Saturday, 10 January 2015

Yogi Bear — A Wooin’ Bruin

Produced and Directed by Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna.
Credits: Animation – Bob Carr; Layout – Ernie Nordli; Backgrounds – Art Lozzi; Written by Warren Foster; Story Director – Paul Sommer; Titles – Art Goble; Production Supervision – Howard Hanson.
Voice Cast: Narrator, Boo Boo, Ranger Smith – Don Messick; Yogi Bear, Bruno – Daws Butler; Cindy Bear – Julie Bennett.
Music: Hoyt Curtin.
First Aired: 1962.
Plot: Yogi and Bruno vie for the hand of Cindy Bear.

Yogi Bear
c/o Jellystone Park, U.S.A.
January 10, 1962

Dear Yogi,

I realise that we battled each other in a few cartoons and you’re now a big star while I’m languishing in animated obscurity. Let’s set that aside. Early Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters have to stick together. I want to give you some friendly advice.

It’s about Cindy Bear.

Are you out of your mind, Yogi? Did you scarf down some rotten egg sand-a-wiches from a pic-a-nic basket that rotted your brain? Cindy and her Southern debutante voice may have conned Boo Boo into thinking she’s “nice,” but you’re smarter than the average bear. When are you going to wise up and dump that witch? (Feel free to substitute a word that rhymes with “witch.” Warren Foster tells me you’re good with rhymes).

She’s a liar—dare I say, a bear-faced liar—and the proof is in your cartoon “A Wooin’ Bruin.” Remember what she told you? “When you’re ready to go steady, just whistle. I’ll come a runnin,’ Yogi.”

What happened next? Some bear you’d never seen before—one she was seeing behind your back, since she knew the guy—gave her flowers. You whistled. Did she “come a runnin’”? Not a chance. She danced with Bruno instead and didn’t even pay attention to you. Like I said, a lying witch (again, feel free to substitute words).

And what about the game she played? “Whoever brings Cindy the best present is the winner,” she said. Give me something. Me, me, me. All she cares about is herself. You should have told it to stick it up her I-do-declare. But, no. What’d you do? She turned you into a common thief. Stealing a cake? A TV set? Ranger Smith’s car? Even Mr. Ranger knows you’re “not that kind of bear.” But you became that kind. And for what? For someone who fooled around on you behind your back. Yogi, Yogi, Yogi.

Yeah, sure, at the end you won the game, used some wrestling moves to vanquish Bruno (who came away from the off-camera fight without even a scratch) and then took Cindy to the Lover’s Leap parking lot. But did you really win, Yogi? What’s to say she won’t bat her eyes at another bear. Maybe she’s juggling around a few already. Does she deserve your trust any more? I do declare she doesn’t.

And telling Ranger Smith, after he found you inside his car at Lover’s Leap, that you deserve to punished? Where was Cindy to explain things so you didn’t get into trouble? She sure vanished, didn’t she (you’ll notice that you can see her in the car in one drawing but not in the next one for some reason)? Take a hint from “Lover’s Leap” and tell her to jump—if she really loves you. Watch her backtrack. She’s just using you for a role in that big picture of yours that’ll come out in 1964: “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear.” Even Huckleberry Hound is talking about it, and you know he never says anything bad about anyone.

For your own sake, Yogi, give your love to a pic-a-nic basket, not that two-timing Cindy. Has a pic-a-nic basket ever resisted your charms? Never. Or love the beautiful scenery of Jellystone Park as rendered by Art Lozzi in the opening of “A Wooin’ Bruin.” Art’s great.

By the way, did you really have to say: “...any bear that picks wild flowers is a little too tra-la-la for me.” Snagglepuss talked to me about that. He knows about that tra-la-la stuff, you know. He says the next time you see Cindy, take it on the lam. A lamb sandwich with fresh mint sauce, even.

Take my advice, Yogi. Drop the fickle female. And if you have room for me in another cartoon, call right away.

Your pal,

P.S.: Yowp! Yowp!


  1. Awesome! You tell it like it is Yowp!

  2. If Bil, Joe and Warren had been prescient, they would have renamed Cindy as Yoko.

  3. Very original, humourous way to review a cartoon, Yowp! As Snagglepuss might say, "Refreshing, even!"

    Great job as always.

  4. Note the tiny rear window on the ranger mobile. An AMC Pacer would have suited Ranger Smith better. He'll have to wait at least another decade or so.

  5. Your best review ever....(horse whinny) really should have addressed your letter to Cindy,too..

  6. If Mr. Hanna and Mr. Barbera ever saw this. Do you know what they would do to you?
    They would hire you as a writer.-Georgi

  7. A lonnnng over due letter. Great job, Yowp!

  8. 1/10/15 Wrote:
    Did you notice that the defeated Bruno's angry glaze resembled Fred Flintstone when he's in a bad mood? Also, Spacecat, AMC didn't come out with the Pacer yet in 1962, so Ranger Smith had to settle for a '62 Nash Rambler. The drawing of the small, clunky car looks small enough to be a Nash/Hudson/AMC model.

  9. Gremlins, Ramblers and Matadors could have all been stylized into most HB cartoons at that time. Pacers look more like a Jetsons vehicle with all the glass.
    Bruno looks exactly like Yogi's smug expression, all those gifts to impress a stuck up blue bruin.

  10. Now, I realize that Yowp is almost always right. When your entire vocabulary consists of “Yowp!”, “Yowp!”, “Yowp!”, and the occasional “Sheeee!”, how often can you get it wrong?

    But, when you say: “Warren Foster tells me you’re good with rhymes”, don’t you really mean Charlie Shows told you that? He gave Yogi (and everyone else) some of his best rhymes, didn’t he? Unless, of course, you’ve had a heretofore unknown falling-out with your original writer – and his name has become unmentionable ‘round these parts.

    And maybe Yogi DID take your advice about dumping that “b-witchin’ she-bear”, and that’s why Cindy underwent such radical plastic surgery in 1964 to win him back!

    …Those Hollywood bears. As you would say: “Sheeee!” That is, when you weren’t saying “Yowp!”, “Yowp!”, “Yowp!”.

  11. Well, Charlie wasn't around the studio at the time the letter was written.
    Charlie's rhymes were illogical couplets. "I've got you over a barrel, Darrell." Why would Yogi say that to someone not named Darrell? Warren's generally made sense. Stuff like "Let's grab a seat and then we'll eat." (It doesn't appear Foster decided to end Yogi cartoons with a rhyme until Yogi got his own show).