Yogi Bear is a 2010 American 3D live-action/computer-animated comedy film directed by Eric Brevig and written for the screen by Brad Copeland, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia. Based on the 1960s animated television series The Yogi Bear Show and the character of the same name created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the film stars Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, T.J. Miller, Nate Corddry and Andrew Daly, as well as the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake. The film centers on Yogi Bear and his sidekick Boo-Boo Bear as they try to stop their home, Jellystone Park, from being logged. Production on the film began in October 2008.

Produced by Donald De Line's De Line Pictures and Sunswept Entertainment, Yogi Bear premiered at Westwood on December 11, 2010 and was theatrically released in the United States on December 17, 2010 by Warner Bros. Pictures to a generally negative reception from critics, with many praising Aykroyd and Timberlake's voice performances. Despite of this, the film was a huge box office success, grossing $201.6 million worldwide against an $80 million budget.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear are two brown bears who steal picnic baskets from visitors in Jellystone Park while park rangers Smith and Jones attempt to hinder them. Meanwhile, Mayor R. Brown realizes that Franklin City is facing bankruptcy due to profligate spending on his part. Brown plots with his Chief of Staff to raise money for the town budget and his upcoming governmental campaign by shutting down Jellystone Park and opening the land to logging.

To save the park, Smith and his love interest Rachel Johnson hold a centennial festival and fireworks show in an attempt to sell season passes. To sabotage the effort, Brown promises Jones the position of head ranger 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. The bears try to please the crowd with a waterskiing performance, but Yogi inadvertently sets his cape on fire causing fireworks to be launched into the crowd, who flee in panic.

After Jellystone is shut down, Smith is forced to stay in Evergreen Park (a small urban enclave choked with litter and pollution), but not before hurting Yogi's feelings by saying that he isn't as smart as he thinks he is. Seeing that their home is in danger of being destroyed, Yogi and Boo-Boo travel to Evergreen Park where they and Smith figure out Brown's plan. They all return to Jellystone with Rachel, where they learn that Boo-Boo's pet turtle is a rare and endangered species known as a "frog-mouthed" turtle, meaning that, according to law, the park cannot be destroyed if the turtle is living there.

The Chief of Staff learns about the turtle and sends Jones to kidnap it. On the day that Brown is planning a press conference to begin the destruction of the park, Smith, Rachel and the bears rescue the turtle and try to bring it to the media's attention. Jones, learning that he had been deceived by Mayor Brown, has a change of heart and helps the team bring the turtle to the press conference. At the press conference, Rachel reveals that she had installed a hidden camera in Boo-Boo's bow tie which had captured Brown admitting to his plan. Smith hooks up the camera to the big screen Brown is using for his press conference and shows the video. When the turtle is revealed to the citizens as an endangered species, the police arrest Brown.

Jellystone Park is then reopened and becomes a great success while Smith is reappointed head ranger and he and Rachel admit their feelings for each other. After they kiss, they discover Yogi and Boo-Boo are back to stealing picnic baskets once again and chase them.

Cast[edit | edit source]

  • 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 "Madame 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.

Voice cast[edit | edit source]

  • Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear, the picnic basket-stealing talking brown bear who lives in Jellystone Park.
  • Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo-Boo Bear, Yogi's sidekick, and sometimes the voice of reason.
  • Josh Robert Thompson as the narrator.

Production[edit | edit source]

In October 2008, it was confirmed that a live-action/computer-animated Yogi Bear film was in the works. Ash Brannon was hired 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 3D project. Filming took place on 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 six 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. Carney, 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 stated: "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 also stated that he grew up watching Yogi Bear on the long, cold and dark afternoons in his native Ottawa: "As a kid growing up in Ottawa, Ontario, 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." in November 2009

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. Brevig then announced that he intended to make a film that didn't want parents who remembered watching Yogi Bear cartoons to feel marginalized and displaced by the contemporary rendition of Yogi Bear. Rhythm and Hues Studios provided CGI character animation for Yogi and Boo-Boo Bear and the turtle in the film; the company had also previously worked on past theatrical films based on Hanna-Barbera productions: The Flintstones (1994) and its prequel Viva Rock Vegas (2000); Scooby-Doo (2002) and its sequel Monsters Unleashed (2004).

Release[edit | edit source]

The film was originally slated for release on June 25, 2010, but was pushed back to December 17, 2010 in order to avoid competition with Grown Ups. The film was preceded by the Looney Tunes short Rabid Rider, starring Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.

Marketing[edit | edit source]

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 MegamindTangled and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. One of the trailers was also attached with showings of Tron: Legacy in the United Kingdom.

Home media[edit | edit source]

Warner Home Video released the film on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2011 in four versions:

  • DVD (single disc edition)
  • Blu-ray (single disc edition)
  • Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack
  • Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack

Reception[edit | edit source]

Critical response[edit | edit source]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 13% based on 103 reviews with an average rating of 3.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Yogi Bear's 3D effects and all-star voice cast are cold comfort for its aggressively mediocre screenplay." On Metacritic the film has a score of 35 out of 100 based on 23 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.

Common Sense Media gave the film one star, saying "Dumber-than-average family comedy won't even impress kids." IGN gave the film 4.0/10, 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."

One of the few positive reviews came from film critics at Spill.com, who appreciated the film for staying true to its original source material and not trying to "hip it up", comparing it to Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), another live-action/CGI hybrid film that was also poorly received.

Despite all the criticism of the film, many critics praised Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake's voice performances of Yogi and Boo-Boo, along with the 3D and visual effects.

Box office[edit | edit source]

Yogi Bear debuted at the America and Canadian box office at #2 behind Tron: Legacy, with an under-performing $16,411,322[1] 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.[21] The film then 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.

That number was a much harder fall than Warner Bros. had hoped for, but it blamed the drop on both Christmas Eve landing on a Friday and a 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. Overall, the film has picked up $100,246,011 in the United States and Canada and also a worldwide total of $201,584,141. Against an $80 million budget, the film has become a surprise box office hit despite negative critical reception.

Awards[edit | edit source]

Award Category Nominee Result Teen Choice Award Choice Movie: Voice Justin Timberlake Nominated
ASCAP Award Top Box Office Films John Debney Won
EMA Award Feature Film Yogi Bear Won

Soundtrack[edit | edit source]

  • "Rachel's Song" - performed by Tom Cavanagh
  • "Lasagna" – performed by "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • "Rhythm of Love" – performed by Plain White T's
  • "Baby Got Back" – performed by Sir Mix-a-Lot
  • "The Sound of Sunshine" – performed by Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • "Nothin' but a Good Time" – performed by Poison
  • "Runnin' Wild" – performed by Airbourne
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" – performed by Journey
  • "My Best Friend" – performed by Weezer
  • "William Tell Overture" – composed by Gioachino Rossini

Video game[edit | edit source]

A video game titled Yogi Bear: The Video Game was released for the Wii and Nintendo DS.

Proposed sequel[edit | edit source]

In 2012, a sequel was in the works and Jay Chandrasekhar was chosen to direct. However, no further announcements have been made as of 2020, meaning the project has most likely either been put on hold or cancelled altogether. 

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Yogi Bear at the TCM Movie Database
  • Yogi Bear on IMDb
  • Yogi Bear at Rotten Tomatoes
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