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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. 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. 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. 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.

Background

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; his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton. Norton, in turn, received influence from the Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville.

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. At the time Yogi Bear first hit TV screens, Yogi Berra was a household name.

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!"), 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.

Analysis

Animation historian Christopher P. Lehman considers the original concept of the Yogi Bear series to contain political symbolism relative to its era of production. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, racial segregation in the United States was still legally enforced, people were confined to living in their designated social "place", and attempts to venture outside it came with serious consequences. Yogi also has a designated social place, restricted to spending his life in Jellystone Park, under an overseer in the form of a White park ranger.

Yogi is living in social confinement, but tries to take advantage of his situation. People come to the Park to have picnics and bring with them picnic baskets. Yogi resorts to theft, stealing the picnic baskets, and enjoying their contents. Yogi's habitual criminality and preoccupation with his own nourishment and survival are not portrayed as negative traits. He is depicted as a sympathetic protagonist.

Yogi never actually challenges the social hierarchy of the Park, does not seriously challenge the authority of the ranger over him, and does not seek more autonomy in his life. Lehman contrasts Yogi's acceptance of the way things are with the activists of the series' contemporary Civil Rights Movement who did challenge the way things were. They wanted to move beyond their designated place and integrate into wider society. The press and politicians of the time were portraying these activists as radicals and opposed their efforts.

Official Description

Development

Voice

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 and early 2000s 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.

Scott Innes performed the voice Yogi along with Boo Boo in At Picnic, Forest, and Honey Lesson.

Characterization

Physical appearance

Abilities

Appearances

Television series

The Huckleberry Hound Show

The Yogi Bear Show

Yogi Bear & Friends

Yogi's Gang

The New Scooby-Doo Movies

Laff-A-Lympics

Yogi's Space Race

Galaxy Goof-Ups

Yogi's Treasure Hunt

The New Yogi Bear Show

Wake, Rattle, and Roll

Yo Yogi!

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo

The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy

Films and specials

Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!

Yogi's Ark Lark

Hanna-Barbera's All-Star Comedy Ice Revue

Casper's First Christmas

Yogi's First Christmas

Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper

Yogi's Great Escape

Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose

Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears

The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound

Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration

Yogi the Easter Bear

Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights

Boo Boo Runs Wild

A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith

Boo Boo and the Man

Yogi Bear (2010 film)

Video games

Yogi's Frustration

Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear & Friends in The Greed Monster

Yogi's Great Escape

Yo Yogi Bear

Adventures of Yogi Bear

Yogi Bear's Gold Rush

Yogi Bear: Great Balloon Blast

Yogi Bear: The Video Game

Printed media

Miscellaneous books

Theme Parks

The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera

Relationships

WARNER BROS. WIKI LOGO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Yogi Bear.

Quotes

WARNER BROS. WIKI LOGO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of quotes said by Yogi Bear.

Gallery

WARNER BROS. WIKI LOGO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Yogi Bear.

Trivia

References

External Links


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See also
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