Can’t The Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone


Growing up, I watched a lot of television. Usually it was cartoons in the afternoon and sitcoms at night. The cartoons were a lot fun to watch, since they had zany characters, situations that looking back weren’t plausible but I was young and was willing to go along for the ride. After all, a rabbit that would approach a hunter and say “What’s up Doc?”, a woodpecker with wings that were more like arms and a very abnormal, bordering on pathological, laugh and a bear that wears a tie and a pork-pie hat whose companion/conscience is a bear cub that wears a bow tie would only work in the theater of the absurd world of cartoons.

Speaking of bears, in December 2010 a live action/computer animated movie called Yogi Bear will be released. Based on the cartoons characters created by the animation team of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. The movie deals with a corrupt politician (is there any other kind when it comes to a movie) who wants to buy Jellystone Park and turn it into a logging plant. So, it is up to Yogi, Boo-Boo, (Yogi’s companion/conscience) Ranger Smith (the park ranger Yogi clashed with while in search of pic-a-nic baskets) and a wildlife photographer (the love interest thrown in for the sake of the movie) to band together in order to stop the mayor’s plan.

Really, whose bright (and I’m being sarcastic) idea is this? Still, just because the technology exists for a film like this to be made, doesn’t mean it should be made. What made Yogi Bear fun was sly subversiveness about it. The cartoons were made in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s when the life in the U.S. was very much about being Organizational Man (or the wife of the Organizational Man) and Yogi was thumbing his nose at that with every pic-a-nic basket he stole.

Also, let’s not forget that sometimes it is best to leave artifacts of the past in the past. Yogi and other Hanna Barbara television cartoons were products of their time and need to be remembered that way. If a Yogi Bear movie can be made, what’s next? Films where dead actors/actresses are digitally recreated and placed in a movie?  Yogi, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith were two-dimensional characters and were enjoyed as such. It would be nice if they were left that way.

http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/10424/

http://www.amazon.com/Organization-Man-William-H-Whyte/dp/0812218191

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One Response to “Can’t The Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone”

  1. Has the Well Run Dry? « Just Movie Posters Blog Says:

    […] Bear (in 3D). I had railed against the film in an earlier blog entry (see December 2, 2010 entry, Can’t the Powers That Be Leave Well Enough Alone) because I thought it showed a lack of imagination among studio executives. After all, just because […]

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