Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Yogi Bear (Blu-ray)

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5.5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: PG

Starring:
Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear (voice)
Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo (voice)
Anna Faris as Rachel
Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith
T.J. Miller as Ranger Jones
Nathan Corddry as Chief of Staff
Andrew Daly as Mayor Brown
Josh Robert Thompson as Narrator (voice)

Directed by Eric Brevig

Special Features:
Spending A Day At Jellystone Park
Take an Interactive Map Tour of Jellystone Park with Yogi, Boo Boo...and some humans, too! CLICK and JUMP into all the cool things about Jellystone Park and our favorite furry friends! Includes:

Watch Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake Voicing Yogi & Boo Boo
Ranger Jones' Jellystone Park Including His Real-Life Audition With a Bear
Ranger Smith's Love Song For His Favorite Girl
Roaring Rapids, Basket-Nabbers and So Much More!
Are You Smarter Than the Average Bear? Find Out by Taking This Fun- and Food-Filled Interactive Picnic Challenge
New Looney Tunes Cartoon Rabid Rider
Yogi Bear Mashup!

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
DTS-MA Sound
Spanish and French Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 80 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the Blu-ray cover:

"Everyone's favorite pic-a-nic basket-stealing bear brings his meal-mooching ways to movies in this live-action/CG-animated adventure starring Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear and Justin Timberlake as the voice of Yogi's faithful pal Boo Boo. Anna Farris, Tom Cavanagh, T.J. Miller and Andrew Daly costar in this wonderful new incarnation of Hanna-Barbera's classic cartoon."

"Yogi Bear" is rated PG for some mild rude humor.

Mini-Review:
I wasn't expecting much from "Yogi Bear." In fact, I was expecting an absolute train wreck. But I have to admit that it wasn't all that bad. It wasn't all that great either, but it was an adequate kid's film.

When "Yogi Bear" works, it works well. For example, there's an amusing scene where Yogi is hit in the face by a pie and continues to carry on a conversation with Ranger Smith hoping that he won't notice. It was a chuckle-inducing moment. The live-action actors in the film do their best to create laughs, too. Anna Faris is funny as Rachel, a kooky documentary producer that has lived with gorillas, bears, and other creatures. Her weirdness also generates laughs. T.J. Miller is also funny as the incompetent Ranger Jones. Andrew Daly is a surprise as the smarmy Mayor Brown. He gets to make fun of politicians and that never gets old. Then Dan Aykroyd is amazingly close to the original voice of Yogi Bear when you hear them back to back in the bonus features.

Unfortunately the overall film is just a bit dull and predictable. The script plays out like dozens of other nature-related films. Some developer or hunter wants to destroy the forest, the creatures fight back, the day is saved. There's nothing original here. What's sad is that you can see places here and there where they could have had fun. Yogi and Boo Boo could have done more outrageous antics. Ranger Smith could have been a bit more dynamic. It's a lot like "Garfield" in that there were a lot of lost opportunities.

Still, despite all of my complaints, my kids loved it. They laughed in all the right places and were glued to the TV for the whole film. While a good family film entertains both parents and kids, it's still a pleasure to see my kids thoroughly entertained by a movie.

The Blu-ray for "Yogi Bear" has a pretty strong offering of bonus features. In "Spending A Day At Jellystone Park," you click on a map of the park and it activates a series of featurettes. You see interviews with the cast and crew, comparisons with the original cartoon, and other fun stuff. In fact, I'd say that the bonus features are even more entertaining than the movie itself as the cast cuts loose and makes all sorts of funny jokes. Also included is a matching game for kids, the Coyote/Roadrunner cartoon "Rabid Rider," and a few other minor goodies.

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