In the big screen version of the classic TV toon, a documentary filmmaker travels to Jellystone Park where rebellion is in the air. Attendances are down and Yogi Bear (voiced by Dan Aykroyd), his sidekick Boo-Boo (Justin Timberlake) and Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) must pull together or risk losing their homes. A happy union of live action and animation, this fresh-air frolic will have junior audiences falling into their pic-a-nic baskets.
If there was anything to remind adults how spoilt they are by films which simultaneously cater to them and the kiddies, this is it.
The unwritten rule that animated films should entertain everyone has been adhered to for several years, but the makers of Yogi Bear have done no such thing by aiming this squarely at the 10-and-under audience and laughing in the face of every parent who has to pay to experience the pleasure.
Adapted from Hanna-Barbera's classic cartoon, the arrival of a documentary filmmaker (Anna Faris, looking gormless) interrupts Yogi (Dan Aykroyd) and Boo-Boo (Justin Timberlake) usual hunt for picnic baskets which regularly drives Jellystone Park Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) round the bend.
Things get serious when corrupt Mayor Brown (Andrew Day) decides to shut the park to stop the city - and himself - from going bankrupt which leaves Smith jobless, the bears homeless and nowhere for local families to spend their day out.
It seems a little odd to have a narrative with a serious angle (the destruction of forests and animal rights) in such a horrendously juvenile film. There's nothing wrong with focusing on entertaining children as the numerous jokes with cheeky nods and winks to adults can get tiresome but Yogi Bear is so contrived, so dull and so devoid of any charm it's unknown whether it'll stand up with kids so used to an endless supply of near flawless films.
Some may argue that it's in a very similar vein to the source material from the 1960s but it's hard to remember a scene in which Yogi dances to a hip-hop song dedicated to a part of a woman's anatomy.
Cavanagh and Faris attempt to maintain some dignity while trying to make their interaction with the animated characters seem genuine but Daly goes for the juggular and his performance would be better suited to the panto stage than a Hollywood film.
On the brightside, the new 3D Wile. E Coyote and Road Runner short which proceeds it is well within the spirit of classic Warner Bros. cartoons but unlike the film that follows, it doesn't run the risk of stealing your will to live.