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Movie Review: ‘Yogi Bear’

December 16, 2010
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Yabba-dabba-doo!  Whoops, wrong Hanna Barbera cartoon.  Yogi Bear seemed like an odd choice to bring to the big screen this year.  Kids today have no recollection of the pic-i-nic basket bandit who resides in fictitious Jellystone park.

Furthermore, it was hardly a standout to those of us who grew up watching the show on Saturday morning cartoons. For me, the series never held any nostagic sentiment, I remember it with complete indifference.

For whatever reason, the portly bear (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) graces the big screen this weekend in a 3D adventure co-starring his pal Boo-Boo (Justin Timberlake), Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and a documentary film maker (Anna Faris). If it is telling at all, I can barely remember a thing about the movie even though I saw it a few days ago.

There is nothing really wrong with the film, it just has a chronic case of the “blahs”.  I left feeling that exact same indifference I felt for the cartoon series.

The threadbare plot pits Yogi and company against a greedy mayor (Andrew Daly) who is eyeballing a run for governor. In order to balance the budget, he proposes selling Jellystone to land developers at the cost of losing the pastoral landscape.

It’s amusing how evil the sole politician is in the film.  I guess Hollywood likes to indoctrinate our children from a very young age.

The 3-D in the film is serviceable, though not essential.  The film is bright and colorful (particularly for a 3-D film), and seemed to delight children in the audience. Yogi and Boo-Boo (and some of their forest pals) are cute, and the film does pitch a subtle environmental message, so there’s that.

The voice acting is average; I don’t think that Aykroyd or Timberlake bring anything ground-breaking to their roles.  That’s not a knock, it’s just an observation. The human acting is painful, but it is on par to what you see on Sesame Street or any other live action show geared toward toddlers. Over-animated responses and slow enunciation are the norm. Trust me, nothing will get by your kids.

It is a bit odd to see Anna Faris and Andrew Daly in the film.  Faris is known for her sexy dingbat persona, and the last time I saw Daly was in the very adult Eastbound and Bound. Seeing the two of them in such wholesome fare is quite jarring. But hey, when Katy Perry can proudly shake her ta-tas with Elmo, I guess anything is possible.

Truthfully this is one of those films that doesn’t offer a single thing for anyone over the age of eight.  I don’t have a problem with that, but be aware of that before you take your kids.  The movie is stultifyingly dull, and you should take some requisite steps before entering the theater in order to keep yourself from falling asleep.  At a mere 80 minutes, the film felt three hours long.

That being said, I’d gladly do it all again, because my kids had such a great time, and sometimes, it’s all about the kids.

Here are some recommendations for making it through the movie:

  • Take a double shot of espresso and/or Tequila just prior to entering the theater. Just pick your poison.  I wish I had.  A flask would not be unwarranted.
  • Take a notepad and write out your Christmas list, grocery list, etc.
  • Count the pieces of popcorn in your bag.
  • Mentally cast judgement on the inferior parenting taking place all around you.
  • To hell with it-succumb to the boredom and take a well-deserved nap.
  • Watch this, and imagine how awesome it would be if the whole movie was like that ending.
  • Immediately upon returning home from the movie, rent Love Monkey to remind yourself that Tom Cavanagh was once a promising and gifted actor.

Yogi Bear is rated PG, though I didn’t find anything objectionable in the film.  Starring Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, and T.J. Miller. Directed by Eric Brevig.

Tatum and Keely’s rating (my kids, aged 6 and 8 years) 5/5

My rating 2/5

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5 Responses to “ Movie Review: ‘Yogi Bear’ ”

  1. muffin on December 17, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Thats just plain rude! Yogi Bear isn’t for adults yet children under age 8 love it right? Then do the math! Justin Bieber is sickened, boring, annoying and plain out lame!!! Yet he’s famous because of little girls who are confused during puberty! Understand!

  2. Tikos on December 17, 2010 at 9:02 am

    You have to be truly retarded if you’re writing a review for an adult movie you can give your view but if a movie is made for under 8! Then how can you say its boring? Even if it doesn’t do well at box office which ever unfortunate parent buys the dvd will be absolutely sorry because that child will watch it 100,000 time over and over! Just like they do with Alvin and the chipmunks!

  3. JTfan on December 17, 2010 at 9:07 am

    You critics said the samething when Alvin and the chipmunks came out! And guess what 5 year olds didn’t care! Just like how they don’t care when they sit infront a television watching Lazytown reruns! Yogi is not Shrek where there use of obscene langauge so how could you say its entertaining? You’re dumb! And you have to be to write this review is boring! Are you 5 yrs or 6yrs? NO! You’re a big hardback adult! Children will love this movie and even if their dumbarse parents refuse to carry them to see it! Well guess what there’s something call DVD and movie download!

  4. Becky on December 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Shannon, I’ve been a frothy reader for a while now, and I’ve never commented till now. Just wanted to say I love the frothy movie/tv reviews(I’m a pop culture junkie) and you’ve turned me on to some movies and shows I would have otherwise overlooked. So I’m sure that you are spot on about Yogi(even the trailer was painful),which is delightful since I’ve promised to take my five year daughter to see it this evening:) But anyways, having sat through countless kids movies throughout the years, I have to say that regardless of what the previous commenters think of your opinion, it is possible to make smart entertaining kiddie flicks that wont bore mommy to tears. Case in point?” Tangled”… a great movie that both my daughter and myself loved….it took me back to when Disney was still making good animation, before Pixar took over the world lol. Anyways, I love your site, I like that you’ve got pop culture covered but with a smart/nerdy girl angle:) keep up the good work, I’m gonna go pay $9 for an 80 min nap!:)

  5. Shannon Hood on December 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks Becky, that was really nice of you. Yes, there are several films that kids and adults can enjoy, but I also realize that they are few and far between. Thanks for being a loyal reader. Enjoy your nap. You should be snoozing before the opening credits end. :)

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