It was in January 1961 when Yogi Bear was given his own show. For Yogi’s age, he is still going strong, is fairly healthy, and forgetfulness has not set in. If anything, this no-so-average bear has become a little wiser. I don’t remember Yogi being that intelligent in the old cartoons! This is a new adventure where we get to experience the cartoon bear in a real life adventure in 3D no less (although the 3D is reserved for 3D only Blu-ray).
The setting for the film is in the hypothetical Jellystone Park. There, two brown bears make their home. Not only do the bears try everything to steal ‘pic-a-nic’ baskets in order to eat, but they also have a cave full of modern conveniences. Yogi Bear (voice of Dan Aykroyd) spends a lot of time trying to build the ultimate picnic basket stealing gadgets.
Yogi was trying to control his stealing urges when a lady nature lover named Rachel (Anna Faris) appears in the park with hopes of filming some random wild animals. Rachel meets Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh)and then sees Yogi and Boo Boo (voiced by Justin Timberlake). She is never scared of the bears and is not the least bit surprised that they can talk! I think she should have been a little ‘stand offish’ when first meeting the brown bears, and even more perplexed that they could talk. Rachel gets permission to rig up Boo Boo with a camera, and the fun begins. In the mean time Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly) needs to boost his campaign funds and tries to think of something to help his finances out. Mayor Brown decides to close Jellystone Park and kick Yogi out and log the forest. This action means that Ranger Smith gets relocated, and a new park ranger is put in his place. The new ranger is not very forest friendly.
The movie is a typical boy meets girl, talking bear gets in trouble type of story. It was interesting how the film makers blended the animation in with the real footage. Throughout this movie the editor added in things like dust being stirred up behind Yogi when he ran or fell. The little extras like that made it seem just a bit more real. The film did make me laugh at a few scenes, but I found it was just a little too far ‘out there’ for me. I would have liked to see the bears have less contact with the rangers in the show, and be a little more mysterious.
It had some comedic action and was a good blend of animation and chaos. I watched the movie thinking that in the end, Yogi and Boo Boo would actually get, and eat, a picnic basket, but it was not meant to be. In fact, the two talking bears spent so much of their time trying to save their home, and friends, that I don’t believe that the ate at all! If you’re into high action films, this probably isn’t the movie for you. Now, if you are looking for something to do on a rainy day, then relax and watch this film. It was light hearted and entertaining, and no one died or had to be blown up to keep my attention.
The film has a decent storyline for kids as well as adults. I think the kids would look forward to the next adventure of Yogi and Boo Boo on the big screen.
A bonus with the Blu-ray only is a scrumptious new Coyotee and Roadrunner cartoon. Bringing the classic characters into the 21st century, the resourceful Wile E. now employs an arsenal of state-of-the-art ACME gadgets to snag his arch enemy.