YOGI BEAR’S ALL-STAR COMEDY CHRISTMAS CAPER
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Just in time for Christmas, Warner Bros. has released a 80s-era “Yogi Bear” disc to also coincide with the new movie. In this television special, Ranger Smith thinks Yogi Bear and Boo Boo are hibernating, but when all of Yogi’s friends show up, he realizes that the smarter-than-average bear has left Jellystone to spend time in the big city. There, Yogi meets a young girl who needs help connecting with her family over the holidays.
WHAT I LIKED
When the live-action/CGI “Yogi Bear” film came out a few days ago, so many people bemoaned how it didn’t live up to the original cartoon. Well, here’s the original cartoon to which you can compare. I’m sure you’ll find that these old cartoons, be them from the 60s or the 80s, are just as silly as the live-action theatrical feature.
This is a cute enough story to please the kids, putting on the ridiculous premise that Yogi is mistaken for Santa. I did enjoy watching this to see Yogi getting into his familiar scrapes again. However, the best part of a Christmas special like this is that you get to see all of the other Hanna-Barbera characters make cameos.
Beyond Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble (who are joked about actually being cameos), you get to see Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Auggie Doggy and all the other staple characters. A DVD like this rings simple nostalgia for me.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Even though I am a child of the 80s, I recognize the superiority of the 60s cartoons from Hanna-Barbera. Yeah, they were really cheap back then, but they hadn’t hit the assembly line level they did in the 80s. Unfortunately, this Christmas special was produced in the 80s, so they aren’t as fresh as the earlier incarnations.
Also, while it’s fun to watch Yogi and the gang get into all these Christmas shenanigans, the story of a child needing to connect with her workaholic father is just a bit too cheesy even for me.
The DVD comes with another “Yogi Bear” special. This time, it’s “Yogi’s Birthday Party,” which was actually part of the original show in the early 60s. Yogi is distracted by dreams of being on television while Ranger Smith arranges his birthday party. Like the Christmas special, this features cameos by all the Hanna-Barbera staple characters, and being from the early run, it has a warmer and less plastic feel to it.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Children and anyone who wants to see the original (and 80s) Yogi Bear.