Created by Hanna-Barbera in the late 1950s, Yogi and the stable of his cookie-cutter co-stars Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Magilla Gorilla and others were the beginning of the ruin of TV cartoons.
Where the Looney Tunes gang and other cartoon producers used thousands of drawings and clever writing, and took lots of time to do theirs, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created a technique that cut the number of drawings by two-thirds.
The plots were as limited as the drawings, but kids in the 1950s didn’t care. Even worse, the Looney Tunes gang began to carbon-copy the technique. The genre went down hill from there.
Of course, by the late 1960s, kids caught on and began to understand the mass production of the Hanna-Barbera stable and knew what they produced was horrible. Unfortunately, they were unable to dissuade their younger siblings from watching them and few of the Baby Boomers kept their own children away from Hanna-Barbera crap.
But by then the two men were multi-millionaires and didn’t care. They continued to churn out cartoons and adding to the cast: The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Top Cat, The Smurfs, Space Ghost, etc.
To be just a little bit nice and at least somewhat fair, at first some of the half-hour weekly features such as The Flintstones were clever and creative.
So today, Yogi Bear and his buddy Boo Boo are considered classics — classic enough to get their own holiday movie. However, it’s a movie with the potential to ruin holiday family viewing one pick-a-nic basket at a time. And this release is a boo-boo of a different kind.
An environmentally unfriendly mayor wants to take over Jellystone Park and log all the timber. Yogi, Boo Boo, Ranger Smith, a new character — Ranger Jones — and a love interest for Ranger Smith thwart the plan.
Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake voice Yogi and Boo Boo. If you manage to stay awake through the inane and way overdone plot, you might be impressed with their vocal work. But nothing else.
Yogi Bear may be smarter-than-the-average bear, but his new live-action-animated-mix flick is dumber-than-the-average-movie. Dumb with a capital D.
Bottom-line: though I don’t watch much of it, even the anime crap found on television's Cartoon Network beats this one.
Mr. Movie rating: 1 star
Rated PG for some mature themes. It opens Friday, Dec. 17 at Regal’s Columbia Center 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.