I have to apologize in advance. It’s been almost a week since I saw the 3D “sneak preview” for December’s Yogi Bear during a screening of Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and my stomach has yet to settle down. The unnerving feeling of nausea, the desire to hurl my guts at the direction of the people behind this proposed cinematic abomination has left me queasy and uneasy. It’s not that I have anything particular against the Hanna-Barbera creation. He’s a nostalgic relic of his time, a breakout figure founded on Huckleberry Hound’s laconic Southern gentility. But when I see sloppy CGI meshed with oddball stunt voice casting, in combination with that oh-so ‘90s patina of irony, I want to barf. Having it thrust into my eyeballs via pseudo stereoscopic means just adds insult to the ipecac.
In many ways, the trailer (now available everywhere, so mind your bile ducts) reminds me of the feeling of doom I experienced when Alvin and the Chipmunks was first announced. The notion of taking a decidedly late ‘50s/early ‘60s creation of Ross “Dave Seville” Bogdasarian Sr. and turning it into a post-modern mockery of the music industry wasn’t so far off base. After all, the original singing rodents were purposefully used to debunk the pop culture currency of artists as diverse as Tom Jones, The Beatles - and in the ‘70s and ‘80s - the Cars and The Ramones. Chipmunk Punk was a huge gimmicky hit, and differing variations on the theme - Chipmunk Country, Chipmunk Rock, Chipmunk Grunge - kept Simon, Alvin, and Theodore on the cusp of commercial awareness (an ‘80s animated TV series also helped keep the harmonious rats relevant).