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Movie Review

Yogi Bear

MPAA Rating: PG for some mild rude humor.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Family Live-Action Animation Adventure Comedy 3D
Length:
1 hr. 20 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
December 17, 2010 (wide—3,400+ theaters)
DVD: March 22, 2011
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

bears in the Bible

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
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?

Questionable Content

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.

Lessons

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.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10).

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.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—What an absolutely delightfully innocent film, my 4 year old loved it, and my wife and i adored it! Finally a movie that has innocence at heart, it is not offensive in any way; it’s innocent, has no aggression, no sexual humor, it has a great happy ending, and a clean love story. I was not expecting a good film and was very pleasantly surprised.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ben Symington, age 37 (South Africa)
Positive—We went to see this as a family over Christmas break and really enjoyed it! Even my husband and I had fun, since we watched this cartoon as children. It had a good message and kept up a good pace. Of course, I wish they’d had them dance to another song besides the big bu_ _ song… but that’s the only drawback I can think of. I think if they’d left this out, it could have been rated “G”. Enjoy it if you go!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Lori, age 41 (USA)
Positive—I was not going to watch this movie, due to its poor rating. But I was glad that I went, in spite of the rating. I laughed the whole time from beginning to end. It was pure fun. And I think I had a good dose of vitamin to my body, soul and spirit. Because the Bible said that “laughter is good medicine.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—I-Ting Chu, age 50 (USA)
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. I saw it on video in an hotel room. It is a sweet innocent film. It took me back to seeing “Hey there, It’s Yogi Bear!” as a child in 1964 or 1965 at the cinema. It is not quite as sweet and as innocent as its predecessor, but sadly, we have regressed as a people in terms of our morality, over that period. Why I give it 5 stars is the animation is absolutely outstanding. Yogi and Boo Boo seem to be alive and interact perfectly with the humans in each of the scenes. It is an amazing technical feat. If your children see only one modern secular film this year—make it this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Blue, age 53 (Australia)
Neutral—This movie was actually better than I thought it would be. Of course, it had the usual bathroom humor for this genre, but nothing worse than what was in the commercial. Some wierd stuff… but I’ve seen worse. Compared to other CGI-creature-annoys-live-action-humans movies, I liked it better than “Hop” or “Marmaduke.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Dana Ralph, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—When I was growing up I remembered Yogi Bear. I even grew up with the nickname Yogi. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I heard they were making a movie. I decided to wait and rent in on DVD. Well, I can’t say it was my best choice in a DVD selection. The main thing that bothered me about this movie was the humor. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a nice story. But as the reviewer stated, this movie is for younger kids. Adults will be bored. On the plus side, I did enjoy Dan Akroyd’s performance, beneath the somewhat offensive humor.

If you are looking for a movie for your kids to rent, this one is okay depending on how much of the bad humor you want to listen and watch. Keep trying Hollywood.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2
Alexander Malsan, age 21 (USA)
Negative

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Comments from young people
Positive—I really found nothing to complain about from this 100% clean and funny family film. Must I say more?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily, age 12 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—Parents beware!!! This film is not okay for young audiences. My friends and I walked out of the theater after the very sexually explicit song “Baby Got Back” came on. The part of the song that we hear in the film describes a man having an erection, because a girl he sees has a big rear end. The fact that directors were gearing this movie towards very young children and still chose to include this shows how little regard they have for family values. A Christian parent should not show this film to their children, and if their children see it they should have a discussion about what songs are sexist and not pleasing to God.
—Joel, age 20 (USA)