April 18, 2015

YO YOGI!



YO YOGI!
(NBC, September 14-December 7, 1991)

Hanna-Barbera Productions



MAIN CAST:
Rob PaulsenDick “Dickie” Dastardly, Chuck Toupee, Hardy Har Har, Super Snooper, Wee Willie Gorilla
Greg BergHuckleberry Hound, Moe Wendell, Joe Wendell
Gail Matthius – Roxey Bear

For the history of Yogi, check out the post here.


A younger Yogi not as thrilled by Cindy's advances.


            Hanna-Barbera’s final attempt at babyfication was also their final attempt at a Yogi Bear series. Yo Yogi reunited Yogi (Greg Burson), Boo Boo (Don Messick) and Cindy (Kath Soucie) with frequent co-stars Huckleberry Hound (Greg Berg) and Snagglepuss (Burson). Dick Dastardly (Rob Paulsen) and Muttley (Messick) also returned as frequent series villains to plague them once again. The big difference? All the characters were younger than when audiences came to know them.


The characters of Yo Yogi! from the show's press kit.

            Portrayed as 14-year-olds (Dastardly and Muttley a bit younger than that), the characters were all given a very 90s clothing make-over (in that most of them started wearing clothing). Yogi’s hat and tie were turned purple, and he was given matching sneakers, a green vest, and a green and yellow jacket with the sleeves rolled up. Boo Boo’s bowtie was joined by a blue and yellow ball cap, white shorts and a red and yellow long t-shirt. Cindy wore a white dress and matching boots with pink leggings and a pink jacket. Huck had a backwards orange ball cap and a blue shirt over another orange shirt with an up-turned collar. Snagglepuss had a yellow shirt, baseball jacket and jeans with rolled up cuffs with a pair of sunglasses with flip-up lenses. Dastdardly’s wardrobe closely resembled what he wore in Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines, however he was sans his trademarked mustache due to the character’s age. He did ride a bicycle that bore a resemblance to the Mean Machine he drove in Wacky Races


Promotional art of Jellystone Mall from the Yo Yogi! press kit.

The action was moved from Jellystone Park to the new Jellystone Mall in Jellystone Town in the country of Jellystone (okay, that last one was a fake to keep the theme rolling). The mall was owned by other Hanna-Barbera stalwart “Diamond” Doggie Daddy (John Stephenson) and featured a lot of natural elements amongst all its stores, such as a large tree in the center of it all where Huck liked to relax. Yogi’s gang all worked there as members of the Lost and Found Detective Agency under the supervision of Officer Smith (Burson). Yogi and his gang would be involved with solving mysteries and stopping crimes in and around the mall, while also dealing with mischief caused by Dastardly and Muttley and new character Roxey Bear (Gail Matthius); a green bear who wore punk rocker attire and served as Cindy’s primary rival.


Behind the scenes from Yogi Bear Magazine.

            Many stores were featured in the mall, and all of them either employing or owned by other Hanna-Barbera characters; many of which were still in adult form, unlike the series stars. Yogi’s favorite hangout was the Picnic Basket Food Court run by Loopy De Loop, which looked like a giant picnic basket on a blanket; Peter Potamus’ Plant palace run by Peter Potamus (Frank Welker) and So So (Messick); Crooks ‘N’ Books bookstore run by Blabber Mouse; and The Invention Dimension, a computer store run by Secret Squirrel’s (Soucie) uncle Uncle Undercover (Burson). Other stories included Boot Borough, a shoe store, Aunt Annie’s Antique Aquarium, an antique store, Imovieplex, a movie theater, and The Broccoli Republic, a supermarket and a play on the name of The Banana Republic. A cheese cottage was also owned by Mr. Jinks (Stephenson) and was inhabited by cheese-stealing Pixie (Messick) and Dixie (Patric Zimmerman).


Yogi, at any age, still answers to a Smith.

            Other Hanna-Barbera characters would come by the mall for guest appearances, including younger versions of Top Cat (Arte Johnson), Squiddly Diddly, Hardy Har Har (Paulsen), Wally Gator (Burson), and the still-adult Magilla Gorilla (Allan Melvin), Quick Draw McGraw (Burson) and Baba Looey (Henry Polic II). Hokey Wolf (Matt Hurwitz) served as the mayor of Jellystone Town. The unique feature of the show was that Hanna-Barbera partnered with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies to present parts of episodes in 3D. Special 3D glasses would come included with the cereal, and Yogi would spin his hat around to signal the audience when to don them. 


The back of a box of Rice Krispies.


The series premiered on September 14, 1991 on NBC and performed abysmally in the ratings. It, along with the rest of NBC’s Saturday morning cartoon offerings, were cancelled in 1992 in order for NBC to channel the success of their Saved by the Bell series and create a dedicated block of teenage sitcoms called Teen NBC, as well as launch the Saturday edition of The Today Show. Before that, however, NBC released a promotional comic through Toys R Us to promote their line-up for that season. Published by Harvey Comics, NBC Saturday Morning Comics featured several short strips featuring their all-new shows, which included an adaptation of Yo Yogi episode “Super Duper Snag.” The series was rerun in syndication as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. A VHS collection of several episodes was released, featuring a pair of 3D glasses.


Yo Yogi! Happy Meal bag.

Promotional tie-ins to the show featured stamps available inside boxes of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and fruit snacks in the shape of the show’s characters. Plastic wind-up toys featuring Yogi, Huck, Cindy and Snagglepuss were available, as well as bendable figures from JusToys. Capri Sun featured the characters on their packaging. In 1992, Tiger Electronics produced a handheld game while McDonald’s featured four toys in their Happy Meals: Yogi, Huck, Cindy and Boo Boo each riding a different vehicle.



Yogi is harder than the average video game!

Yogi’s career would be relegated to direct-to-video movies and TV specials, as well as video games, for the next decade. In 1994, there was Yogi the Easter Bear and he appeared as part of Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, while also appearing in the games Yogi’s Big Clean-Up on the Amiga, Adventures of Yogi Bear on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Yogi Bear’s Gold Rush on Nintendo Game Boy. In 1999, John Kricfalusi and his company Spumco produced two specials that aired on Cartoon Network in 1999. Throughout the 90s, Yogi also appeared in various commercials and bumpers for Cartoon Network voiced by Jeff Bergman. Yogi was next featured on the Game Boy Color in Yogi Bear: Great Balloon Blast in 2000. In 2010, Warner Bros. released Yogi’s first live-action/CGI theatrical movie, Yogi Bear, starring Dan Aykroyd in the title role.




EPISODE GUIDE:
“Yo, Yogi!” (9/14/91) – Yogi and his friends stop Bombastic Bobby from running the new Jellystone Mall out of business, earning them jobs in the Lost & Found Detective Agency.

“Huck’s Doggone Day / Grindhog Day” (9/21/91) – Escaped criminals Lou and Murray try to get Huck away from the tree where they buried their loot 50 years prior. / A grindhog infestation leads to the discovery of a subterranean attempt on the First Jellystone Bank.

“Jellystone Jam” (9/28/91) – Cindy wins a chance to hang with Magilla when he comes to town, but Dixie teams up with Dastardly and Muttley to ensure she gets the prize.

“Mall Alone” (10/5/91) – Yogi, Boo Boo, Cindy and Huck try to break into the mall to get Snagglepuss out as two thieves attempt to steal a baseball card.

“Tricky Dickie’s Dirty Tricks” (10/12/91) – Dickie plans to replace Yogi as head of the squad while Mr. Slump and Leroy plot to abduct Augie for ransom.

“Super Duper Snag” (10/19/91) – Snagglepuss finds and wears Atom Ant’s lost helmet as a ring, becoming a super hero while a giant cockroach threatens the world.

“Mellow Fellow / Hats Off to Yogi” (10/26/91) – Dastardly and Muttley try to find Wee Willie Gorilla to get the reward before Huck. / A mysterious Clipper is shaving the patrons of the mall.

“Polly Wants a Safe Cracker” (11/2/91) – Yogi, Boo Boo and Secret Squirrel have to stop a safe-cracking parrot.

“Mall or Nothing / There’s no Business Like Snow Business” (11/9/91) – A con man tricks Augie into giving him the mall. /NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.

“It’s All Relative / Barely Working” (11/16/91) –NO SYNOPSIS AVAILABLE.

“Yippee Yo, Yogi / Of Meeces and Men” (11/23/91) – The squad has to stop a bull Dastardly frees for the Wild West Show. / Dastardly teaches Mr. Jinks how to get rid of Pixie and Dixie.

“Fashion Smashin’! / To Tell the Truth, Forsooth” (11/30/91) – Talula LeTrend plans to steal the centerpiece of rival Calvin Clunk’s fashion show. / Snagglepuss loses a bust of Shakesbear he was to deliver and fakes it being stolen.

“The Big Snoop” (12/7/91) – The squad has to find a kidnapped Super Snooper who vanished from his book signing.



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