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.