Category Archives: looney tunes

Yogi Bear 2010

Yogi Bear ~ This is the live action and CGI big screen movie from Christmas 2010 that pretty much bombed at the box office. Much like The Green Hornet a year or so back, I have to wonder if its because the current movie going audience has no point of reference for Yogi Bear any longer.

When I was a wee toddler waaay back in the late sixties, I have great memories of watching classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters like Yogi Bear with my dad. It’s a good memory, sitting with my father, seeing the five to eight minute adventures of Huckleberry Hound, Jinx the Cat, Pixie and Dixie, and Jellystone Park’s favorite pick-a-nick basket thieves, Yogi and Boo Boo Bear.

Later those good memories of semi-good kids cartoons were ruined by parents groups in the seventies, leading them to join together to fight pollution on “Yogi’s Gang,” and then later were sidelined as peripheral funny animal characters on “Scooby-Doo’s Laff-A-Lympics.” After that, except for a handful of forgettable appearances, Yogi was, well, forgotten. Maybe, after the seventies, with good reason. Still, the 1960s cartoon shorts have a warm spot in my heart.

That said, I doubt most of the folks who saw this in theaters even knew who Yogi is, um, was. Those that did, might have been put off as I was. The CGI Yogi and Boo Boo is kinda cool, until you see them next to live action human beings. Then the reality sets in that they are bears because the size ratio is correct and troubling. Bears, even those wearing ties, sometimes tend to eat people. I can see young kids being maybe freaked out by this.

The plot is much too long and complicated for the characters who work best in ten minute increments at most. Similar structure has ruined of films of this genre like Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and even Looney Tunes and The Simpsons. Honestly, I would have been happy with eight ten-minute vignettes than one eighty-minute movie, but that’s me.

Intellectually disturbing (for me at least) is the fact they acknowledge Yogi and Boo Boo are not only bears, but talking, thinking, tie wearing bears. They even acknowledge its rare, but they never explain why. That drives me nuts. Maybe it’s just too meta for me to get past, but it bugs the hell outta me.

Then there’s also the voice casting of Dan Ackroyd and Justin Timberlake as Yogi and Boo Boo. Timberlake is not bad at all, but Ackroyd, once you know it’s him, never sounds like anything but Dan Ackroyd doing a bad Daws Butler as Yogi Bear imitation. Some folks may have enjoyed and praised us, but not me, I couldn’t get past it.

All in all, Yogi Bear wasn’t bad, fairly harmless actually, and did have the spirit at least of those original sixties cartoons. Anna Faris didn’t annoy the hell out of me, and it had Journey music, so it couldn’t be all bad. Good for the kiddies even though they might not even know Yogi or Boo Boo.

French Fry Diary 309: Looney Tunes French Fries

Happy Feet Two

Happy Feet Two ~ I read a synopsis in the newspaper of this movie well after I had seen it. The synopsis made sense, a hell of a lot more sense than the film itself, and I wish I’d read it beforehand. Maybe Happy Feet Two should have had a narrator, or one of those long scrolling intros like in Star Wars – if only to remind the writers what it was about, because it felt like they were forgetting every ten minutes.

This was a sore disappointment as the original was so good and so emotional. It’s almost as if director and co-writer George Miller had forgotten everything about the first Happy Feet. When the film is on point, it’s about Mumble (Elijah Wood) having fatherhood troubles, but oddly enough, based on his coloring, as opposed to his size, Mumble isn’t even an adult yet. I guess it’s a trademark thing, but it was very distracting.

I liked the addition of P!nk and Common, but couldn’t help wondering where Hugh Jackman and Brittany Murphy were. Hank Azaria manages to be more annoying than Robin Williams here, a feat to be sure. Although, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon come very close to taking the annoying crown as krill who have very little to do with any of the plots, sub or otherwise.

There are several other annoying and seemingly pointless subplots thrown in as well as a baseball bat beating of ecological messaging, which even the thoroughly green first film didn’t do. The music and the CGI animation are still top rate and worth seeing, but all the other little irritating stuff ruined the flick for me. I also didn’t care for the original songs. I couldn’t help but think that when “Glee” started doing new music over covers, they jumped the shark.

Wait for DVD or free TV, it’s not worth the theatre experience. Except if you want to see the cartoon before the movie, then definitely put out the cash. It’s a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes classic, “I Tawt I Taw A Puddy Tat,” featuring Sylvester and Tweety, that was originally done for a record back in the 1940s – so it has Mel Blanc and June Foray’s voice work – and animated with today’s technology. This is amazing, the movie not so much.

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Bat-Mite Strikes Again

Cartoon Network’s hit series “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” will be taking a ride on the crazy train soon. The program, which features an old school Batman teaming up with various other superheroes to fight crime and defeat costumed baddies, welcomes a few familiar names back onto the small screen on May 29th.

Paul Dini, who was instrumental in the ongoing creation of Fox’s award-winning “Batman: The Animated Series” during the 1990s, comes on board to write a special episode featuring another name from the past, Bat-Mite!

In the episode titled “Legends of the Dark-Mite!” Bat-Mite (voiced by Paul Reubens AKA Pee-Wee Herman) kidnaps Batman and takes him to the Fifth Dimension where hilarity literally ensues. Lots of old school versions of Batman’s enemies show up to the party as well, with more than one nod to the Looney Tunes cartoons of yesteryear. Don’t miss it!

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