Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
bears in the Bible
|Featuring:||Dan Aykroyd (Yogi Bear), Christine Taylor (Cindy Bear), Justin Timberlake (Boo-Boo Bear), Tom Cavanagh (Ranger Smith), Anna Faris (Rachel), Nathan Corddry (Chief of Staff), Andrew Daly (Mayor Brown), Dean Knowsley (Agent Florimo), T.J. Miller (Ranger Jones), Jennessa Rose (Actress voices), Barry Duffield (Body Guard), Tom Kay (Park Visitor)|
|Director:||Eric Brevig—“Journey To The Center Of The Earth”|
|Producer:||Warner Bros. Pictures, Sunswept Entertainment, De Line Pictures, Picnic Basket, Rhythm and Hues, more »|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“Please do not feed the bears.”
Jellystone Park is a place for families and campers to enjoy the wildlife and, whether they want to or not, for Yogi Bear to snatch their picnic, or as Yogi says, ‘pic-a-nik’ baskets.
Similar to the original cartoon series from the 1960’s, this live-action with CGI film features the “smarter than the average bear” Yogi (voiced now by Dan Aykroyd), his little sidekick Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake), Chief Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and introduces Ranger Jones (T.J. Miller) and nature documentarian Rachel (Anna Faris).
Early picnic basket antics aside, the film shows Rachel arriving at the park and enlisting Boo Boo’s help to document wildlife at Jellystone from his perspective. However, little does anyone know, but local Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly) has designs on closing Jellystone for good and using its resources to cover up his failure to manage the city’s finances. Enlisting the help of junior Ranger Jones to sabotage Ranger Smith’s fundraising plans, can Yogi and Boo Boo save the day?
Language: There is one scene with Yogi and Boo Bo dancing to the song, “I Like Big B___s” (think posteriors) and a minor slip of the tongue when a flummoxed Ranger Smith first meets Rachel, though it was so slight that most will miss it. Rachel threatens the mayor’s aide with going ‘gorilla’ on him, but that is the extent of the language used.
Violence: It is all comic in nature, with most of the slapstick centered on Yogi—no overt perils that would frighten younger children.
I was disappointed in Ranger Jones’ decision to help the Mayor, especially after he says he was an Eagle Scout and goes as far as quoting the Scout oath (“A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful…”). From the very beginning, our expectations of him are not very high, as he fails in even a simple project that Ranger Smith gives him. Parents can remind their kids what the Word of God says about someone like this.
The major villain is the Mayor, who lives up to so many of the definitions of a fool the Bible describes. From the smallest issues (his car window not opening) to the largest things the Mayor is quick to anger.
“A fool shows his annoyance at once…” (Proverbs 12:16).
The Mayor is so accustomed to being unquestionably in charge, that he never really listens to anyone’s opinions but his own, and he is quick to share those.
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions” (Proverbs 18:2)
The Mayor’s arrogance in believing he can say whatever he wants without consequences likewise gives truth to the proverb:
“A fool’s mouth is his undoing” (Proverbs 18:7).
While trying to promote the 100th Anniversary of Jellystone, Ranger Smith is surprised to see a small plane advertising it. Rachel confesses she didn’t pay for it, but rather rearranged the letters on the banner before it took off. Ranger Smith’s only response was to say, “Cool.” Not exactly what the straight-laced, law abiding Ranger Smith from the cartoon series would have been expected to say.
“Yogi Bear” is a treat for younger children, but not likely to appeal to older teens on up. The first ‘grown up’ laugh didn’t occur until after Rachel shows up and tries to talk to Yogi using ‘bear talk,’ proving Anna Faris’ comedic talent that is underused in the film. Parents and any familiar with the original primetime show will be disappointed in how much less it targets them than the kids.
A note on the 3D version: It is clearly made with 3D in mind, and the film makes good overall use of it with a few standout scenes thrown in for good measure.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.