Yogi Bear is a 2010 American 3D live-action/computer-animated comedy film directed by Eric Brevig, produced by Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt, written by Brad Copeland, Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia with music by John Debney and based on the animated television series The Yogi Bear Show and the character created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The film stars Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris, Tom Cavanagh, T. J. Miller, Nate Corddry, and Andrew Daly with narration by Josh Robert Thompson. The movie tells the story of Yogi Bear as he tries to save his park from being logged. Principal photography began in November 2009. It was preceded by the cartoon short Rabid Rider, starring Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner. The film was panned by critics and grossed $201.6 million on a $80 million budget. The film premiered at Westwood on December 11, 2010 and was theatrically released on December 17, 2010 by Warner Bros. Pictures. Yogi Bear received a Teen Choice Award nomination for Choice Movie: Animation Voice. The theme song from the classic animated series was never played in the movie.
Yogi (Voiced by Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (Voiced by Justin Timberlake) are two brown bears who have a penchant for stealing picnic baskets from visitors to Jellystone Park, while park rangers Smith (Tom Cavanagh) and Jones (T.J. Miller) are preventing them to do so. Meanwhile, Mayor R. Brown (Andrew Daly) realizes that Franklin City is facing bankruptcy due to profligate spending on his part. To solve it and fund his election campaign to be the next governor, the mayor decides to select Jellystone as a logging site, and Jellystone is prepared to be shut down.
To save the park, Ranger Smith and his love interest, a woman named Rachel (Anna Faris), who was currently in Jellystone to film a documentary, hold a Centennial festival where Smith hopes to make a profit selling Season Passes. To sabotage the effort, Mayor Brown plays on Ranger Jones' desire to be head ranger and promises him the position if the funds are not raised. Yogi and Boo Boo had promised Smith to stay out of sight during the festival, but Jones convinces them otherwise. They try to please the crowd with a waterskiing performance, but Yogi inadvertently sets his cape on fire, causing the fireworks Smith set up to be knocked over and ignited prematurely, launching them into the crowd, who flee in a panic. After Jellystone is shut down, Ranger Smith is forced to stay in Evergreen Park, a small urban enclave choked with litter and pollution, but not after he tells Yogi that Yogi is not as smart as he thinks he is.
Now seeing that their home is in danger of being destroyed, Yogi and Boo Boo travel to Evergreen Park and tell Smith about this, where he places the clues that Mayor Brown had given him, that Brown and his chief of staff (Nate Corddry) are planning to cut down Jellystone and its trees to make money. They return to Jellystone, and along with Rachel plan to stop the sale of the park. They learn that Boo Boo's pet turtle is a rare and endangered species, which means that, by law, the Park cannot be destroyed if the turtle is residing there. Ranger Jones then turns against Mayor Brown and teams up with Smith, Rachel, and the bears, after learning that he has been manipulated. Mayor Brown learns about this and has his guards steal the turtle so he can continue with his plan of shutting down Jellystone, confessing to the group that power is more convincing than the law.
After Mayor Brown leaves for his conference, Rachel reveals that she had installed a camera in Boo Boo's bow tie, which recorded Mayor Brown's confession. The turtle manages to escape from Brown's Chief of Staff by using his frog-like tongue to pull itself through the car window and out into the park. Yogi and Boo Boo keep the guards distracted so Ranger Smith can upload the confession in the Jumbotron. When the confession is played, the crowd riots, and Brown attempts to tell them that the turtle does not exist, but the turtle manages to get into the conference. The people then learn about the park having an endangered species. Police officers arrest Mayor Brown and his guards for his crime; his chief of staff attempts to escape, but is pinned down by Rachel and he's arrested as well.
Jellystone Park is reopened and becomes a great success. Jones loses his position as head ranger and Smith takes it back, but Jones still works there, handing out flyers about how Jellystone Park has a rare and endangered turtle. Rachel and Ranger Smith admit their feelings for each other, but after they kiss, however, they start chasing after Yogi and Boo Boo, who are back to stealing picnic baskets once again.
- Dan Aykroyd as Yogi Bear, the picnic basket-stealing talking bear who lives in Jellystone Park.
- Justin Timberlake as Boo-Boo Bear, Yogi's sidekick, and sometimes the voice of reason.
- Tom Cavanagh as Ranger Smith, the head ranger of Jellystone Park.
- Anna Faris as Rachel Johnson, a nature documentary filmmaker, and Ranger Smith's love interest. She is called "Miss Movie Lady" or "Miss Moviemaker Lady" by Yogi and Boo Boo. She has spent time with the animals that she makes a documentary on learning a gorilla's rage and pinning down people like a snow leopard.
- T. J. Miller as Ranger Jones, a park ranger who is tricked by Mayor Brown into getting Jellystone shut down, making the excuse that Jones will be the head ranger of the park.
- Andrew Daly as Mayor R. Brown, the main antagonist of the film. He is the Mayor of Franklin City who wants to shut Jellystone Park down so that he can make money for his city and become governor.
- Nate Corddry as the Chief of Staff, Mayor Brown's assistant.
- Josh Robert Thompson as the narrator.
On October 2, 2008, it was confirmed that a live-action/CGI Yogi Bear movie was in the works. Ash Brannon was originally scheduled to direct the film but was replaced by Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D) when it was decided that the film would be produced as a 3-D project. Filming took place on the Lake Whakamaru Reserve, Waikato, New Zealand, as it was winter in the northern hemisphere and to wait for summer would put the production end time to be 6 months longer than if in southern hemisphere.
Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, in the original cartoon, Yogi's personality and mannerisms were based on a popular celebrity of the time. Art Carney's Ed Norton character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi's inspiration; his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton. Norton, in turn, received influence from Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville. Dan Aykroyd, the voice actor of Yogi Bear, stated that he is trying to evoke the influences that shaped the original Yogi Bear's voice. Aykroyd said, "It's about hitting certain notes, going back to those old Lower East Side rhythms, the Catskills, Jersey, Upstate New York. It's the Yiddish language, essentially, being spoken in English. It's the 'setup, delivery, punch' that sitcoms live on today. That's where the origin of American humor is." Aykroyd has stated that he grew up watching Yogi Bear on the long, cold, dark afternoons in his native Ottawa: "As a kid growing up in Ottawa, Canada, where the sky turns dark in the winter at about 3:30, Yogi Bear was my fire, my hearth, when I would come home. I would immediately turn on the TV while I thawed out."
Justin Timberlake came in with a prepared Boo-Boo voice; when he was learning to sing when he was younger, he imitated various cartoon characters. Eric Brevig said that he intended to make a film that did not want parents who remembered watching Yogi Bear cartoons to feel marginalized and displaced by the contemporary rendition of Yogi Bear. Rhythm and Hues provided CGI character animation for Yogi Bear, Boo-Boo Bear and the Frog-Mouthed Turtle in the film. The company had previously worked with Hanna-Barbera on past theatrical productions: The Flintstones (1994), its prequel Viva Rock Vegas (2000), Scooby-Doo (2002), and its sequel Monsters Unleashed (2004).
The film was originally slated for release on June 25, 2010, but was pushed back to December 17, 2010 to avoid competition with Grown Ups. The film's first trailer was released online on July 28, 2010. It was also attached with Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and Alpha and Omega. A second trailer premiered with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and a third trailer premiered with Megamind, Tangled, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1." One of the trailers was also attached with UK showings of Tron: Legacy.
Warner Home Video released the film on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2011 in four versions:
- DVD (single-disc)
- Blu-ray (single-disc)
- Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy
- Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy