Yogi Bear (1961-1962)
This is yet another Hanna-Barbera cartoon, and it is also one of the most famous and enduring, having been around since the early-60s, even if the original run wasn’t that long. This one was all about the adventures of Yogi Bear in Jellystone Park, accompanied by his friend Boo-Boo. And in the rather packed world of fictional bears (Bungle, Paddington, Pudsey, Rupert, etc.) they still managed to stand out.
Yogi was notable for wearing a hat and tie but no other clothes, an observation made by comedians for many years. He thought he was smart, and he would do anything to get some food, often going to look in people’s “pic-a-nic baskets” (as he would call them). The other main character was Ranger Smith, who once again seemed to have some difficultly with controlling what was happening in the park.
He was just like Top Cat‘s Officer Dibble, and Help! It’s The Hair Bear Bunch‘s Mr Peevly, and there really does seem to be an alarming amount of cackhandedness by authority figures in these cartoons it seems. Yogi Bear was shown in this country as long ago as the early-70s, but once again, I saw some of the various repeats on CBBC going into the 90s as a second-generation viewer.
Unlike some of the other Hanna-Barbera characters, Yogi Bear did well enough to appear in several spin-off series, comics, computer games, and so on. One of the other cartoons that he featured in was Laff-A-Lympics in the late-70s. This was where several characters alongside Yogi Bear, including Scooby-Doo and Captain Caveman, took part in competitive sporting events around the world.
His team was Yogi Yahooeys, and they would do anything that they could to succeed. It was a right menagerie of madness! I don’t think that I ever saw this myself (this was shown in this country briefly in the late-70s), but when I was going through some old things recently, I found a Laff-A-Lympics annual, and I had never preciously made the connection that this was based on a TV show.
Going on into more recent years, there was also a film made, that was a mixture of live-action and computer-generated animation, that did rather well, and must’ve won over yet another generation of younger viewers, and there was also a parody in a episode of Family Guy, and you really haven’t made it until that happens. That’s why you shouldn’t leave your food lying around if you visit the park.