that the bear broke a leg—no, both legs—and he’s lying out in the damp forest, helpless and hungry. I like how Foster builds up Yogi’s “ailment.” Smith starts carrying Yogi to the Ranger Hospital for intravenous food. But Boo Boo tells him Yogi isn’t sick; he’s only lovesick. The Ranger tosses Yogi to the ground in disgust. But then he reminisces. “I remember when I was courtin’ Martha. I laid off sardine and onion sandwiches for weeks.” Hey, wait. In “Wound-Up Bear,” his wife’s name was Mabel. Continuity!!!!

Back to the chase. “Little honey-bun likes her fun,” Yogi rhymes. “Fun” in this case is the fiendish female pushing a log connecting two cliffs while Yogi’s on it. He falls into a stream. The animation shows the girl chuckling but the sound-cutter left Don Messick’s feminine giggle off the sound track this time.

Finally, Yogi wises up. He sees the girl with another bear. “Well, it’s better to have loved and lost than loved and won.” Yogi philosophises. “With her sense of humour, I hope he’s a got some kind of hospital plan.” So Yogi goes back to stealing picnic baskets. He didn’t lose a girl, he tells Boo Boo, he gained an appetite. Things are back to normal.

Daws Butler uses his Gleason voice for the male bear. He’ll use it next season for Bruno, the burly bear who tries to win Cindy away from Yogi in “A Wooin’ Bruin.” The unnamed female bear clad only in pearls and a hair bow vanished after this cartoon.

Most of the music cues are changed when a scene ends. The little tune that has muted trumpet stabs heard in several Pixie and Dixie cartoons during this season makes an appearance when Yogi walks on his hands. There’s no music when Cupid arrives, just the familiar Hanna-Barbera harp sound effect that was used for a number of years.

0:00 - Yogi Bear Sub Main Title Theme (Curtin-Shows-Hanna-Barbera).
0:26 - ZR-50 UNDERWATER SCENIC (Hormel) – Narration, pan over forest, shot of cave entrance.
0:44 - C-3 DOMESTIC CHILDREN (Loose) – Yogi and Boo come out of cave, birds and bees talk.
1:47 - harp effect – Cupid floats down.
1:50 - zig-zag strings and bassoon (Shaindlin) – Cupid tip-toes, girl bear walks, Yogi shot with arrow, Boo Boo asks “What happened?”
2:27 - LAF-7-12 FUN ON ICE (Shaindlin) – Yogi looks at arrow, Yogi walks after girl, Boo Boo looks at arrow.
3:00 - TC-204A WISTFUL COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Yogi introduces himself to girl, she shoves Yogi.
3:17 - ZR-47 LIGHT MOVEMENT (Hormel) – Yogi on ground, tripping scene.
3:45 - comedy flute and quack cue (Shaindlin) – Yogi hopping on hands scene.
3:59 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Ranger solo scene.
4:30 - TC-436 SHINING DAY (Loose-Seely) – Yogi picks flowers, Ranger tosses Yogi.
5:15 - TC-432 HOLLY DAY (Loose-Seely) – “I might have known,” Ranger and Boo Boo talk.
5:47 - LAF-5-20 TOBOGGAN RUN (Shaindlin) – Girl bear runs, Yogi in stream.
6:10 - LAF 27-6 UNTITLED TUNE (Shaindlin) – Yogi in bush, girl with other bear.
6:33 - TC-202 ECCENTRIC COMEDY (Loose-Seely) – Ranger in station.
6:59 - LICKETY SPLIT (Shaindlin) – Yogi runs with picnic baskets.
7:10 - Yogi Bear Sub End Title theme (Curtin).


  1. Funny, I thought there was a whole lot more 'opening day' episodes in this series...

    In "A Wooin' Bruin", Ranger Smith thinks wistfully to a past romance as if he's some bachelor.

    Smith's worry about Yogi is another example of how, underneath his frustrations, he really does care about the bear. However, his fear about the idea of a Yogi Jr. would be portrayed in the 1988 revival episode "Bringing Up Yogi" (Yogi dreams of marrying Cindy and getting a child who proves a nightmare to both him and Smith).

    Anyone notice (in this episode, "Home Sweet Jellystone" and "Ice-Box Bear") that the Ranger is rather strong to be able to lift a grown bear like Yogi? That must be some Army training...

  2. The first two things of Foster's philosophy are true. Most women get married right after high school. That bit with the cupid boy was strange...definitely strange. Maybe Martha is Ranger Smith's first girlfriend and Mabel is his wife.

  3. "Yowp-Yowp" Dodsworth,

    On this Yogi Bear episode, Daws Butler, besides voicing Yogi, also voiced the male bear with an impersonation of Jackie Gleason.
    There's another bear character who was voiced by Daws Butler and looked like Jackie Gleason.
    Do you remember of a bear father-and-son duo (created by Walter Lantz), who made their first appearance in a Woody Woodpecker short (Fooder and Son, 1957)?
    This bear father-and-son duo is Windy & Breezy (both voiced by Daws Butler), being Windy (the dad) was looked like Jackie Gleason.

  4. You think this continuity is nuts? A bear called Bruno (who looked more like this episode's bear plus a trenchcoat and hat, so maybe they thought they were the same character) made an appearance in Yo Yogi for one episode, and he was Yogi's...uncle, I want to hazard a guess at, but a relative all the same. For one, that is one heck of an obscure reference for a show like that to make, but for another how does one go about transitioning from love rival to relative?