This live-action/CGI hybrid adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon classic — which, ironically, is too old a property for most kids to have knowledge of — is as bad you may have heard (or, God forbid, spent valuable time during your holiday season seeing).
Poor Tom Cavanagh, so good on TV’s “Ed” and miscast ever since, stars (yet is fourth-billed) as good-natured Ranger Smith of the endangered Jellystone Park. It’s turning 100, but targeted for a purely political shutdown, so filmmaker Rachel (a wasted Anna Faris) is there to shoot a documentary and serve as Smith’s zero-chem love interest. And Yogi Bear (voiced by Dan Aykroyd, continuing his sad decline) and pint-sized pal Boo Boo (a guy who needs no further publicity) are there, respectively, to muck things up and be the voice of reason.
Slapstick scenarios ensue involving lunch boxes, picnic baskets, water sports and fireworks. Jokes are replaced lazily with music cues, from the William Tell Overture to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” That inappropriate track has to be the current nadir in all of kiddie cinema. If not, it is now.
There’s harmless, but there’s also harmless and witless, which this is. If your kids demand to own it — and they will — spring for the Blu-ray. That way, you’ll also get the new “Looney Tunes” short, “Rabid Rider,” making the purchase not a total loss. —Rod Lott