Hey Boo Boo! Another classic cartoon character is making his way to the big screen. Yogi Bear is coming to movie theaters for a second time.
Yogi Bear was created by animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, the founders of the Hanna-Barbera animation studio. The character debuted on The Huckleberry Hound Show TV series which began running in syndication in 1958. The Yogi segments usually revolve around a familiar plot: With the help of his faithful buddy Boo Boo Bear, Yogi tries to outsmart Ranger Smith and pilfer picnic baskets from tourists who come to visit Jellystone National Park.
A few years later, Yogi graduated to his own TV show, The Yogi Bear Show. From there, Yogi moved to the big screen and the 1964 animated musical, Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear. The character’s popularity continued for the next three decades and he was part of many spin-off series, comics, games, and products. The affable mooch was also licensed to campgrounds for Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, beginning in 1969. Currently there are over 70 locations across the country.
The Hanna-Barbera company and characters were sold to Turner Broadcasting in 1991, around the time of Yogi’s last series. In 1996, Turner was purchased by Time Warner and, in 2001, the Hanna-Barbera was absorbed into Warner Bros. Animation. Though other Hanna-Barbera creations have continued to be utilized (Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons), Yogi has been ignored — until now.
Plans are currently under way to create a new Yogi Bear movie. The film is slated to be directed by Ash Brannon (Surf’s Up, Toy Story 2) and written by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, former executive producers of That ’70s Show. The feature will be a live-action project with Yogi and Boo-Boo being created via computer graphics (in a similar vein to the recent Alvin and the Chipmunks feature).
Little is known about the picture thus far but you can be sure that Yogi will be causing plenty of trouble for Ranger Smith once again. We can only hope that the plot is written to entertain those who are “smarter than the average bear.” Stay tuned!