Saturday, 7 May 2011

DVD Review: Yogi Bear

Rating: 5/10 - Average

Mixing animation and live action has a history of duds (Cool World, Alvin and the Chipmunks), and a few awesome exceptions (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) Yogi Bear creeps towards Dudsville.

Director: Eric Brevig. Screenplay: Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Sternin and Brad Copeland. Producers; Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt. Executive Producers: Lee Berger, Jim Dyer and Andrew Haas. Editor: Kent Beyda. Cinematographer: Peter James. Score: John Debney. Studio: Warner Brothers.Starring: Dan Aykroyd (voice), Justin Timberlake (voice), Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, Andrew Daly and TJ Miller. Running Time: 80 Minutes. Age Restriction: PG

Big bad Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly) wants to close down Jellystone Park. For some reason families are just not interested in the great outdoors and would far rather be cooped up in front of the TV away from obnoxious and noxious talking bears. Should he get his way then Yogi Bear (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) and his side-kick Boo Boo (voiced by Justin Timberlake) will lose their home. They join forces with jolly good all-round sort Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh), and a ditzy video documentary maker (a typecast Anna Faris). Could there be romance? What do you think? Will they lose their home? The suspense.

If you're hoping for a nostalgic return to the much loved Hanna Barbera cartoons, you'll be disappointed. Yogi Bear suffers from awkward animation, clunky dialogue and a complete lack of imaginative effort on behalf of the screenwriters. However, I suspect that I'm not the intended audience. Certainly the infantile slapstick humour will delight much younger audiences, but for their parents there is little relief.

What on earth possessed Justin Timberlake to voice Boo Boo (now there's a name to conjure by)? The 'real' actors manage to just get away from looking completely embarrassed.

Verdict: If you’re under the age of ten then the supposedly witty bear will keep you entranced with his slapstick capers. More streetwise pre-teens will avoid this one.

Yogi Bear is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

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