Today: April 20, 2024

Yogi Bear

It was only a matter of time that another classic family cartoon
fell by the computer animated way side. It happened to The Chipmunks, it
happened Garfield, it happened to Horton. Snoopy is probably shaking in
his kennel. And with good reason, for where these pictures have
produced squeals from tots the world over they’ve failed to reach
markets that are really too old for Happy Meals.

Perhaps it should be all for the kids. The story for Yogi’s big
screen debut would certainly suggest so as the pic a nic nabbing tubby
grizzly (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) must club together with life partner Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake) long suffering Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and a documentary filmmaker (Anna Faris)
to save Jellystone Park from a money hungry councillor. What follows is
a somewhat predictable 80 minutes of meagre slap stick and mild
punchlines that frankly doesn’t meet the bar set so impossibly high by
Pixar.

It does have its strengths, mainly a decent cast; Aykroyd and a
barely recognisable Timberlake capture the voices perfectly from the
cartoon and Tom Cavanagh’s got the right face and comic timing for the
job. Anna Faris’ Rachel is reduced to nothing more than a simpering
naturist but she’s sweet enough. And the animation is making full use of the new generation of 3D,
buckling to the odd gimmick at times but otherwise bringing a new
experience of viewing to high impact sequences. The attention to detail
on the bears is also worth mentioning, combining fuzzy features with the
incredibly textured coats that first made you take notice with Monster Inc.’s Sully.

The main problem, from an adult’s perspective anyway is the script.
None of the leads are strangers to comedy (Cavanagh has appeared in
various sit coms over the past decade)and are more than capable than a
series of catchphrases and sentimental monologues. There could really be
some room to reach out the elders who enjoyed the original cartoon but
instead Yogi settles for the rehearsed and the story isn’t strong enough
to carry the weight.

The beauty of Pixar is it takes a simple subject; fish,
robots, toys,superheroes, produces strong characters and a basic,
uncomplicated concept and takes it from there, allowing subjects to
change almost organically in front of the viewer’s eyes. And it still
manages to appeal to every single person who watches, sometimes reducing
them to tears, circa Up’s opening sequence, and unspeakably rousing
some childhood traits within. It rarely fails and does taint one’s
approach to Yogi Bear, which, although admittedly delivers as a
children’s film for children, makes you wish it somehow had more to it.

Yogi Bear – Available on 3D Blu-Ray Pack, 2D Blu-ray Triple Play, DVD and Digital Download

Marcia Degia - Publisher

Marcia Degia, who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years, is the Publishing Editor of KOL Social Magazine. See website: thekolsocial.com

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