Yogi Bear appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Across the board, this was an attractive presentation.
For the most part, sharpness seemed fine. Some wider shots demonstrated light softness, but those instances weren’t substantial. Instead, the majority of the flick offered detailed, distinctive visuals.
No issues with shimmering or jaggies materialized, and I noticed no signs of edge haloes. Print flaws failed to materialize in this fresh transfer.
With its natural setting, the flick boasted strong colors. The park environment favored greens, and these came across with nice vivacity.
Blacks were deep and tight, while low-light shots came across as clear and concise. Only the minor softness knocked this one down to “B+” level.
I also thought the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack seemed satisfying. Audio quality was always pleasing.
Speech appeared natural and distinctive, with no edginess or other problems. Music showed good range and clarity, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic.
The soundfield was decent though rarely exceptional. A few scenes added some pep – like fireworks or the side effects of Yogi’s shenanigans – but not a ton of these occurred.
When appropriate, they added some zing across the five channels, but the majority of the movie went with general ambience. All of this was good enough for a “B”.
This package includes both 2D and 3D versions of the film. The picture comments above reflected the 2D edition – how did the 3D take compare?
In terms of visual quality, they seemed virtually identical. I didn’t think the 3D movie lost any points for sharpness, colors, shadows or any other areas, so it looked just as good as its 2D counterpart.
Shot with native stereo cameras, the 3D here excelled. Depth appeared excellent, and with a broad mix of action scenes and nature elements, we got plenty of chances for fun “pop-out” moments. The 3D Yogi Bear becomes more entertaining than its 2D edition
In terms of extras, we get both 2D and special 3D materials. In the 2D vein, Spending a Day at Jellystone Park gives us an “Interactive Map Tour”. This lets you visit the movie’s locations: we go to “Ranger Station”, “Jellystone Lake”, “Redwood Valley”, “Jelly Jarring Rapids” and “Lookout Mountain”. Across these, we find a mix of components:
Jellystone Park gives us “Stand-In Shenanigans” (2:31) and “Ranger Jones’ Real-Life Audition” (3:04). “Shenanigans” talks about how extras would fill the shots to give the actors live-action references, and it features director Eric Brevig and actors Anna Faris, Andrew Daly and Tom Cavanagh. “Audition” shows actor TJ Miller’s try-out – shot with a real bear.
Lookout Mountain features “Baskit-Nabber 2000” (2:00), “Voicing Yogi and Boo Boo” (4:14) and “Jellystone Park Jewel: Litterbug” (1:29). “Voicing” discusses performances with Brevig, producer Donald De Line, and actors Justin Timberlake and Dan Aykroyd.
“2000” looks at effects with Aykroyd, VFX producer Steve Kullback, CG sequence supervisor William Georgiou, and visual effects supervisor Betsy Paterson. Finally, “Litterbug” is a fake public service announcement with “Ranger Jones”.
Jellystone Lake offers “Vote for Mayor Brown” (1:13), “’Sickness Was Love’: A Love Song for Rachel” (2:22), and “Jellystone Park Tourism” (1:19). “Vote” is a fake campaign ad, while “Sickness” provides a music video. “Tourism” features Ranger Smith and others as they attempt to promote the park.
Jelly Jarring Rapids boasts “Animated Bears” (2:23), “The Rapids” (3:14) and “Jellystone Park Jewel: Yogi’s Secret Hiding Place” (1:46). “Bears” shows methods used to mesh humans with CG animals; it features Brevig, Faris, Paterson, VFX art director Michael Meaker, lead animation supervisor Joseph Ksander and actor Nate Corddry.
“Rapids” delivers notes from Faris, Cavanagh, Brevig, and Paterson; it looks into the effects used for a white-water sequence. “Place” gives us another message from “Ranger Jones”.
Redwood Valley finishes the package with “Everyone Wants to Be Yogi” (2:27), “Building Jellystone Park” (3:22), and “Frog-Mouthed Turtle” (2:48). “Yogi” talks about the character and his adaptation via notes from Aykroyd, Timberlake, Faris, Miller, Corddry, Brevig, Ksander, Paterson, Daly, and executive producer Andrew Haas.
“Building” looks at set design with Brevig, De Line, Haas, Cavanagh, Faris, Paterson and production designer David Sandefur. Lastly, “Turtle” discusses another animated characters with remarks from Meaker, Timberlake, Ksander, Kullback, Paterson, lead compositor Brandon Nelson, CG sequence supervisor Jonathan Robinson and digital effects supervisor Jason Bayever.
Add all that up and what do you get? A minor look at the film but not anything with great heft.
The short featurettes throw out some interesting tidbits, but they lack much depth. We get an acceptable overview of some areas and that’s about it.
Called an “Interactive Picnic Challenge”, Are You Smarter Than the Average Bear? offers a basic memory game. Like “Concentration”, you have to remember and match hidden pairs of images.
It comes with three levels of difficulty, though these really just alter the amount of time you have to complete the game. It’s a moderate challenge at the hardest level, but not particularly difficult.
Next we find a Yogi Bear Mash-Up. This goes for three minutes, 37 seconds and mixes clips from the Yogi cartoons and movie with comments from director Eric Brevig, VFX producer Steve Kullback and actors Justin Timberlake, Andrew Daly, TJ Miller, Tom Cavanagh and Dan Aykroyd.
It’s vaguely fun to get some direct comparisons between the original animation and the film. Otherwise this is a short, pointless piece.
The 2D disc opens with an ad for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. No other promos – or a trailer for Yogi - show up here.
A new Looney Tunes cartoon comes next. Rabid Rider runs three minutes, seven seconds and provides a computer-animated Road Runner adventure. I’ve never been a fan of the franchise, and I can’t say this new short changes my mind.
Note that we can watch this short in 2D or 3D. The stereo version adds enough visual impact to work better than the 2D presentation, but it doesn’t make me like Rider.
The rest of the extras are presented only in 3D, and we launch with Fun on the Yogi Bear Set, a one-minute, 57-second reel. It features Cavanagh, Daly, Corrddry, Miller, and Faris.
Faris tells us a little about the challenges related to shooting 3D, but most of the reel just offers jokes from the actors. It’s painless but not especially informative.
Next comes Tour of Jellystone Park, a one-minute, 53-second piece with “Rangers Smith and Jones” as well as “Rachel”. It’s essentially a promo piece and not one that tells us much.
Jellystone Park Jewel lasts two minutes, six seconds and includes “Ranger Jones” as he searches for Yogi’s “secret hiding spot”. It’s more entertaining than the other in-character pieces, but it’s still pretty forgettable.
Finally, Jellystone Park Visitor Pic-a-Nic Demo gives us two minutes, 39-seconds with Cavanagh, Brevig, and Ksander. They give us basics about this “test short” that they used to convince the studio the mix of CG/live-action/3D would work, and then we see the clip itself.
Obviously that becomes the prime attraction, and the producers recruited “names” to appear, as Judy Greer and Diedrich Bader play the two main live-action roles. It’s a fun addition to the set and easily the best of the 3D-only extras.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Yogi. It lacks any of the Blu-ray’s extras.
As family entertainment goes, Yogi Bear seems respectable. No, it doesn’t dazzle, and it’s usually pretty forgettable, but it throws out enough comedy to make it better than expected. The Blu-ray provides very good picture and audio along with a modest allotment of supplements. Yogi offers a painless and occasionally amusing little romp, one that works better in 3D.
To rate this film, visit the prior review of YOGI BEAR