He might be smarter than your average ursine. His film isn't


If you have fond memories of

Yogi Bear

from your childhood, you'd be hard pushed to remember why after watching this big screen revival of the 1960s' Hanna-Barbera series.

The routine is largely the same as the TV episodes. Yogi Bear (voiced by Dan Aykroyd sounding much like the original voice), who regards himself as "smarter than the average bear", gives up walking on all fours and hibernation to spend time inventing elaborate ways to steal picnic lunches from visitors to Jellystone Park.

His sidekick Boo Boo (voiced adorably by Justin Timberlake) is there to offer advice, assist Yogi out of numerous sticky situations, and help placate Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh from TV's


), who unlike the original Ranger Smith is more frustrated than enraged by Yogi's antics.

To fill out this feature beyond the "pic-a-nic" stealing and slapstick gags, a power hungry politician has been thrown into the mix who plans to close the park so it can be logged. It is up to Ranger Smith and his love interest Rachel (Faris), a documentary film-maker, to come up with a way to stop them.


Taking the same approach as

Alvin and the Chipmunks, Yogi Bear

uses a combination of live action along with computer-animated wildlife to bring the cartoon to life which works well, apart from the occasional wonky eye-line between the real life cast and their animated friends.

What doesn't work so well is the bland script, which makes this film hard work for both the real life characters and the animated ones. Written purely it seems for a younger audience it's all goofy, sweet entertainment and there's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing exciting, attention-grabbing or lovable about the story or characters either.


Yogi Bear

was shot in New Zealand so identifying the film's locations in and around Auckland and Taupo gives adults something to do while their littlies are entertained by Yogi's half-hearted dancing, waterskiing and pic-a-nic basket stealing.


Tom Cavanagh, Anna Faris


Eric Brevig

Running time:

83 mins