Kids will be attracted to the new 3-D "Yogi Bear" like ants to a picnic. Their parents will be as entertained about as much as having to deal with ants at a picnic.
That’s a big failing because recent animated offerings – “Toy Story 3,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Tangled” – have cleverly combined the kind of silly humor that delights youngsters with smart writing, good music and/or standout animation to keep adults amused.
Dan Aykroyd provides the voice for Yogi, while Justin Timberlake speaks for Yogi’s sidekick Boo Boo.
Timberlake’s channeling of the young bear is as good as when legendary voice talent Don Messick originated it in the 1960s. But, Aykroyd’s attempt to mimic voice talent Daws Butler’s Yogi voice is uneven – from dead-on to dead wrong.
Director Eric Brevig’s big-screen “Yogi Bear” blends live action and computer-generated animation. The real actors and CGI characters work together seamlessly. It’s what they are doing together that’s the problem.
The script is as heavily slanted toward Jellystone Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and his love interest (Anna Faris) as it is to the antics of the mischievous bear.
“Yogi Bear” should focus on the anti-establishment view of the bear, which manifests itself through Yogi’s larcenous assaults on the Jellystone campers. Instead, the film makes Yogi and Boo Boo supporting players.
There’s an additional distraction: a vastly overused corrupt politician storyline.
It’s an effort to create a villain, but the plot device is as stale as 6-month-old bread.
A little more creativity would have gone a long way toward covering up the movie’s flaws. And it’ll cost you extra to see those flaws because of the 3-D.
“Yogi Bear” is the latest 3-D release that fails to provide enough added entertainment value – coupled with a scant running time of 79 minutes – to warrant the extra ticket charge for 3-D glasses. Making the film in 3-D was a major boo-boo.
Cast: Tom Cavanaugh, Anna Faris and the voices of Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake
Director: Eric Brevig
Running time: 1:19
Rated: PG; cartoon violence