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YOGI BEAR, 2010
A documentary filmmaker (Faris) travels to Jellystone Park to shoot a project and soon crosses paths with Yogi Bear (voice of Aykroyd) and his sidekick Boo-Boo (voice of Timberlake).
Release Date: 17 December 2010 (USA)
So you're a production company and you own the trademark of Yogi Bear. Yogi is definitely a pop-culture icon as you ask people on the streets who is he and 4 out of 5 will know. The 1 out of 5 people will think he was a famous baseball player who played for the New York Yankees. And they are also half-right because Yogi's name was ripped off from 1950's catcher Yogi Berra to basically steal from his own fame in order to sell a talking bear cartoon show. And Yogi Berra, the actual man still living today, is still steamed by this. So I'm pretty sure he isn't taking his grandkids to this film.
So you got Yogi Bear in your arsenal and you want to make a movie about him because you think you can steal some money from those parents always looking for films to take their kids to. And most parents watched Yogi when they were kids, so why not introduce them to everyone's favorite talking bear. (But I'll vote for BooBoo because he seems to have more integrity than Yogi).
But how are you going to do this? After all, he is a bear!
I'm sure the studio committee sat at a boardroom round-table for days wondered what the best way to do it without spending too much money. Yogi ain't a transformer or a comic book hero, so he's not bringing home the foreign box office, and therefore you can't spend too much money on him. But you have a solid budget and can pull off a nice looking film.
So their first thought was to make just an animation movie, but that wouldn't work because kids have seen more than enough taking animals in the woods films. What makes Yogi special and unique is that he actually wants to be a human and not a bear. He dresses like a human. He eats like a human. And he comes up with bad jokes like a human. So he must interact with other humans in order to make this point. And animation people isn't usually the most interesting thing to look at for kids.
So the only way to go was the CGI way ala the Scoobi-Doo series. And if you haven't seen Scoobi-Doo or it's very misguided sequel, no worries, you aren't missing anything but very bad films with a sexy Sarah Michelle Gellar running around with her dyed-blonde hair husband and a very annoying talking dog.
And the CGI Yogi could of been just as annoying, but he's really not in the film that much. The main character actually is a nerdy park ranger who is probably a virgin because he spent his entire life in the woods. But then an attractive blonde, who seems to be a documentary filmmaker eventhough she doesn't know how to set up a tripod, enters the picture and the courtship begins.
Throw in your typical corrupt politician that we always seen to elect into office (call it society's amalgamation of self-hatred) who wants to take down the park that the talking bear lives in, and you have yourself your typical Hollywood varn. Nerdy guy gets girl who way above his skis, while also saving the day against the bad guy who likes to do bad things.
Mixed in there is a talking bear and his sidekick who really just get in the way while attempting to tell jokes that I'm assuming no one will laugh at except a 3 year old who is only laughing because Yogi's voice sounds funny and he's trying to dress like daddy eventhough he's a bear.
So I don't get it. You make a movie about Yogi Bear and you don't put Yogi Bear as the main character. And there's so much work with there.
Why didn't they make a movie about a bear who has an identity crisis like Yogi seems to do? That would be a very funny film that would also tell a great thematic tale about learning to be who you are, something all great kids films have.
Why did they go in this zany strange direction of commonality? Especially when they are spending all of this money on the CGI bear's.
This movie makes no sense. It's a hack job in its highest order. And Anna Faris is completely wasted. I hope her people find something better for her in the future.