Yogi BearYogi Bear is a fictional cartoon bear created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
History and origins of character
Yogi debuted in 1958 as a supporting character on The Huckleberry Hound Show. He became very popular, and in 1961 was given his own show, which also included the segments Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. There was even a musical animated feature film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, in 1964. Over the years he appeared in many other spin-off series as well, including Yogi's Gang (1973), Yogi's Space Race (1978), Galaxy Goof-Ups (1978), Yogi's Treasure Hunt (1985), The New Yogi Bear Show (1988) and Yo Yogi (1991).
Like many Hanna-Barbera characters, Yogi's personality and mannerisms were based on a popular celebrity of the time. Art Carney's character on The Honeymooners was said to be Yogi's inspiration. Yogi's name is a nod to the famed baseball star Yogi Berra.
The plot of most of Yogi's cartoons centered around his antics in the fictional Jellystone Park, a takeoff on the famous Yellowstone National Park. (There had been a 1941 Bugs Bunny cartoon, Rabbit Trouble, that used the more obvious name "Jellostone" Park, a play on both the national park and the popular gelatin dessert. Presumably, Hanna-Barbera wanted to avoid any issues with using a trademarked name, even in a satirical way.) 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 girl friend bear, Cindy turned up sometimes, and normally disapproved of Yogi's antics.
Stretching literary license significantly, the relationship of Yogi and Boo-Boo could be compared to that of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, in the context of the whimsical, adventurous leader and the practical sidekick. Hanna and Barbera would repeat this formula many times, notably in the later series Quick Draw McGraw.
Yogi Bear is well-known for a variety of different catchphrases, including his pet name for picnic baskets ("pic-a-nic baskets") and his favorite self-promotion ("I'm smarter than the average bear!"), although he often overestimates his own cleverness.
Yogi has a Martian rock named after him. Yogi Rock was discovered in 1997. In the initial photos the rock had the appearance of a little bear facing away.
A spoof of Yogi Bear appeared in The Simpsons episode, "When You Dish Upon a Star" where Homer dreams that he is Yogi.
In 2001, Saturday Night Live's TV Funhouse did a parody of Yogi entitled The Anatominals Show with a second installment shown in 2002.
John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy, created and directed two Spumco-styled Yogi cartoons in 1999: A Day in the Life of Ranger Smith and Boo Boo Runs Wild. Both shorts aired that year on the Cartoon Network as part of a Yogi Bear special. Boo Boo Runs Wild features a fight between Yogi and Ranger Smith, which was heavily edited for broadcast for both violence and suggestive situations. A third Yogi cartoon from Spumco was planned and even storyboarded, but was not finished.
Yogi and Boo Boo appeared on Adult Swim's Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law in 2002 in the episode "Death By Chocolate", where Boo Boo was accused of being a Unabomber-like character.
Yogi also made a cameo in an episode of Cartoon Network's The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy.
In 2003, Spumco created a Boo-Boo cartoon, Boo-Boo and the Man, which was made with Macromedia Flash and released on Cartoon Network's website.
Yogi and Boo-Boo were briefly considered (and licensed) to become the animatronic entertainment at ShowBiz Pizza restaurants (the result of souring relations between ShowBiz and the company who owned ShowBiz's existing animatronic show, The Rock-afire Explosion). Other than a very short run at three test locations, this never materialized.
Among backpackers, the phrase 'scoring a Yogi' refers to getting someone to offer you food without you having to explicitly ask for it. This is often accomplished by stopping in parks and campgrounds and looking particularly tired and famished.
Title card from a Yogi Bear cartoon.In addition, Yogi Bear lends his name to a chain of recreational vehicle and camping parks, "Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts", with the first opening in 1969 in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and as of 2006, had over 70 locations in the United States and Canada. There is also one remaining restaurant from the chain bearing Yogi's name, "Yogi Bear's Honey Fried Chicken", in Hartsville, South Carolina. In both cases, Hanna-Barbera licensed the name and likenesses to the respective companies.
Yogi Bear is currently aired by Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang, worldwide.
There was also a Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites video where William Hanna and Joseph Barbera picked their favorite Yogi Bear episodes, including the very first one, "Yogi Bear's Big Break", and Yogi meeting some storybook friends: The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Little Red Riding Hood.
A 4-DVD box set of the complete series was released November 15, 2005.
Cast from the Yogi Bear classical period (1958-62)
Daws Butler as Yogi Bear
Don Messick as Boo-Boo Bear, and also Ranger John Francis Smith (using his natural voice)
Julie Bennett as Cindy Bear
Over the years, several publishers put out Yogi Bear comic books.
Gold Key Comics was first, with a title that ran 33 issues from 1962-70.
Charlton Comics then did a title for 35 issues from 1970-77.
Marvel Comics did a title for 9 issues in 1977.
Harvey Comics then did several titles for a total of 10 issues in 1992-94.
Archie Comics regularly featured Yogi Bear stories in the anthology comics Hanna-Barbera All-Stars and Hanna-Barbera Presents. After the cancellation of both titles, Archie put out a separate Yogi Bear comic that only got one issue.
DC Comics semi-regularly featured Yogi in Cartoon Network Presents.
Yogi Bear in other languages
Brazilian Portuguese: Zé Colméia (something like "Honeycomb Joe")
Finnish: Jogi-karhu (sometimes also Yogi-karhu)
French: Yogi l'ours
Galician: O Oso Iogui
German: Yogi Bär
Hungarian: Maci Laci ("maci" is a diminutive for "medve", which is "bear"; "Laci" is a diminutive for the common first name "László", chosen for its rhyme.)
Italian: L'Orso Yoghi
Japanese: クマゴロー (Kuma-Goro)
Polish: Miś Jogi (sometimes also Miś Yogi)
Spanish: El Oso Yogui
Swedish: Yogi Björn
Taiwan: 瑜珈熊 "Yujia Xiong"
Czech: Méďa Béďa
Korean: 요기 베어 (Yoki Bae-er)
Slovak: Medveď Jogi
Slovenian: Jogi medvedek or Medved Jogi (usually called just Jogi)