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Movie Review

Ah, the beauty of nature. Towering cliffs. Peaceful green forests. Deep blue lakes. Soaring birds and bears.

All right, bears don't usually fly. But in Jellystone Park, smarter-than-your-average-bear Yogi does. Or, at least he shoots down zip lines to steal family pic-a-nic baskets. He's a genius after all, so why should he forage for berries when he can grab someone else's fried chicken? Saturated fats are much more satisfying.

And with his newest food-stealing masterpiece, the "Basket Nabber 2000," Yogi will fly faster than the speed of sandwich. He might even break the picnic barrier. That is, if Jellystone is still around. Shady Mayor Brown is rezoning and selling it off as farmland—which means all the trees will be cut for profit. Since the park hasn't stayed under budget for 10 years, Ranger Smith and Rachel, a documentary filmmaker who is visiting the park, have little recourse.

Still, they try to promote Jellystone's 100th birthday in order to make some dough and save the land they love. But their attempt to entertain visitors turns into a fiasco. Why? Because Yogi, who always has to be the center of attention, doesn't listen to Smith and causes a fiery mess that destroys the celebration.

It looks like Jellystone's in deep trouble. And so are viewers if they think the Yogi Bear of 2010 is anything like the Yogi Bear of 1958 when Hanna-Barbera introduced him as a silly little cartoon.

Nate Coddry, who plays Mayor Brown's nameless flunky, told Trailer Addict, "[Yogi Bear is] a movie that's going to be marketed towards kids, I think, but it is a movie for parents as well, for sure, because the comic sensibility is a little subversive. It's adult. So I think adult audiences will find the appeal just as much as kids."

Let's see if you agree with that after reading this review.

Positive Elements

Ranger Smith works hard and loves his job. He does his best to control Yogi and keep Jellystone running smoothly. Though he's not always the greatest at it, he sees his faults and works to change them. Rachel encourages Smith in his duties, and the two find solace in each other's social awkwardness. Yogi tells Smith to keep fighting for the park, saying, "You can't fail if you never stop trying."

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Rachel and Ranger Smith kiss once. Rachel jokes about the mating rituals of rangers. Yogi and Boo Boo dance to the foul rap song "Baby Got Back" as the camera closes in on their boogying derrieres. Rachel wears a revealing spaghetti-string camisole.

Violent Content

Slapstick violence includes Yogi and others falling from great heights. The talking bear is also whipped around on jet skies as he twirls a fiery baton that sets his cape aflame. This causes a fireworks display to misfire into a crowd, sending people stampeding for their lives before they're singed. Yogi and Boo Boo free fall from a glider. A raft carrying bears and people races down dangerous rapids toward a massive waterfall.

Rachel throws herself onto a bad guy, screaming at him. Ranger Smith accidentally staples his hand while putting up a flyer. Yogi is launched into trees from a variety of his picnic-stealing contraptions. Ranger Jones (Smith's deputy of sorts) soups up the park golf cart and promptly falls out of it. Someone stands on a soldering iron, burning his foot. Yogi is hit in the face by several trees and a sign. An out-of-control Rollerblader crashes into a construction site.

Crude or Profane Language

Mildly off-color language is restricted to such expressions as "dang it" and "what the heck."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Ranger Smith jokes about inhaling gypsum weed—a hallucinogenic plant. Later he sings a corny love song about heart palpitations and Rachel being his medication.

Other Negative Elements

Yogi lies and steals repeatedly, and without facing true consequences. His motto seems to be "destroy the evidence." Mayor Brown cheats the entire town by trying to sell off the park for personal profit. He also lies, abuses the law and entices lazy young Ranger Jones to side with him. Jones, an Eagle Scout, thinks about upholding the Boy Scout's honor code and training, but opts instead to swindle his way into a better job. He's thwarted, but no other consequence can be found. To save money, Rachel steals an airplane banner advertisement and rearranges its letters to promote Jellystone Park.

Yogi jokes about Boo Boo passing gas—and the stench it creates. Rachel says she wrote a postcard using spit and bird poop for ink. Yogi starts to eat a grub, but it burrows its way into his nose instead. He then blows it out. Yogi tells Smith to urinate on Rachel and mark her as his territory.

Conclusion

Justin Timberlake, who voices Boo Boo, says, "All around, I think it's a fantastic film for families to go see."

Well.

In the 1960s, Yogi Bear and his sidekick conscience Boo Boo schemed ways to steal people's picnic lunches and avoid Ranger Smith. Back then, Yogi was usually foiled (and taught a lesson) by Smith or the picnickers themselves. More often than not he could also be found actually helping someone, not merely messing up Ranger Smith's plans or stealing food.

Today's self-absorbed, more devious bear gets away with murder, so to speak. And we're supposed to laugh.

At one point, after a remorseful Yogi sees what a jerk he actually is, I thought Ranger Smith would encourage this bumbling bear to change his ways. After all, the ranger clearly calls him out, telling him he's definitely not smarter than the average grizzly. And Yogi says he'll take a stab at being an ordinary animal. But rather than standing firm and fighting for good behavior, Smith eventually throws up his hands, gives in and says, "Yogi will be Yogi." Smith even tells Yogi to be proud of who he is and not try to be different.

The final scene shows Yogi and Boo Boo in a cart towing four or five picnic tables that are laid out with food. No one's learned a thing.

So let me recap for you. Yogi is a destructive, selfish, impulsive, bullheaded manimal who constantly lies and steals. But that's OK because, ultimately, we should be proud of who we are, no matter what.

Well.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

PG

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear; Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo; Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith; Anna Faris as Rachel; T.J. Miller as Ranger Jones; Nate Corddry as Chief of Staff; Andrew Daly as Mayor Brown

Director

Eric Brevig ( Journey to the Center of the Earth)

Distributor

Warner Bros.

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

December 17, 2010

On Video

March 22, 2011

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Meredith Whitmore

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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