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Review: YOGI BEAR

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What can a pic-a-nic basket hold? A whole lot of fun for the entire family! The latest installment of the beloved brown bear that talks is coming to theaters in 3-D. This rendition has another twist though…it is live action with animation. There have been a couple animated movies/specials over the years since the animated series rolled out of the Hanna-Barbera production company back in 1961. Only running for 2 seasons, Yogi the Bear and his sidekick Boo Boo have remained iconic animated characters for almost 50 years.                                                                             ‘

‘Yogi Bear’ has the characters everyone has loved over the years and a couple new ones too. Yogi, voiced by Dan Akroyd (Ghostbusters, Antz) is no stranger to comedy. The majority of his career has been in and around comedy, if not live action then animation. His voice is unimpeachable as Yogi, which was originally uttered by Daws Butler AKA Voice Magician. Justin Timberlake (Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Southland Tales) who plays the voice of Boo Boo, is also becoming a comedy veteran, even at his young age. He sounds adorable as Boo Boo, and you would never know this the same man that writes non-PG songs and gags for Saturday Night Live among other shows.

It is a endearing premise with a little conservationism thrown in for good measure. Rachel, played by Anna Faris (Just Friends, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), shows up at Jellystone Park to shoot her new documentary and befriends Ranger Smith. Tom Cavanagh (How to Eat Fried Worms, The Cake Eaters) is the stiff but adorable Ranger Smith that resides in and watches over Jellystone Park. His protégé Ranger Jones is constantly causing minor mayhem and gets in cahoots with the local mayor that produces some major havoc. Yogi and Boo Boo are up to their usual antics of picnic basket thievery by making a better mouse trap to snare one. There are some creative and slapstick tricks that they pull in order to obtain the ever elusive picnic basket while persistently annoying Ranger Smith in the process. And do not fret, there is plenty of pie throwing and Yogi created proverbs scattered throughout the story.

The ‘timing is everything in comedy’ adage is quite true, and the cast has a good chemistry that produces effective guffaws for children and adults as well. It is geared more towards a younger child, but everyone will be able to enjoy this new Yogi. Between the 3-D, Yogi, and the Boo Boo bear cuteness, it is a pleasure to take children and know they will not get wiggly 30 minutes into the movie. Family friendly? Absolutely. Overall, a great film to take the kids to while on holiday break, or to just take a break.

Don’t forget…”Cave, Sweet Cave”

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5

2 Comments

  1. Tom

    December 17, 2010 at 3:42 am

    Didn’t Yogi have a girlfriend bear? Is she in it?

  2. Jim Batts

    December 17, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Tom, unfortunately Cindy Bear, introduced in the vastly superior hand drawn 60′s animated feature HEY THERE IT’S YOGI BEAR, does not appear in this travesty. I must politely disagree with our reviewer on the merits of this film. I took a friend and his two young boys to an advance screening last weekend. Twenty minutes into the film the six year old crawling into his daddy’s lap and asked,”When is this gonna be over?”. After a year of far superior family films like TANGLED(still in theatres), TOY STORY 3, AND HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, YOGI BEAR is sorely lacking in every way. Fortunately that 60′s feature along with the terrific original TV series is availible on DVD!

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