Saturday, January 10, 2009
Yogi Bear is a fictional anthropomorphic bear who appears in animated cartoons created by Hanna-Barbera Productions. He made his debut in 1958 as a supporting character in The Huckleberry Hound Show. He was the first break-out character created by Hanna-Barbera Studios, and was eventually more popular than Huckleberry Hound. In 1961 he was given his own show, The Yogi Bear Show, which also included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. Hokey Wolf replaced his segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show. 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, which allowed the body to be kept static and to redraw just the head in each frame when he was speaking, thus reducing the number of drawings needed for a seven-minute cartoon from 14,000 to around 2,000.
In October 2008, it was announced that Warner Bros. will film a live-action/animated version similar to Fox and Bagdasarian's Alvin & the Chipmunks.
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. Yogi's name is a nod to the famed baseball star Yogi Berra, though Hanna and Barbera denied this intent. The plot of most of Yogi's cartoons centered on his antics in the fictional Jellystone Park, a takeoff on the famous Yellowstone National Park. Yogi, accompanied by his reluctant best friend Boo Boo, would often try to steal picnic baskets from campers in the park, much to the chagrin of Park Ranger Smith. A girlfriend, Cindy Bear, turned up sometimes, and usually disapproved of Yogi's antics.