Yogi Bear [Blu-Ray] Eric Brevig

Yogi Bear [Blu-Ray] Eric Brevig
Beyond the seeming simplicity of Yogi Bear's single-minded quest to steal picnic baskets lurks a far more complex psychological breakdown, uniquely conflicted by self-loathing and social isolation. He shows no remorse for his crimes, never thinking of the victims that he leaves without picnic lunches in Jellystone Park, which suggests he is either a sociopath or mentally challenged. But he's clearly compensating for something, relentlessly and compulsively stealing without ever filling that hole in his heart. One can assume it's a substitute for sexuality and romantic connection, since there seems to be a shortage of talking bears, and Boo Boo is far too patronizing and self-righteous to be construed as even an ersatz homosexual lover. Perhaps this is why Yogi oversells his status, telling anyone who listens that he is "smarter than the average bear," in an effort to convince himself, and others, of his worth in the face of unbearable low self-esteem. Now, during the first 20 minutes of this unnecessary feature-length version of Yogi Bear, many jokes are made about the absurdity of fictional characters motivated entirely by petty thievery. Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) lectures Yogi (voiced by Dan Aykroyd) on empathy after receiving yet another complaint about a giant talking bear in a tie stealing a family's lunch. Yogi makes defensive justifications and Boo Boo (Justin Timberlake) makes a smartass remark. A romantic interest for Ranger Smith pops up, in the form of nature documentarian Rachel (Anna Faris), making deadpan observations about the rarity of talking bears, leaving the comedy door open for mating ritual advise from Yogi, who suggests urinating on her to mark territory. This flat, self-conscious handling of a genuinely ridiculous story actually works, in a cheap, entirely random sense, acknowledging character simplicity and archetypal contrivance by stating the narrative flaw out loud. It makes the actual plot – wherein Ranger Smith and the gang must raise $30,000 to save Jellystone Park from a money-hungry mayor planning to sell it for lumber – almost digestible, in that over-the-top, '80s ski-resort movie kind of way. But this tone doesn't maintain itself for long, giving way to the very conflict and plot machinations initially satirized. And try as Anna Faris and Nate Corddry might, they can't quite do much of anything with broad set pieces like a perilous white water rafting chase scene and a fireworks show gone awry. Yogi Bear is a crappy movie, but there are a few things to laugh at along the way. The Blu-Ray comes with an interactive map of Jellystone Park, as well as behind-the-scenes voice recording footage of Aykroyd and Timberlake looking surprisingly upbeat, all things considered. There is also an awkward interactive game that asks, "Are you smarter than the average bear?," along with a new Looney Tunes cartoon that acts as a reminder of how styles change considerably with time. (Warner)