So…did somebody ask for an above average bear? I loved the Yogi Bear cartoons as a kid which featured Yogi and his friend Boo Boo stealing picnic baskets from happy campers at the Jellystone national park. Even as I grew out of that kid phase, these cartoons appealed to my sense of humour. But having never watched any Yogi Bear stuff for over 10 years, I’d almost forgotten about the loveable big bear and his antics until 2010 when I came to know that they were making a movie based on him.
Yogi Bear the movie stars Tom Cavanaugh as Ranger Smith, Anna Faris & TJ Miller with the voice of veteran actor Dan Akroyd & (ugh) Justin Timbersucks aka Justin Timberland as Yogi Bear & Boo Boo respectively. I almost didn’t watch this movie because that former boyband bullcrap Justin is the voice as Boo Boo. Well, the good thing is I do not have to see that imbecile on the screen! Anyway the storyline is predictable and silly and corny but it still works for the big screen and I like it.
So as we have Yogi inventing new ways of trying to nab “pic-a-nik” baskets from unsuspecting families that come to the park for camping. Boo Boo tries to be the voice of reason. Ranger Smith has to prevent the bears from stealing the baskets with the help of his subordinate, the ambitious Ranger Jones. Meanwhile, Mayor Brown realizes that his city is facing bankruptcy due to profligate spending on his part. If he lets the park be shut down and let it go as a logging site, he will rake in lots of cash to fund his election campaign for state governor. In order to save the park Rangers Smith & Jones and a documentary-shooter named Rachel Johnson (Anna Faris) put their heads together.
Smith comes up with a Centennial fest to encourage seasonal passes for campers and thereby make more money. However in order to sabotage it, the Mayor plays on Ranger Jones’ desire to be head ranger and promises him the position if the funds are not raised. Yogi has promised Ranger Smith to be on his best behaviour and stay out of site while the celebration is going on but Jones convinces him to go ahead with making the fest more exciting. Yogi tries to please the crowd with a water skiing act, which initially seems to please the crowd but goes awry when he accidentally sets his cape on fire. Chaos strikes as the fireworks Smith set up are knocked over and ignited prematurely, launching them into the assembled audience who flee in a panic. Jellystone is shut down, Smith is reassigned to a small enclave in the city, he abandons all hopes of dating Rachel and the bears are miserable & sorry.
Smith, Rachel, Yogi, and Boo Boo plan to stop the sale of Jellystone. They learn that Boo Boo’s pet turtle is a rare and endangered species, which means that the Park cannot be destroyed with the turtle there. Jones regrets his decision to betray Smith when he realizes the mayor’s true intentions. They record the Mayor speaking about his that he is willing to gain more power to shut down the park in order to become governor and his confession is played out for the public & press to see on a big screen display. With his plans foiled, Jellystone Park is opened up again and Ranger Smith is reinstated and runs the park with Jones who still works there, giving out papers about how Jellystone has a rare type of turtle. Rachel & Smith are together as a couple at last and Yogi & Boo Boo are back to stealing picnic baskets.
A must watch for fans of the old cartoons and for new people to discover the fun of Yogi. However, it is a silly & predictable bubble gum of a movie. It’s for the nostalgic kids in you. 7 outta 10!