Yogi Bear

This article is about the character. For the original TV show, see The Yogi Bear Show. For the 2010 film, see Yogi Bear (film). For other uses, see Yogi Bear (disambiguation).
Yogi Bear
The Yogi Bear Show character
First appearance Yogi Bear's Big Break (1958)
Created by William Hanna
Joseph Barbera
Ed Benedict
Voiced by Daws Butler (1958–1988)
Greg Burson (1988–2003)
Jeff Bergman (1990s commercials, Lullabye-Bye Bear, When Bears Attack)
Billy West (1990s commercials)
Stephen Worth (Boo Boo Runs Wild, Boo Boo and the Man)
Dan Aykroyd (film, Yogi Bear: The Video Game)
Species Brown bear
Gender Male
Relatives Boo-Boo Bear (best friend)
Ranger Smith (rival/friend)
Cindy Bear (girlfriend)
Rachel Johnson (friend)

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.[1] 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.[2] Hokey Wolf replaced his segment on The Huckleberry Hound Show.[3] 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.[4]


Yogi sign advising young National Park visitors not to feed the bears (1961)

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;[5][6] his voice mannerisms broadly mimic Carney as Norton.[7] Norton, in turn, received influence from the Borscht Belt and comedians of vaudeville.[6]

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.[8] At the time Yogi Bear first hit TV screens, Yogi Berra was a household name.[9]

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.


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!"),[10] 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.


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.[11] 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.[11]

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. [11] 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. [11]

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. [11] Lehman contrasts Yogi's acceptance of the way things are with the activists of the series' contemporary African-American 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. [11]

Voice actors

Daws Butler originated the character's voice
Greg Burson role the character's 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.[12]


Television series

Films and specials

Video games


Live action/animated feature film

A live-action/computer-animated film titled Yogi Bear was released by Warner Bros. in December 2010. The movie featured Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear. The film, adapting the television series, follows the adventures of Yogi Bear and his pal Boo-Boo in Jellystone Park, as they avoid Ranger Smith who is trying to stop Yogi from stealing picnic baskets. A sequel is in the works.


"Yogi" by the Ivy Three (1960), sung in a voice mimicking Yogi Bear. The song reached no. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100

Spümcø Ranger Smith and Boo Boo shorts

In 1999, animator John Kricfalusi's Spümcø company created and directed two Yogi cartoons, 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 edited heavily for broadcast for both violence and torture situations.

In 2003, Spümcø created another Boo Boo cartoon, Boo Boo and the Man, which was made with Macromedia Flash and released on Cartoon Network's website.

A music video (known as a "Cartoon Groovie") for Yogi Bear used to air on Cartoon Network and Boomerang. It showcases clips of Yogi and Boo Boo stealing picnic baskets and annoying Ranger Smith.


Yogi Bear aired on Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang until 2014. Additionally, Nickelodeon re-aired The Yogi Bear Show, Yogi's Gang, and Galaxy Goof-Ups under the umbrella title "Nickelodeon's Most Wanted: Yogi Bear" throughout the early 1990s.

In the Hanna-Barbera Personal Favorites video, 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.


Over the years, several publishers have released Yogi Bear comic books.

The Yogi Bear comic strip began February 5, 1961.[17] Created by Gene Hazelton and distributed by the McNaught Syndicate, it ran from 1961 to 1988.

Hanna-Barbera has also produced giveaway instructional Yogi Bear comics on first aid (Creative First Aid: Yogi's Bear Facts (1986)) and earthquake preparedness (Yogi, the Be-Prepared Bear: Earthquake Preparedness for Children (1984) and Yogi's Bear Facts: Earthquake Preparedness (1988)). These were issued in connection with Yogi Bear being used as the mascot for Earthquake Preparedness Month in California, an annual campaign that ran each April for over 10 years and also utilized Yogi in earthquake preparedness posters, advertisements, a cartoon, and other promotions including a special "Quakey Shakey Van" exhibit.[18][19]

DVD release

On November 15, 2005, Warner Home Video released the complete series on DVD R1.

DVD name Ep # Release date Additional information
The Yogi Bear Show – The Complete Series 33 November 15, 2005
  • Collectible animation cel
  • Original episode with bridges and bumpers
  • Never-before-seen animation sketches come to life
  • Yogi gets global: One episode in a variety of languages
  • Featurette on the art of Hanna-Barbera sound


See also



  1. Mallory, Michael. Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. New York: Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, 1998. ISBN 0-88363-108-3. p. 44.
  2. Sennett, Ted. The Art of Hanna-Barbera: Fifty Years of Creativity. New York: Viking Penguin, 1989. ISBN 0-670-82978-1. pp. 63–64.
  3. Sennett, p. 52.
  4. "Hanna Barbera's golden age of animation", BBC, December 19, 2006
  5. Sennett, p. 60.
  6. 1 2 Anthony, Breznican. "Yogi Bear gets a digital makeover." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. December 9, 2010. "Yogi, as voiced by Daws Butler in the early 1960s, was a takeoff on Art Carney's Ed Norton from The Honeymooners -- itself a character heavily influenced by the Borscht Belt and vaudeville comics."
  7. Sennett, p. 59.
  8. Laura Lee (2000), The Name's Familiar II, Pelican Publishing, p. 93, ISBN 9781455609178
  9. Bradle, Laura. "The Relationship Between Yogi Berra and Yogi Bear, Explained", Slate (September 23, 2015).
  10. Mallory, p. 44.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Lehman (2007), p. 26
  12. "Dan Milano - Voice Actor Profile at Voice Chasers". Voicechasers.com. September 10, 1972. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  13. "A website about unreleased video games". Lost Levels. September 22, 2008. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  14. Thompson, Maggie, "Four Color Comics (2nd Series)" (complete list of issues), atomicavenue.com. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  15. "Huck and Yogi Jamboree", vintagecollectibles.net. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Thompson, Maggie, et al. 2010 Comic Book Checklist & Price Guide, 1961-Present. Krause Publications, 2009, p. 835. ISBN 978-1-4402-0386-2.
  17. "1961 Timeline: February 5. Animation sensation Yogi Bear is the star of a new comic strip overseen by Gene Hazelton." American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64 by John Wells, TwoMorrows Publishing, 2012, page 42.
  18. Barbera, Joseph (1994). My Life in "Toons": From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century. Atlanta, GA: Turner Publishing. p. 207. ISBN 1-57036-042-1.
  19. California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) News Center, "Yogi Knows About Preparedness." caloesnewsroom.wordpress.com, uploaded October 16, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  20. "Find A Park | Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts". Campjellystone.com. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
  21. "Uelp: Yogi Bear Honey Fried Chicken". Retrieved 2016-03-18.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.