Sunday, April 20, 2014

Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear; comedy, USA, 2011; D: Eric Brevig, S: Tom Cavanagh, Anna Faris, Dan Aykroyd (voice), Justin Timberlake (voice)

During a festival in the Jellystone national park, Yogi bear goes overboard by trying to impress the visitors with a waterskiing stunt which backfires and causes the fireworks to go flying towards the audience. Because of the chaos, ranger Smith is demoted and replaced with the inexperienced Jones, who is an easy prey for the power hungry politician Brown who wants to become the next governor by filling the city's budget via cutting and selling all the trees in the park. With the help of a documentary filmmaker, Rachel, and his bear friend Boo Boo, Yogi manages to stop this by revealing to the audience that a rare turtle species lives in the park. Smith returns as the ranger and falls in love with Rachel.

"Brilliant" and "hilarious" are not quite the first things that come to mind when one watches the first live action adaptation of the popular "Yogi Bear" cartoon show, and something more would have been pushing it since one of the best jokes is only the one where a corrupt politician is meddling with an automatic window that keeps opening and shutting down in his car, yet at least the film stayed (mostly) true to the source material it originated from and did not go in the typical direction of sending the popular characters on an adventure in an entirely different place. It is a decent, politically correct and harmless, but predictably bland and standard film that did not try to go into more extravagant territory or conjure up more elaborated jokes - except for one moment of inspiration when Yogi says: "You can't fail if you never stop trying", a paraphrazing of Albert Einstein's quote. The two CGI characters may seem a bit "odd" at first, yet a more photo-realistic depiction of bears would not have been true to the vein of the show. Dan Aykroyd's voice is good as Yogi, but the real surprise here is Justin Timberlake who did a remarkably similar voice impression of the original Boo Boo character from the show.


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