Yogi Bear (film)
UK theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Eric Brevig|
|Produced by||Donald De Line
|Written by||Brad Copeland
|Based on||Yogi Bear created
by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera
|Starring||Dan Aykroyd (voice)
Justin Timberlake (voice)
T. J. Miller
|Narrated by||Josh Robert Thompson|
|Music by||John Debney|
|Edited by||Kent Beyda|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||81 minutes|
Yogi Bear is a 2010 American comedy film adaptation of the 1961-62 animated television series The Yogi Bear Show directed by Eric Brevig. The film stars Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, T. J. Miller, Nate Corddry, and Andrew Daly. Distributed by Warner Bros. with Hanna-Barbera serving as a co-producer, the film tells the story of Yogi Bear as he tries to save his park from being logged. Principal photography began in November 2009. It was preceded by the cartoon short Rabid Rider, starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. Even though the movie received negative reviews from critics, it was still a box office success.
Yogi (Voiced by Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Voiced by Justin Timberlake) are two brown bears who have a penchant for stealing picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone Park, while park rangers Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and Jones (T.J. Miller) are preventing them to do so. Meanwhile, Mayor R. Brown (Andrew Daly) realizes that Franklin City is facing bankruptcy due to profligate spending on his part. To solve it and fund his election campaign to be the next governor, the mayor decides to select Jellystone as a logging site, and Jellystone is prepared to be shut down.
To save the park, Ranger Smith holds a Centennial festival where he hopes to make a profit selling Season Passes. To sabotage the effort, Mayor Brown plays on Ranger Jones' desire to be head ranger and promises him the position if the funds are not raised. Yogi and Boo Boo had promised Smith to stay out of sight during the festival, but Jones convinces them otherwise. They try to please the crowd with a waterskiing performance, but Yogi inadvertently sets his cape on fire, causing the fireworks Smith set up to be knocked over and ignited prematurely, launching them into the crowd, who flee in a panic. After Jellystone is shut down, Ranger Smith is forced to stay in Evergreen Park, a small urban enclave choked with litter and pollution, but not after he tells Yogi that Yogi is not as smart as he thinks he is. Now seeing that their home is in danger of being destroyed, Yogi and Boo Boo travel to Evergreen Park and tell Smith about this, where he places the clues that Mayor Brown had given him, that Brown and his chief of staff (Nate Corddry) are planning to cut down Jellystone and its trees to make money. They return to Jellystone, and along with Rachel plan to stop the sale of the park. They learn that Boo Boo's pet turtle is a rare and endangered species, which means that, by law, the Park cannot be destroyed if the turtle is residing there. Ranger Jones then turns over Mayor Brown and teams up with Smith, Rachel, and the bears, after learning that he has been manipulated. Mayor Brown then learns about this and has his guards steal the turtle and confronts the group, stating that power is more convincing than the law.
After Mayor Brown leaves for his conference, Rachel reveals that she had installed a camera in Boo Boo's bow tie, which recorded Mayor Brown's confession. The turtle manages to escape from Brown's Chief of Staff by using his frog-like tongue to pull itself through the car window and out into the park. Yogi and Boo Boo keep the guards distracted so Ranger Smith can upload the confession in the Jumbotron. When the confession is played, the crowd riots, and Brown attempts to tell them that the turtle does not exist, but the turtle manages to get into the conference. The people then learn about the park having an endangered species. Police officers arrest Mayor Brown and his guards for his crime; his chief of staff attempts to escape, but is pinned down by Rachel and he's arrested as well. The park then becomes a great success. Jones loses his position as head ranger and Smith takes it back. But Jones still works there, handing out flyers about how Jellystone Park has a rare and endangered turtle, while Rachel and Ranger Smith admit their feelings for each other. However after they kiss, they start chasing after Yogi and Boo Boo, who are back to stealing picnic baskets once again.
- Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear, the picnic basket-stealing talking bear who lives in Jellystone Park.
- Justin Timberlake as Boo-Boo Bear, Yogi's sidekick, and sometimes the voice of reason.
- Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith, the head ranger of Jellystone Park.
- Anna Faris as Rachel Johnson, a nature documentary filmmaker, and Ranger Smith's love interest. She is called "Miss Movie Lady" or "Miss Moviemaker Lady" by Yogi and Boo Boo. She has spent time with the animals that she makes a documentary on learning a gorilla's rage and pinning down people like a snow leopard.
- T. J. Miller as Ranger Jones, a park ranger who is tricked by Mayor Brown into getting Jellystone shut down, making the excuse that Jones will be the head ranger of the park.
- Andrew Daly as Mayor R. Brown, the main antagonist of the film. He is the Mayor of Franklin City who wants to shut Jellystone Park down so that he can make money for his city and become governor.
- Nate Corddry as the Chief of Staff, Mayor Brown's assistant.
- Josh Robert Thompson as the narrator.
On October 2, 2008, it was confirmed that a live-action/CGI Yogi Bear movie was in the works. Ash Brannon was originally scheduled to direct the film but was replaced by Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D) when it was decided that the film would be produced as a 3-D project. Filming took place in the Lake Whakamaru Reserve, Waikato, New Zealand, as it was winter in the northern hemisphere and to wait for summer would put the production end time to be 6 months longer than if in southern hemisphere.
Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, in the original cartoon, Yogi's personality and mannerisms were based on a popular celebrity of the time. Art Carney's Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi's inspiration; his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton. Norton, in turn, received influence from Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville. Dan Aykroyd, the voice actor of Yogi Bear, stated that he is trying to evoke the influences that shaped the original Yogi Bear's voice. Aykroyd said, "It's about hitting certain notes, going back to those old Lower East Side rhythms, the Catskills, Jersey, Upstate New York. It's the Yiddish language, essentially, being spoken in English. It's the 'setup, delivery, punch' that sitcoms live on today. That's where the origin of American humor is." Aykroyd has stated that he grew up watching Yogi Bear on the long, cold, dark afternoons in his native Ottawa: "As a kid growing up in Ottawa, Canada, where the sky turns dark in the winter at about 3:30, Yogi Bear was my fire, my hearth, when I would come home. I would immediately turn on the TV while I thawed out."
Justin Timberlake came in with a prepared Boo-Boo voice; when he was learning to sing when he was younger, he imitated various cartoon characters. Eric Brevig said that he intended to make a film that did not want parents who remembered watching Yogi Bear cartoons to feel marginalized and displaced by the contemporary rendition of Yogi Bear.
The film's first trailer was released online on July 28, 2010. It was also attached with Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Alpha and Omega. A second trailer premiered with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and a third trailer premiered with Megamind, Tangled, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. It features a Todd Collins song called "Walk, Walk, Walk." One of the trailers was also attached with UK showings of Tron: Legacy.
Rhythm and Hues provided CGI character animation for Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo Bear and the Turtle in the film. The company had previously worked with Hanna-Barbera on past theatrical productions: The Flintstones (1994), its prequel Viva Rock Vegas (2000), Scooby-Doo (2002), and its sequel Monsters Unleashed (2004).
Yogi Bear received negative reviews from film critics. Based on 101 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 13% "Rotten" approval rating for critics, with an average score of 3.6/10. The site's consensus stated "Yogi Bear's 3D effects and all-star voice cast are cold comfort for its aggressively mediocre screenplay." The compiled score on Metacritic is 35%. One of few positive reviews came from film critics at Spill.com, who appreciated the film staying true to its original source material, and not trying to "hip it up", comparing the 2007 film Alvin and the Chipmunks. The critics also praised Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake's performances. Common Sense Media gave the film one star, saying "Dumber-than-average family comedy won't even impress kids." IGN gave the film two stars, and summed up their review by saying "Of course, Yogi Bear is meant as a kids movie. And one supposes that it works on that level (the little ones at the press screening I attended seemed mildly amused). But we learned long ago that kids movies can operate on more than one level, and that's not something that director Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D) or his screenwriters are interested in. The result is a movie that's dumber than the average bear. Though at least it has a pee joke in it."
Yogi Bear debuted at the American and Canadian box office at #2 behind Tron: Legacy, with an under-performing $16,411,322; compared to Tron Legacy's $44,026,211. The opening weekend was lower than Warner Bros. expected, but executives believed that the film would hold well throughout the holiday season. The film earned $28 million in its first seven days, becoming Warner Bros.' top-grossing start for a family film for that year. In its second weekend, the film fell 53% to $7.8 million, falling to fifth place.
This number was a much harder fall than what Warner Bros. was hoping for, but it blamed the drop on Christmas Eve landing on a Friday plus the big snowstorm in the eastern United States during that period. On Monday, that blame seemed justified, as the film jumped up 11% from Sunday to $3.6 million, which was altogether a 33% jump from its previous Monday. In its third weekend, the film jumped up 66% to $13 million and ranking fourth. The next weekend, it dropped 46% and ranked eighth with $6.8 million. Over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, it was able to pick up $7.4 million for the four-day, jumping up 12% from the previous weekend.
The film has picked up $100,246,011 in the U.S. and Canada and also has a worldwide total of $201,584,141. Against an $80 million budget, the film has become a surprise box office hit.
Awards and nominations
- Choice Movie: Animation Voice - Justin Timberlake (nominated)
- DVD (single-disc)
- Blu-ray (single-disc)
- Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy
- Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy
- Fritz, Ben (2010-12-16). "Movie projector: 'Tron: Legacy' will dominate 'Yogi Bear' and weak 'How Do You Know'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2010-12-16.
- "Yogi Bear". Box Office Mojo (Internet Movie Database). December 19, 2010. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
- "Yogi, Boo-Boo headed to big time". Hollywood Reporter. [dead link]
- News: Looney Tunes Shorts Attached To Upcoming Family Films. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- Justin Chang, "Yogi Bear," Variety, December 12, 2010. Found at Variety website. Accessed January 10, 2011.
- Melinda Miller, "'Yogi Bear' spoils the picnic: Film with potential winds up being mostly unbearable," Buffalo News, December 17, 2010. Found at Buffalo News.com website. Accessed January 10, 2011.
- Kirk Honeycutt, "Film Review: 'Yogi Bear' May Send Viewers Into Hibernation," Hollywood Reporter, December 13, 2010. Found at Hollywood Reporter website, accessed January 10, 2011.
- Jacob, "TJ Miller Cast as Ranger Jones Thanks to Bizarre Audition," November 22, 2009, Beyond Hollywood website. Accessed January 10, 2011.
- Kristy Mangel, "T.J. Miller Cast in 'Yogi Bear'," November 18, 2009, The Apiary website. Accessed January 10, 2011.
- Yogi Bear Interview - T.J. Miller, December 4, 2010. Found at TV Guide website. Accessed January 10, 2011.
- The Yogi Bear Show: Yogi and Boo Boo Coming to Movie Theaters. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- Sennett, p. 60.
- Breznican, Anthony (August 24, 2010). "Yogi Bear gets a digital makeover". USA Today. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Sennett, p. 59.
- Chicago Parent, interview with Dan Aykroyd, Dec. 17, 2010
- Hartog, Kelly (July 30, 2010). "Sneak peek: Sixties favourite Yogi Bear returns to screens in 3D... but critics aren't impressed". Daily Mail (London).
- "Yogi Bear Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
- ``Tron: Legacy’ uploads at No. 1 with $43.6M debut
- Official website
- Yogi Bear at the TCM Movie Database
- Yogi Bear at the Internet Movie Database
- Yogi Bear at Rotten Tomatoes
- National Wildlife Federation: Activity Guide for Educators and Parents