He’ll have ev’ry picnic basket
Yogi has it better than a millionaire,
That’s because he’s smarter than
the average bear.”
Those of you who sang along with me
the above theme song from the late 50’s/early 60’s cartoons need to know
that this “Yogi Bear” is a re-make:new voice actors for all the characters, new type of animation, but,
comfortingly, the old familiar story line. (Who said that music memory
Dan Aykroyd is the new voice of Yogi
Bear.Apparently many people
tried to send him voice tapes of Daws Butler, the original Yogi Bear, but
Mr. Aykroyd declined to listen to any of them.He wanted to create his own character.Good for him.But
Aykroyd trying to play Yogi Bear sounds like Walter Matthau doing a parody
of himself.Oh, well;
unintended consequences and all that.
His sidekick, Boo Boo, is the voice of
Justin Timberlake, but this movie works because of the casting of the
“real” people interacting with the animated characters on the screen:Tom Cavanaugh as Ranger Smith is just the right mix of nice guy and
flustered suitor and frustrated park ranger;Anna Faris is sweet on the outside but with an inner tenacity, T.J.
Miller as Ranger Jones is the only character who actually develops, and
Andrew Daly as Mayor Brown is just as oily and officious as we would expect
him to be.It seems the Mayor,
desperate to raise funds for a deficit budget, has agreed to re-zone the
park as commercial, allowing loggers to cut all the timber.
Yogi Bear, normally a rascally stealer
of picnic baskets, focuses his “smarter than the average bear” talents
to team up with the “good guys” and save the Park.No surprise there.But
the fun, of course, is in getting there:the sight gags for the kids, the funny throw-away lines for the
adults, the feel-good bonhomie of it all.
Sure, it’s silly, and terminally
cute.But it just might tap
into some old cartoon nostalgia, as the Baby Boomer grandparents are proudly
introducing their young grandchildren to a sweet little story connected to a
more innocent time.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace