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Movie ReviewsRating: 1 of 5 yaps

Yogi Bear

I’m all for dopey flicks designed to keep small children entertained, or at least distracted, for a while. I’ve got a rugrat myself now, so I’m sure I’ll soon be making the acquaintance of SpongeBob, Barney and Elmo.

But does programming for kids — I won’t deign to call it filmmaking — have to be as aggressively bad as “Yogi Bear”?

Straight from the lame school of “Garfield” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Yogi” stars live humans interacting with computer-generated versions of cartoon characters. The effect is not convincing, nor is it expected to be. Every minute Yogi and his vertically challenged sidekick Boo Boo are onscreen, they’re calling attention to the fact that they’re not really there.

Dan Aykroyd does a reasonable facsimile of Yogi’s voice, which was originally done by Daws Butler, who was himself doing a knockoff of Art Carney’s character from “The Honeymooners.” Justin Timberlake provides the voice of Boo Boo and instantly wipes out all the good feelings I had about his burgeoning acting career after “The Social Network.”

If you remember, Yogi is “smarter than the average bear,” and traipses around Jellystone Park with Boo Boo scheming up ways to steal food from visiting humans. Yogi has a major craving for, as it comes out in his rollicking speech, “pick-a-nick baskets.”

Tom Cavanagh plays Head Ranger Smith, who inherited his post from his father and has spent his whole life learning the ins and outs of Jellystone. Alas, attendance has been dropping for years, and his only companionship is dimwitted Ranger Jones (T.J. Miller), who’s a rookie but already has eyes on the top job.

Things get shaken up with the arrival of Rachel (Anna Faris), or, as Yogi dubs her, “movie-maker lady.” She wants to film a documentary about Jellystone’s famous talking bear, though I don’t know how famous he can be if nobody comes to the park to see him.

Needless to say, Ranger Smith and Rachel are soon making moony eyes at each other.

Facing a shortfall, the evil mayor (Andrew Daly) wants to close down Jellystone and auction off its prime acres to the timber company. So it’s up to Yogi, Rachel, Smith and Boo Boo to come up with the cash.

Now think about that last paragraph. The mayor of a city is going to shut down a massive park encompassing thousands of acres? What kind of park like that is inside municipal limits? And even if it were, Jellystone (a parody of Yellowstone) is clearly a national park under federal jurisdiction.

This movie is dumb, dumb, dumb. At 80 minutes long, it felt like eternity sitting through it. My advice: Run. Run now. If your kids really want to see Yogi Bear, show them some of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.

1 Yap

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17 Responses to “Yogi Bear”

  1. [...] X’s childhood. Like “Garfield,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Yogi Bear,” the filmmakers layer on the fancy computer animation but fail to add any soul into these stale [...]

  2. toya says:

    I seen the screening for this movie with my kids and we all enjoyed it. they are 3 and 2 years old. The movie had me laughing throughout. They will they me what they like and don’t like and they really like yogi bear. Cant wait for the DVD.

  3. Tifffany says:

    The movie was okay. The 3D was the best I had seen since the 3D has been making the big push. My kids were reaching for items flying at them.

  4. Heidi says:

    After watching the preview (which is usually a few of the best parts of the movie–guess there weren’t any to choose from! lol)and reading the YAP review I knew this wasn’t going ot be a movie I’d be taking the kids to see! Where’s the reviews on Little Fockers, guess we’ll consider it instead??

  5. Nikki says:

    I thought Yogi bear was pretty good as well. Me, My husband, our 13yr old daughter went to see this and found it to be pretty funny and child friendly. In the cartoon Yogi always got into to trouble and did stupid things so this was exactly what I expected.

  6. Brandon Scales says:

    This movie was good and it was funny.

  7. Cameron Byam says:

    We saw this movie with appropriately low expectations but with some level of interest as we LOVE the 3D craze that’s going on. I’m sorry to say that even our low expectations weren’t met. This movie was awful, and even the 3D wasn’t very impressive. I thought seriously about leaving mid flick but hung on til then end hoping it would get better. Alas, it didn’t.

  8. Brenda Randall says:

    My son and I saw this movie in 3D this past weekend. It was not worth the $9 bucks per ticket that I paid.

  9. Jaye Miller says:

    I have not seen the movie yet but according to my grandchildren it is a "must see". They absolutely loved it.

  10. Brandy says:

    I totally agree with your review! It was dreadful! My kids seemed to like it okay. I could barely stay awake. Save your money and rent it from redbox in the future for a buck.

  11. Kelly Norman says:

    Thanks for all the reviews! I’m taking my nieces this weekend to see it.

  12. Sandi Mojzuk says:

    I LOVE YOGI, Just exactly what I expected. Lovable, cute and a NICE guy.

  13. Tracy Huser says:

    I also disagree. Me, my husband, 24yr old son, his girlfriend, 19 year old son as well as a friend with a 10 and 8 year old all enjoyed this movie. It was funny and cute. It was YOGI what more can you say? and the 3D was good too. Thought it was much better than that dumb Owl movie that I can’t even remember the name of.

  14. Jessica says:

    I hope I disagree with this review once I see "Yogi" on the big screen. As a single mom, I don’t get out to see movies very often, so my opinion will probably be biased; I’ll be thrilled just to be out of the house.

  15. Once again, I have to disagree with the yap post! I went with 4 grandkids, my stepson and his wife, and my husband. One grandchild, a teenage did think it lame, the 3 younger ones were laughing so hard you could hear them over the rest of the audience. I love Yogi Bear when I was younger and so glad they are bringing him around for the kids now.
    I thought the 3-D to be better than most of the movies I have been to lately. I loved how they mixed the annimation and the live effects together. So much more believable than in the past. I swear at one point, when a picnic basket was coming out at us, something hit me in the nose, it was so believable. My 9 year old told the reporter outside he really wants to get this DVD when it comes out. That is impressive because he is getting into the "Cool" stage like his sis. I rate this one 5 yaps!

  16. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The Film Yap, Christopher Lloyd. Christopher Lloyd said: Much, much dumber than the average kiddie flick. Review: "Yogi Bear." http://www.thefilmyap.com/2010/12/16/yogi-bear/ [...]

  17. Travis Bow says:

    I wish this flick all the worst. First Alvin & The Chipmunks, now this…and Smurfs next…

    ugh