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Yogi Bear is a cartoon character who has appeared in numerous comic books, animated television shows and films. He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show.

Yogi Bear was the first breakout character created by Hanna-Barbera and was eventually more popular than Huckleberry Hound.[1] In January 1961, he was given his own show, The Yogi Bear Show, sponsored by Kellogg's, which included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle.[2] Hokey Wolf replaced his segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show.[3] A musical animated feature film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, was produced in 1964.

Yogi was one of several Hanna-Barbera characters to have a collar. This allowed animators to keep his body static, redrawing only his head in each frame when he spoke — a method that reduced the number of drawings needed for a seven-minute cartoon from around 14,000 to around 2,000.[4]

Personality

Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, 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;[5][6] his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton.[7] Norton, in turn, received influence from the Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville.[6]

Yogi's name was similar to that of contemporary baseball star Yogi Berra, who was known for his amusing quotes, such as "half the lies they tell about me aren't true." Berra sued Hanna-Barbera for defamation, but their management claimed that the similarity of the names was just a coincidence. Berra withdrew his suit, but the defense was considered implausible and sources now report that Berra was the inspiration for the name.[8] At the time Yogi Bear first hit TV screens, Yogi Berra was a household name.[9]

The plot of most of Yogi's cartoons centered on his antics in the fictional Jellystone Park, a variant of the real Yellowstone National Park. Yogi, accompanied by his constant companion Boo-Boo Bear, would often try to steal picnic baskets from campers in the park, much to the displeasure of Park Ranger Smith. Yogi's girlfriend, Cindy Bear, sometimes appeared and usually disapproved of Yogi's antics.

Catchphrases

Besides often speaking in rhyme, Yogi Bear had a number of catchphrases, including his pet name for picnic baskets ("pic-a-nic baskets") and his favorite self-promotion ("I'm smarter than the av-er-age bear!"),[10] although he often overestimates his own cleverness. Another characteristic of Yogi was his deep and silly voice. He often greets the ranger with a cordial, "Hello, Mr. Ranger, sir!" and "Hey there, Boo Boo!" as his preferred greeting to his sidekick, Boo Boo. Yogi would also often use puns in his speech, and had a habit of pronouncing large words with a long vocal flourish.

Portrayers

From the time of the character's debut until 1988, Yogi was voiced by voice actor Daws Butler. Butler died in 1988; his last performance as Yogi was in the television film Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears.

After Butler's death, Greg Burson stepped in to perform the role (Butler had taught Burson personally how to voice Yogi as well as his other characters). Greg Burson died in 2008.

Jeff Bergman and Billy West also performed the character throughout the 1990s for various Cartoon Network commercials and bumpers.

In the Yogi Bear film, the character is voiced by actor Dan Aykroyd.

In the animated stop motion sketch comedy show Robot Chicken created by Seth Green, Dan Milano voiced Yogi Bear.[11]

Media

Television series

Films and specials

Video games

Albums

Live action/Animated feature film

A live-action/computer-animated film titled Yogi Bear was released by Warner Bros. in December 2010. The movie featured Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear. The film, adapting the television series, follows the adventures of Yogi Bear and his pal Boo-Boo in Jellystone Park, as they avoid Ranger Smith who is trying to stop Yogi from stealing picnic baskets. A sequel is in the works.

Songs

"Yogi" by the Ivy Three (1960), sung in a voice mimicking Yogi Bear. The song reached no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100

Spümcø Ranger Smith and Boo Boo shorts

In 1999, animator John Kricfalusi's Spümcø company created and directed two Yogi cartoons, A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith and Boo Boo Runs Wild. Both shorts aired that year on the Cartoon Network as part of a Yogi Bear special. "Boo Boo Runs Wild" features a fight between Yogi and Ranger Smith, which was edited heavily for broadcast for both violence and torture situations.

In 2003, Spümcø created another Boo Boo cartoon, Boo Boo and the Man, which was made with Macromedia Flash and released on Cartoon Network's website.

A music video (known as a "Cartoon Groovie") for Yogi Bear airs on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. It showcases clips of Yogi and Boo Boo stealing picnic baskets and annoying Ranger Smith.

Broadcasts

Yogi Bear aired on Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang until 2014.

In the Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites video, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera picked their favorite Yogi Bear episodes, including the very first one, "Yogi Bear's Big Break", and Yogi meeting some storybook friends: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Little Red Riding Hood.

Comics

Over the years, several publishers have released Yogi Bear comic books.

  • Dell Comics first published Yogi Bear comics starting in 1959 as part of their Four Color Comics line. The Four Color issue numbers were #1067 Yogi Bear (December 1, 1959), #1104 Yogi Bear Goes to College (June 1, 1960), #1162 Yogi Bear Joins the Marines (April 1, 1961), #1271 Yogi Bear's Birthday Party (November 1, 1961), #1310 Huck and Yogi Winter Sports (1962) (also featuring Huckleberry Hound) and #1349 Yogi Bear Visits the U.N. (January 1, 1962).[13] In March 1961, Dell also published a 116-page one-shot entitled Huck and Yogi Jamboree (also featuring Huckleberry Hound).[14] Starting in September 1961, Dell began publishing a regular comic under the title Yogi Bear which ran for 6 issues, the last Dell issue being July 1962.[15]
  • Gold Key Comics took over publishing the Yogi Bear title in October 1962, continuing the issue numbering from the last Dell issue. Gold Key published 33 issues from 1962–70.[15]
  • Charlton Comics next did a title for 35 issues from 1970–77.[15]
  • Marvel Comics did a title for 9 issues in 1977.[15]
  • Harvey Comics then did several titles for a total of 10 issues in 1992–94.[15]
  • Archie Comics regularly featured Yogi Bear stories in the anthology comics Hanna-Barbera All-Stars and Hanna-Barbera Presents. After the cancellation of both titles, Archie Comics put out one issue of a Yogi Bear comic in 1997.[15]
  • DC Comics semi-regularly featured Yogi in Cartoon Network Presents.

The Yogi Bear comic strip began February 5, 1961.[16] Created by Gene Hazelton and distributed by the McNaught Syndicate, it ran from 1961 to 1988.

Hanna-Barbera has also produced giveaway instructional Yogi Bear comics on first aid (Creative First Aid: Yogi's Bear Facts (1986)) and earthquake preparedness (Yogi, the Be-Prepared Bear: Earthquake Preparedness for Children (1984) and Yogi's Bear Facts: Earthquake Preparedness (1988)). These were issued in connection with Yogi Bear being used as the mascot for Earthquake Preparedness Month in California, an annual campaign that ran each April for over 10 years and also utilized Yogi in earthquake preparedness posters, advertisements, a cartoon, and other promotions including a special "Quakey Shakey Van" exhibit.[17][18]

DVD release

On November 15, 2005, Warner Home Video released the complete series on DVD R1.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
The Yogi Bear Show – The Complete Series 33 November 15, 2005
  • Collectible animation cel
  • Original episode with bridges and bumpers
  • Never-before-seen animation sketches come to life
  • Yogi gets global: One episode in a variety of languages
  • Featurette on the art of Hanna-Barbera sound

Licensing

  • Yogi Bear lends his name to a chain of recreational vehicle and camping parks ("Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resorts"[19]), with the first opening in 1969 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. As of 2011, over 70 locations have hosted the parks.
  • There is also one restaurant remaining from the chain bearing Yogi's name, "Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken," in Hartsville, South Carolina.

See also

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Notes

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External links


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