Back in October 2008, we first reported that there were plans to make a movie based on Yogi Bear. Late last year, some story details about the live-action/CGI project started to surface, as well as some star casting.
Dan Aykroyd is voicing Yogi, the smooth-talking bear with a picnic basket addiction. Justin Timberlake is supplying the voice of his bow-tie wearing pal, Boo-Boo.
Tom Cavanagh is playing a non-CGI Ranger Smith, Yogi’s nemesis, and T.J. Miller is playing another park ranger named Jones. Smith and Jones? Perhaps an allusion to the old TV show? Meanwhile, Anna Faris is portraying a nature documentarian who follows the bears’ antics and ends up as a love interest for Ranger Smith. Andrew Daly plays Mayor Brown, possibly a villain.
Director Eric Brevig recently returned from filming in New Zealand and tells MTV his goal was to “get very funny, comic actors… and then I wanted to make a movie that’s a comedy in which some of the characters are bears, as opposed to a kid’s film.”
As far as the movie’s plot, Brevig says that, “Jellystone is in danger from a politician who decides he can save money by shutting down a National Park. It’s up to Smith and Anna’s character, as well as Yogi and Boo-Boo, to come up with a way to save the park while the lumberjacks are arriving with their equipment preparing to start tearing it apart.”
Many fans of the original animated characters have been cringing about the casting of Timberlake as Boo-Boo but Brevig feels like they made the right choice. He said, “We heard that he wanted to do the voice, and I thought, ‘Oh, great,’ because everybody thinks they can do Yogi and Boo-Boo. But when we met with him for the first time, he did the tiniest little amount and it was like, ‘This guy has got it nailed!’ I got Dan and Justin to record their voices at the same time, so they could actually talk back and forth, and it was really great.”
While it sounds like Brevig is trying to stay pretty faithful to the original cartoons, Yogi’s catchy theme song (see video below) may not survive. Brevig hasn’t worked with the movie’s composer yet and says, “I would hope that we could sneak that in at some point, but it’s not going to seem like the TV show done long-form. This is a big deal movie with a fuller scope, and [our take on the song] will be bigger than that.”
Meanwhile, this site has posted the images above that could be our first look at the CGI versions of Yogi and Boo-Boo.
What do you think? Does this new information make you feel better or worse about the Yogi Bear movie?