Created by Hanna-Barbera, Yogi Bear gained a cult following in the 1960s, pursing his beloved ‘pic-a-nic baskets’ in the fictional Jellystone Park, accompanied by dutiful sidekick Boo Boo.
The character’s perseverance in the face of disaster and oft-repeated catchphrases (‘I’m smarter than the average bear!’) ensured that Yogi entertained successive generations of children.
Cable channels endlessly repeat the animated series so it was only a matter of time before Hollywood gave Yogi and Boo Boo a 21st-century makeover in eye-popping 3D.
Live action and the digital effects don’t always gel convincingly in Eric Brevig’s film, and the plot is noticeably stretched to fill the running time.
However, Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake offer cheerful impersonations of the furry heroes and the underlying environmental message is delivered with a refreshingly light touch between loopy action set pieces.
There’s nothing here to tarnish fond memories of the Hanna-Barbera incarnation.
If anything, Yogi Bear 3D clings on to the wholesome, old-fashioned notions of the past, including a heartfelt speech from the eponymous bear ‘to fight for the things you love, whether it’s a park, a girl or a roast beef sandwich’.
Yogi Bear (voiced by Aykroyd) and pal Boo Boo (Timberlake) live in a cave in Jellystone Park, from where they mastermind the ingenious thefts of food using spring-loaded picnic tables.
Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) struggles to keep the double-act in check, and already has his hands full with an ambitious assistant, Ranger Jones (TJ Miller).
Yogi Bear 3D is an energetic jaunt into the great outdoors, plying slapstick and tender romance that should appeal to young and old.
The scriptwriters pay attention to the burgeoning romance between Ranger Smith and Rachel. And there are sombre moments too.