Yogi Bear – 2010
Directed by Eric Brevig
Starring Dan Ackroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, J.T. Miller, Andrew Daly, Nate Corddry
Written by Brad Copeland, Jeffrey Ventimilia, Joshua Stremin
I would be amazed that this movie took 3 writers to create…until you take into account the earlier work of these “Bill” Shakespeares. Stremin and Ventimilia are “partners,” in as much as it took the both of them to write the Ben Affleck opus Surviving Christmas (91st out of the 100 worst movies of the 2000’s, according to Rotten Tomatoes) and Duane “The Rock” Johnson’s The Tooth Fairy. The latter film scored at the box office to the tune to $142 million. Artistically, it plunged to the same depths as their other film, according to same source (RT). Copeland did some considerable work in television, particularly with Arrested Development. That his biggest success in the movie world is Wild Hogs should be enough to show his cinematic authorship capabilities. So there you have it, 3 authors, just to handle Dan Ackroyd’s lines about pilfering “pic-a-nic” baskets.
Dan Ackroyd. A man who’s been waiting for people to say “comic genius” since the last Ghostbusters movie, is going to have to wait a while longer. His Yogi spends much of the movie doing exactly the same things his cartoon counterpart had done for years on television. What passes for a good 7 minutes in cartoon, becomes agonizing, even over the movie’s relatively short 80 minutes. Ackroyd’s Yogi is just an extension of Ackroyd’s Caddyshack II character. Clutzy, earnest and almost completely incompetent, it is amazing that Boo Boo hadn’t left by the first frame, if only to increase his chances for survival.
To criticize this movie is useless. From back in the ’90’s when they made Casper into a live action, it’s all pretty much boiled down to how much you like it (warts and all), and how much it appeals to kids. Whether it was needed is only dictated by sales receipts, really. By that decree, this was entirely necessary. It made $200 million.
My eldest (8) liked it, my youngest (4) tortured our fat cat, Mouse, my wife rolled her eyes, and I just tried to think about how people get roped into these kinds of movies. Nate Corddry, so promising on The Daily Show and Harry’s Law, is just there. Tom Cavanagh, I can’t name anything he’s done since Ed. Anna Faris, well, it’s either this or Scary Movie 12. I did like Andy Daly from Eastbound and Down…they’re finally making a 3rd season. Maybe the 2nd will be out on DVD soon. I just want to know who has the goods on Justin Timberlake, forcing him to sit for Boo Boo?
As for the movie, I can’t call it a comedy. It would have to be funny in some way for that. My eldest chuckled a few times, but she, like most pre-adolescents, guffaws at the bathroom humor. The animation is decent at best, shockingly bad at worst. It was what you’d expect for a threadbare plot: someone’s trying to shut down Jellystone. Oh no. Wonder if it will happen? Wonder if there will be a sequel? Wonder if I can go to my Mom’s house to watch the bread she is baking rise in the pan. It would be more fulfilling than this. But hey, the 8-year-old had a smile on her face when the credits rolled. Wait until she is 13.
As for the reader, if one thinks they need watch this film, check out the first episode of the cartoon instead. It is on par. If you thirst for more after that, be my guest. I will be over at Mom’s, however, when you watch it here.
(** out of *****)