Everyone’s favorite pic-a-nic basket-stealing bear comes to the big screen in “Yogi Bear,” a new adventure, filmed in 3D, that combines live action with computer animation. Dan Aykroyd stars as the voice of Yogi, Jellystone Park’s notorious troublemaker, and Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo Boo, Yogi’s faithful pal and co-conspirator in his never-ending schemes to separate park visitors from their lunches.
Based on the popular Hanna-Barbera character from the 1960s – Yogi Bear, with his ever faithful friend Boo-Boo face the biggest threat to their pic-a-nic stealing schemes ever. The evil town mayor plans to rezone Jellystone Park for logging and it’s up to Yogi, Boo-Boo, Ranger Smith and Ranger Smith’s would-be girlfriend Rachel to save Jellystone Park from being destroyed.
Mixing live action and CGI, Yogi Bear is a treat for the youngsters. Shot in New Zealand, the film looks fantastic, with many breathtaking locales and scenery.
As with the live action Scooby-Doo movies from a few years back, the hardest part in these movies is to convince the moviegoers that the CGI and human actors are in the same space. Fortunately technology has come a long way since the Scooby-Doo films and in YOGI BEAR, you get a real sense of interaction.
The voice work of Dan Ackroyd is fantastic. He delivers a consistent vocal performance and delivers on the laughs. Justin Timberlake doesn’t have much to work with as Boo-Boo, but as a character, you cant help but like the little guy. The human actors have the hardest parts obviously. Trying to ground the film in reality and maintain their dignity, as actors must have been stressful for Tom Cavanagh and Anna Faris.
The dialogue is pretty ropey and it does seem a bit forced at times but, when watching this film, you have to ask yourself, who is this aimed at? Watching the film with an audience full of kids, you get the sense that, with all its shortcomings, the film works.
It’s probably not going to appease most adults, but your kids are gonna love it.
I give this film 3 out of 5
YOGI BEAR starts in cinemas this Thursday 13th of January