Yogi and Boo-Boo Ditch Jellystone Park for Hollywood
by Kevin Powers
October 2, 2008
The news today that the classic "Yogi Bear" cartoon is headed for the big screen via a mix of live-action and CGI is accompanied with a lot of 'not's'. As in, this not surprising, given the recent, similar productions of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Garfield; this is not very interesting to me; and this is not a good idea, because the live-action/CGI transformation from a flat cartoon never really seems to work well. But obviously, Warner Bros. saw the $360 million earned worldwide with Chipmunks and decided to mine its own inventory of classic cartoons. Yogi Bear is certainly a character that is lost on much of the youth today, so I suppose extending the character to that audience is the silver-lining here.
Ash Brannon, who co-directed both Toy Story 2 and the Shia LaBeouf-voiced Surf's Up, is set to direct with a couple of folks from "That 70s Show" attached to write. How these folks will do with such memorable characters - one famous for being "smarter than the average bear" - that first debuted in 1958 is anyone's guess. No word on who will play Ranger Smith, the poor Jellystone custodian that was constantly tormented by the two sneaky bears; but you can bet that role will be with a real actor. Why does Luke Wilson come to mind all of a sudden? Is Hollywood caught up in finding new ways to sell movies to kids or is there a genuine bit of cinematic entertainment that comes from transforming these animated characters into CGI?