Yogi Bear Movie Review

Yogi Bear Movie Review


Yogi has turned 52 but his new movie release is sure to put anyone over the age of 10 to sleep.

This new movie doesn’t stand a chance when compared to this year’s crop of new cartoons. “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”, also by Warner Bros., may be the only worse cartoon this year, which means that Warner Bros., seems to have turned away from its past.

Trickster Yogi and his sidekick BooBoo Bear, also of Jellystone Park, are two of Hanna-Barber’s most popular cartoon characters, although kids have always enjoyed them more than adults have. But cartoons don’t have to be childlike to appeal to general audiences. This fact is attested to by the success of “Toy Story 3,” Despicable Me” and Tangled.

Some of this movie picture is just right. Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake are terrific as the voices of Yogi and BooBoo. Aykroyd has managed to nail the manner of Yogi’s first voice, that of the late Daws Butler. Timberlake does a fine job with the voice of BooBoo, the more cautious of the two bears.

Combining 3D and live action also works well. The 3D adds a lot of excitement including sending popcorn into the audience and showing whitewater rafting and a flying machine. This one of the year’s new movie releases was filmed in beautiful New Zealand.

It’s too bad that the story is just way overused.

Brad Copeland has rewritten Jeffrey Ventimilia and Joshua Sternin’s script and it is constantly looking for fresh jokes or slapstick but not doing well in finding any. The traditional jokes are the best ones – particularly Yogi’s picnic basket schtick.

The big problem in this movie, easily detected in the script and director Eric Brevig’s work, is that the humans seem more cartoonish than the cartoons do. The human teams are Ranger Smith, played by Tom Cavanagh and his deputy Ranger Jones, played by T.J. Miller, and the corrupt mayor, played by Andrew Daly, and his deputy, played by Nate Corddry. Neither of the two pairs is even a little bit funny.

There’s a romance involving Ranger Smith and Anna Farris playing a documentary filmmaker. It’s so lame that it’s hardly worth mentioning.

The odd storyline has the mayor trying to sell Jellystone Park to pay off the city’s debts. Nothing explains 1) how a tiny town can house a giant national park or 2) how a mayor can sell a national park.

The problem “Yogi Bear” has may be that Brevig, brought on after he visually directed “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D”, has no experience in children’s entertainment. There’s not one bit of naughtiness in this film and maybe that’s what its big problem is.


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