Cast and Crew Information

Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear
Justin Timberlake as Boo-Boo
Anna Faris as Rachel Johnson
Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith
T. J. Miller as Ranger Jones
Andrew Daly as Mayor Brown
Nathan Corddry as Chief of Staff

Written by Jeffrey Ventimilia & Joshua Sternin and Brad Copeland
Directed by Eric Brevig

Premise

The Mayor has grossly overspent, which endangers his plans to run for governor. His solution: rezone Jellystone Park as agricultural land, sell the logging rights, and give every citizen a cheque for $1000 to buy governor votes. Ranger Smith, Yogi and Boo-Boo have one week to turn Jellystone into a profitable park and prevent this from happening.

High Point

The casting is remarkably effective, particularly with the bears. I didn’t hear Aykroyd and Timberlake, I heard Yogi and Boo-Boo.

Low Point

When I worked at a theatre, I learned that there are two kinds of family films. There are the Pixar-style family films, which are really and truly enjoyed by the entire family. This is the other kind of family film. If you were to stand outside the theatre while patrons are exiting and ask them how the movie was, the kids will say “it’s awesome!” while the parents force a grin and say “oh, the kids loved it.”

The Review

This isn’t terribly original. It’s a faithful adaptation of a cartoon not known for innovation, and it is built on a set of plot devices so well known that the solution to the problem these characters will face is transparent to mature audience members from the moment the problem is revealed. I give it 2 out of 6.

The effects were well done. The CGI bears and fireworks display integrate with their live action surroundings surprisingly well, as do the 3D effects. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is not going to confuse the three year old you see this with. I don’t understand why a nature-preserving park falls under a mayor’s jurisdiction, but the rest of the logic is internally consistent. Bottom line: the script is appropriate for the target audience, and not for the people who will be taking the target audience to the theatre and paying for things. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is passable. No characters are intended to have anything resembling depth, so the actors don’t have a lot to work with, but the do their jobs well enough. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production is acceptable. The musical cues and choices were actually quite enjoyable, although the rest of very pedestrian. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response was very poor for those of us above the age of ten. There’s a chuckle or two to be had, but not enough to warrant seeing the movie without kids. I give it 2 out of 6.

Overall, the movie reaches its target audience well enough. Sadly, if you are old enough to read this review with ease, then the target audience probably doesn’t include you. I give it 2 out of 6.

In total, Yogi Bear receives 21 out of 42.