January 31, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... There's a Bear in the Kitchen

Minute Eight- Another minute, another bear

We start with Otto complaining about the music in his stereotypical German fashion. Meanwhile, back in the mysteriously appearing tunnel, Yogi Bear and his faithful sidekick Boo- Boo, Bear Wonder travel close to the end of the tunnel. Again, observant Boo- Boo notices that the music is getting louder. Yogi, using Yogi radar which is now used by the Canadian Navy, tells Boo- Boo to keep heading forward.

Soon they find themselves in a kitchen. Yogi suffers a very brief coma from the aroma. They realize that they are in a kitchen. Now I don't know why Yogi never noticed that the tunnel in his cave led to a the Jellystone Lodge's kitchen. It would save a lot of time and effort than stealing pic-a-nic baskets from the park patrons. Of course, no one really knew about the lodge until now. Maybe it is like the cave of wonders or Danger Island. Maybe it disappears every December 26th and reappears the week before Christmas. Like usual Yogi fashion, he heads straight for the food. He dips his hand into a jar of Rasberry Jelly then licks it.

After contaminating the Jelly, Otto, the fascist Chef, catches Yogi "red handed" (Yogi is so punnerificate). He tosses the dianamic duo two chefs outfits which mistakes for prison uniforms. I would think those were prison outfits too if I were caught by the Fierer Otto. But Otto says they are the new cooks. Now Yogi is in a new mess of trouble.

January 28, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Yogi's Appearance

Seventh Minute in Heaven with Yogi.

This starts with Yogi shaking a leg. He wakes up as any other person would do. Also Boo-boo wakes with Yogi (weird). Before I forget there is line in the "Comin' on Christmas Time" that ponders my thought. Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, Augie Doggy and Doggy Daddy are the ones singing, but in the middle of the song Boo-boo sings "Better Bundle up its starting to snow again." But Boo-boo is in the cave with Yogi looking at Yogi's wondering leg. How can this happen. Boo-boo couldn't be in two places at once. They could have used a recording, but why would a choir have a recording of another persons solo. Anyway I digress.

Yogi, who should really see a doctor for his leg (knowing his luck he would be put down for feelin' the beat), now wonders why his feet, feet, feet are moving to the beat, beat, beat. The observant Boo-boo answers with the Spring has Sprung alliteration, one of the oldest alliterations in the book. Then Yogi looks at his monthly clock. Where would find a monthly clock. Who would need a clock that only measures months. It seems kind of impractical since calendars can do the same thing. Anyway how would that work. He sets to spring but it says April as its ding= ding. On the calendar Spring is March 21 or by groundhog it is either right around the corner or sixth weeks. Being in western Pennsylvania, I go by the groundhog because the groundhog knows all. Anyway the highly impractical clock says it isn't even half past December. Anyway he goes to sleep.

He wakes up now noticing the long drum played by a dog half its size. He yells outside to tell the person to cut it out. Again observant Boo-boo says it is coming from above. Now I watched plenty of Yogi Bear cartoons and one I never noticed another tunnel in the den and two I never seen the lodge above the den. Anyway Yogi follows this tunnel which leads to the lodge. Near the end, stereotypical German chef Otto complains about the noise. He bumbles like a guy drowning. Now that is weird. In My nonprofessional opinion, this movie presents many medical concerns that needs to be addressed seriously. I mean, come on, there is a blue dog, pink lion, and they both talk. WOW!

January 25, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Sleep Interruption

A few nights ago I was asleep in bed when I suddenly woke up in agony. My calf felt as though I'd pulled a muscle. I couldn't really move. It was terrible. I don't really know what happened. When I woke up in the morning the pain had faded somewhat, though my legs still felt kind of numb. It was odd. Other than having trouble getting to sleep (on a quite regular basis), I don't generally wake up in the middle of the night in pain. I presume the same is true of bears. Not that I know what it feels like to be a bear, let alone a bear waking up in the middle of the night with calf trouble.

The Sixth Minute of this jolly folly!

Mrs Throckmorton is coming! Frank says that it's up to the few remaining Jellystone Lodge residents to make sure that she has an enjoyable stay so that she doesn't sell the lodge. The gang agree and all offer to help. If you're going to get help from someone, it might as well be three dogs and a pink lion. However, there is a warning. Ranger Smith warns that "Nothing must go wrong!" Really, you've already got them to agree to make the stay as enjoyable as possible why butt in with that threat. If I was one of the few hotel customers I'd be tempted to turn around at this point and say "Look, if you're not confident enough in my abilities to make Mrs. Throckmorton enjoy herself then I'll take my money elsewhere. I've heard rumours Lapland is better this time of year!" That Ranger Smith sure is rude. "It's lucky Yogi is asleep" he says. Aha his comeuppance has... well... come.

"OK, gang. Hit it!..." he shouts and they all start singing... again. Yes "Coming Up Christmas Time" for the third time in six minutes!

I thought I'd take a moment here to list some interesting (and in my opinion amazing) facts I've found out about bear hibernation. Actually, once I started it became quite a long list so I've decided to split the list in two (with the other part in the next post). For today, I will focus on the actual "den" bears spend their winters in. (Obviously I'm not a bear expert and I've given only a vague listing here. If you want to find out more you should research any of the fine resources on the internet or your local library.)

  • Dens are built dug on 30° - 60° slopes with northern exposures at between 6500 and 10000 ft.
  • Major den excavation takes three to seven days (during which time a bear might move a ton of material!)
  • The dens consist of an entrance, a short tunnel and a chamber
  • Bears cover the chamber floor with a variety of bedding material which allows air circulation at the same time as keeping heat in.
  • Den entrances are typically just large enough for the bear to squeeze through
  • Tunnels are dug straight into hillside in order to keep heat in den chamber
  • Chambers are slightly larger than the bear for efficient heat retention

Inside their own den, Yogi and Boo Boo are sound asleep. Yogi wears shades and clicks his fingers in time because clearly no stylish modern bear would be seen without shades and a beat. As the music from above gets louder, Yogi begins to stir. Could it be that he is on the verge of his very first Christmas?....

January 22, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Piece of Bad News

...Drum it into him! Get it? GET IT? OK so yesterday's joke still isn't funny.

The Fifth Minute... News! News! News!

Inside the Jellystone Lodge, the gang wonder why there is nobody about. Ranger Smith tells them that Mr. Dingwell has "some good news and some bad news". Don't know why Dingwell couldn't have told them that himself but I guess you need to have Ranger Smith jiberring on about something or other. Come to think of it Mr. Dingwell doesn't even get a first name in the film so it's not like he should get a line. Doesn't seem fair. I wonder what Mr. Dingwell's first name is? Dave? Dave Dingwell? Does that sound right? No. Not really. George Dingwell. Doesn't really look like a George. Actually what does he look like? Cyril? Cedric? Johnson? That guy who lives in your street who possibly could be described as "quiet... kept himself to himself". John? Deborah? Frank? Charlie? Actually, Frank's not a bad name. Frank Dingwell. Sounds like a hotel manager to me. A quick search on Wikipedia reveals that Dingwell "is a Scottish name but of Viking origin." As a Scot who has lived in Scotland all their life, I can tell you that I don't think I've ever come across anyone named Dingwell but it's possibly more common the further north you go. I guess they all live in hotels half way up mountains and talk to animals. I googled the name and came up with Chris Dingwell, an artist who appears to do some delightfully gruesome but absolutely beautiful work, Jonathan B. Dingwell, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin and Joyce Dingwell, a romance novelist to name but three Dingwells. There is also, of course, Dingwall, which by all accounts is a lovely place on the Cromarty Firth but I digress.

Mr. Dingwell (now, Frank) announces that his bad news is that "this may be the last Christmas we spend here." Of course, this is terrible news for everyone except Doggie Daddy who as we have previously heard has plenty of "Christmas hang outs" as backup. Dingwell says that they're planning to build a freeway over this mountain. Ehm, wait a second. Isn't it kind of illegal to build through a national park? I guess the fictional Jellystone could have different laws but this all seems a bit fishy. Frank explains some more. "They can't build a freeway unless the owner, Mrs. Throckmorton, sells the lodge to them." Woah there... freeways are one thing but what on earth is a Throckmorton. It sounds like... well I don't know what it sounds like. A quick search on Wikipedia and Google reveals that it's not uncommon. Where the hell are all these Throckmortons and Dingwells? I guess they're all hanging about together in national parks. When you think about it "Throckmortons and Dingwells" sounds like some kind of strange Ye Olde English drink. Sort of like Dandelion and Burdock for highwaymen.

"What can I get you, Mr. Turpin?"
"Well, kind sir, I'd like some of your finest 'Throckmortons and Dingwells'!"
"Alas, we're out of T&D. Deliveries in this area are scarce at best, what with all the crime on the roads these days..."

Mrs Throckmorton is thinking of selling the lodge because of all the weird things that happened last year. She's obviously not the greatest at marketing of hotels since any other hotel owner would probably just advertise the hotel as haunted to attract not only the Halloween visitor but also every gullible fool with money to waste. Then again perhaps I am being cynical and she is actually honest. Ranger Smith says that it's because it has put off customers and this year they have virtually nobody staying. Still, at least they've got Snagglepuss. As the gang get told about the weird things happening last year Augie pops his head out of the drum. Yes he's still in the drum. The group have obviously carried him in. They wouldn't help him off the snowmobile with the drum but they are willing to carry him in it. Anything for a moment of slapstick, I guess. You really have to worry about the well-being of Augie. Doggie Daddy seems to spend a lot of time thinking about himself. Augie gets carried about in a broken drum. Daddy - living it up. Augie - living in a drum. Daddy - little to worry about. Augie - little drummer boy.

What about the good news, I hear you ask? Frank tells us "Mrs. Throckmorton will be here for the final Christmas carnival week" Nobody told me about a carnival...

January 19, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Moment of Slapstick!

The Fourth Minute... one minute - one sketch

Finally after three minutes (that's three days to the readers of this blog) our snowmobilers arrive in at the Jellystone Winter Ski Lodge. It appears that the snow has died down from before, which is just typical. If you'd left a few minutes later then that treacherous climb up the mountain would've been just a little bit safer. Anyway, the hotel visitors are greeted by Mr. Dingwell. What follows is a sketch which conveniently fills the majority of today's minute.

Augie is perched over the side of the snowmobile with his drum which is twice his size. Now I'm not quite sure what he's doing using a drum that size, if a human did they'd probably go deaf, but it appears he's taken on more than he can chew. At this point Doggie Daddy should really assist but he appears to be just standing there. Then again that's what we've come to expect from a dog that buys his own Christmas presents. At this point none but the most credulous would doubt what is going to happen next.

* A small dog. (Possibly the term helpless puppy would be fairer)
* A heavy drum
* A jump of more that the height of the dog.
* A recycled Scooby-Doo bad guy in the guise of a hotel manager.
* Snow.

If this drum doesn't roll over and hit the manager we're all going to be very surprised. Actually I'm surprised we didn't see this coming as soon as we saw Augie with the drum! Look:

There he goes:

Run like only a cartoon character can:


Still at least Augie learnt a lesson here. If he didn't then it's not up to me to tell him, it's up to Daddy Doggie to drum it into him!!!

I apologize for that terrible, terrible joke.

January 13, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Baddie Moment!

The Third Minute... that Christmas crowd is back again!

When you live in a park with someone known as Boo Boo, it must often be tempting to make fun of his name in times of fear. For example, I'm sure there isn't a Halloween that goes by in Jellystone Park where there isn't someone who comes to your door and goes Knock Knock! Who's There! Boo Boo.. before coming in and demanding a little something for their sweet tooth. Now as we enter the third minute of Yogi's First Christmas here at Yogi's First Christmas Blog, we are told more of the scary goings-on from the year before. Huckleberry Hound says that they never did find out who was doing the howling outside last year. This was the perfect moment for someone to crack a Boo Boo joke but no-one does. In actual fact they're all refreshingly open minded here where they would normally be painfully superstitious in a lesser cartoon. They never suggest that anything supernatural is going on, always presuming that they are going to catch whoever rolled a giant snowball in to the lodge and was howling. All I can say is thank goodness for that. If they weren't it would only be a matter of time before the owners of the lodge would be calling in the Mystery Machine and then we'd be in real trouble!

Naturally the quintet on the snowmobile (yup they're still on it) hope that there won't be a repeat of last year but something tells me they might be wrong. (Certainly with 96 minutes to go, you don't really want the conflict of the film to be gone already.) Snagglepuss agrees with the Ranger on the subject saying "Me Too! Also Even! EXIT STAGE RIGHT!" YEAH! fists in the air indeed! If this was a drinking game we would all be taking a shot right now in honour of the first real catchphrase usage in the film. Heavens to Murgatroid we would! Hell I might just go get one anyway...

With that subject dealt with the film moves on... well sort of. Ranger Smith says "Come on, let's hear that song again!" Oh dear... it's only a few moments since they stopped. Surely something can be done about this.

Dear Ranger Smith,

I am an enthusiastic young blogger with a strong obsession for Yogi's First Christmas and drinking games involving famous cartoon character's catchphrases. I am concerned that perhaps the repetition of the same song over and over may be to the detriment of both the song and the film that I am currently watching and regularly blogging about. It may be one of your favoured seasonal songs but for the rest of us it would be nice for a little variation. Perhaps a rendition of the popular ballad "Oh My Darling, Clementine". [DRINK #2!]

Yours sincerely,
Yogi's First Christmas Blogger

OK maybe I'm being over the top but when you've spent time watching and detailing the first three minutes of this film you do tend to get that song in your head. Of course, there are some that take it a little further than me. Some such as Herman the Hermit! Herman is the mean spirited Grinch of this tale. Nobody in the park knows about him despite the fact that there are large signs reading "HERMAN THE HERMIT" AND "VISITORS NOT WELCOME" at the side of the road up to his cave, which you have to drive past to get to the lodge. Herman likes to live at the top of this treacherous mountain ridge and talk to himself, which he does a lot during this film. When he spots the happy cats and dogs he says "this year I'll scare 'em good!" There really is nothing like a good mystery and finding out who was scaring the lodge residents about 30 seconds after they mentioned it, was nothing like a good mystery.

Incidentally if Yogi is a bear, Snagglepuss is a lion and the three dogs are... well dogs, then looking at this picture of Hermit, does that make him a skunk? He's showing so little that it's hard to tell whether he's animal or just a Davy Crockett fan. Either way, he doesn't seem like a very nice person so let's hope that I don't agree with anything he says, especially not his next line. "Christmas. Yuck. With all that goody goody singing!" So like I say it's good that they keep repeating the same song over and....

Finally we cut to the lodge where a shutter is opened and we see hotel manager Mr. Dingwell and the Chef who speaks with a German accent and is therefore named Otto. Mr. Dingwell looks like... well he looks like every hotel/abandoned fairground manager you saw in Scooby Doo and quite frankly I wouldn't have been surprised if he tore off a fake mask and revealed himself to be a disgruntled former employee who would've got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky kids [DRINK #3!]. Otto says "here they come, you think they know anything about it?" It? What does he mean by "it"? Mr. Dingwell ends the minute by saying "No and I hate to be the one to tell them!" Three minutes into the film and we're already worried about "it" and on the verge of being scared by skunk lookalike. Still at least if they read this article they can have three drinks. Yabba Dabba Doo! [DRINK #4]... (see I'm smarter than the average bear [DRINK #5!])

Next Minute

January 8, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Worries?!?

We ended yesterday with Yogi and Boo Boo's door and a sign telling us not to disturb them until April. Underneath the sign lie unopened bottles (presumably of milk) and unread newspapers which I guess Yogi forgot to cancel over the winter months. I'm not sure what Jellystone newsagents are like but I certainly would've thought that any shop that knows their customer is a bear would be familiar with the concept of hibernation. Of course, the milk man and the paper boy are not without blame here. They obviously haven't realised the folly of their ways and thought to themselves "You know I could save a lot of time by not making this redundant journey, through the deep snow, through blizzards and to a door where I am blatantly littering a national park and thus committing a crime!" No, obviously the only thought going through their heads is "There's three dogs and a pink lion on that snowmobile in the distance and I'm making a delivery. IF THEY SEE ME, I'M FOR IT!!!!" I guess we could let them off in this case. Still, when Yogi wakes up there is going to be an awful stench of bad milk.

Anyway, our five snowmobile-riding friends continue their sing-song as they get ever closer to their destination; Jellystone Lodge. Now I don't remember ever seeing Jellystone Lodge in the original Yogi Bear cartoons though admittedly I haven't seen any in years so my memories of the particulars of locations are vague. That is to say, I mostly just remember all the smarter than the average pic-a-nic basket theft! The lodge appears to host an annual Christmas event where they invite people to enjoy the festive season in the company of friends. I'm sure they probably hike up rates to rip people off but luckily we're not talking about people here, we're talking about talking animals. My experience of lodges or shacks or similar looking buildings in films and television is one of trouble. I know that if there's a shack at winter time, it won't be long before I am seeing the Abominable Snowman, the survivors of a mountain top air crash or a murder mystery where the occupants of the lodge will inevitably be stuck until "the weather clears", hoping with their every breath that Jessica Fletcher will solve the case before they become the next unfortunate victim of some winter-themed serial killer.

Let's just pause for a second to sum up things so far. At the moment I'm watching a children's film (which I've now seen quite a few times) where I am suggesting that the Abominable Snowman is about to appear and commit several murders. The victims may include a littering paper boy, a pink lion and a sleeping bear but not to fear! A retired crime writer is on her way to solve the case! Diagnosis: Crazy. One might suggest that I am going to be disappointed if I continue to watch this film. Perhaps, they might say, I am adding an ominous atmosphere where there is none. Only time and having watched the film several times in the past will tell.

Doggie Daddy takes a moment to tell us all that the Jellystone "winter" Lodge is his "favourite Christmas hang-out". Personally I don't even have one "Christmas hang-out" but apparently Doggie Daddy has tried enough to offer us his preferred seasonal retreat. Since this is a dog who buys his own presents I'm not sure whether to trust him here but Snagglepuss agrees, adding that "'tis the season to be jolly... in Jellystone!", so I'll accept the Lodge as a happening place. Snagglepuss also suggests that they've got a whole week of "gaiety galore" to look forward to. Huckleberry Hound picks this moment to point out that it's a shame that Yogi and Boo-Boo have to miss out on all the festivities with Augie commenting that "bears never get to have any Christmas fun". The typically negative Ranger Smith says "Thank goodness Yogi's hibernating, we had enough trouble here last year without him." Trouble, you say? Daddy explains a little "You mean all them scary things that were happening all the time." WOAH THERE! Beyond the fact that I was right about the ominous bit earlier, there's something more important hidden here. If this Lodge is Daddy's favourite but had lots of scary things happening last year, then what the hell are all his other Christmas "hang-outs" like? Some things, as they say, are best left to the imagination...

Go to next minute

January 6, 2009

Yogi's First Christmas... Minute

Once upon a time there were three bears. There was a father bear, a mother bear and a baby bear and they all returned to their house one morning to find that their breakfast had been eaten. Why they had left it out on the kitchen table in the first place they had forgotten but nonetheless they were angry at their loss. The father ran up the stairs to check for intruders before stopping and realising how confused he was that he lived in a house despite the fact he was a bear. By the time he had overcome the effects of this epiphany, his wife had searched the rooms up stairs, discovered they were empty, made a second breakfast, done the laundry, written three pages of her ultimately unfulfilling first novel and changed the baby twice. At this point a man with a shotgun walked in with a little blonde girl and shot the mother bear. The father bear ran down stairs, tripped up on one of baby's half-eaten toys and was shot where he landed. The girl looked up at her father. "See Dad! I told you that there were three domesticated bears living in the woods! Now give me the shotgun! You said I could have the baby!" and thus the bears learnt their lesson. The bloody feud between the extended family of the bear and the evil human empire was an even longer story but was simply another way of avoiding the real heart of the matter; if the bears had had a pic-a-nic basket none of this would have happened.

The first minute of the film "Yogi's First Christmas" features none of the above story. In fact, the above story was completely written on the spot by somebody (namely, me) who has too much time on their hands. The cartoon begins with the Hanna-Barbera logo atop a picture of the main characters carolling in front of Ranger Smith's cabin. The scene doesn't happen in the film but it's a pretty picture nonetheless which I've chosen as the picture at the top of the page (for the time being). The picture makes out that Smith wears a hat to bed. I don't know if this is true and I'm not sure what the artists are implying with the drawing but I reckon he lives alone so who knows what he wears at night. Presumably given the number of animals he talks to, he spends a lot of that me-time taking copious amounts of hallucinogenics that, in turn, make him wear all sorts of things. (I've heard rumours he dresses up in police uniforms and calls himself "Dibble" but you shouldn't pay much attention to this sort of thing!)

Anyway, the logo cuts to the first scene and the music begins! "Comin' Up Christmas Time" being sung by the cast (nearly all of whom are played by the great Daws Butler) is the first of many songs in the film and more importantly our introduction to a song which itself gets played numerous times. This is perhaps the most obvious side-effect of the film on the audience; the unavoidable repetition over and over in your head of this one song. Last night, I went to bed with it going round and round in my head. Is it a good song? Well, I suppose so. It's no worse than any number of other songs but it definitely suffers from overplay in this film. Apparently it was originally used in the 1979 "Casper's First Christmas" TV special, which also featured Yogi and co. but I've never seen that so I'll just have to believe what I'm told. Now I know what you're thinking: if this is Yogi's First Christmas then how could he have had one the year before with Casper. Well I'm presuming that this is a prequel in the Yogi canon. Either that or the 1979 movie was actually a full-on Ranger Smith hallucination. Come to think of it, it was about a ghost...

The jolly singers of "Comin' Up Christmas Time" all sit on the back of a large snowmobile thing. I say "thing" because I'll have to be honest and say I'm not sure what you'd call the vehicle they are riding on. It's on tracks, like a snowmobile, and can carry almost the entire cast of Yogi's Gang. Now I think about it, this is surely an insurance nightmare for Hanna-Barbera as a crash resulting in injury or, even worse, death of the characters on the sled would've resulted in disaster for the company! The Characters are, of course, from front to back, Ranger Smith, Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, Doggie Daddy and Augie Doggie, who sits at the back banging on a drum. As they sing, Doggie Daddy informs us that "To make sure I get what I wants, I buy my gifts for me!" Augie is obviously playing his drums too loudly to react to this shockingly blunt snub. This Christmas, Daddy will buy him nothing. I'd buy him a gift to make up for it but, beyond the fact that I am unemployed and can't afford a present for him, it's twenty-six years too late to get one and he's probably dead. Dog years will do that to you.

As the snowmobile rides through Jellystone Park, we see some of the wildlife preparing for the festive season. A chipmunk kisses another chipmunk, a bird puts out a wreath of holly in front of the family nest and a rabbit manages to build a fireplace and hang a Christmas stocking on it in less than 3 seconds. Indeed, the snow covered Jellystone Park seems positively buzzing with life as it approaches Christmas. That is except for Yogi. The first minute of the film ends with a sign saying "YOGI AND BOO BOO - DO NOT DISTURB UNTIL APRIL" before the title of the film comes up. Amusingly the film is called "Yogi's First Christmas", which seems to suggest that the film-makers read this blog and copied me. Now if this is true, then perhaps I can ask them to take Augie's present with them next time the travel back in time!

Go To Minute 2

Hello and Welcome

Welcome to Yogi's First Christmas, a blog about Hanna- Barbera cartoons. With Boomerang showing these cartoons and the new Movies coming soon, it is nice that to have blog about what we all love. Yogi Bear, The Smurfs, the Flintstones, the Jetson, and all the others who have shaped our childhood and those of before and after generations. This will Discuss it all.

I know there is another blog similar to this, yogisfirstchristmasblog.blogspot.com, and I will feature the products he had started. Unfortunately he had only 7 posts and covered only six minutes of the film. Well, I will finish what he started and add on to what he has already. Well the next post will come really soon, I mean like in a few hours.

Now all of those who watched the saturday morning cartoons, the cartoon network reruns, and the all around the clock Boomerang coverage, this blog is for you.