Yo Yogi! is a 1991 short-lived American animated show from NBC's Saturday Morning Cartoons line-up by the characters copyright owner Hanna-Barbera (this show was in fact one of their last ones as an independent studio before being swallowed up by Warner Bros.). The show was made in an attempt to update the Yogi Bear franchise to the 90's and cash in on Saved By the Bell.
The show ended up being one of the most notorious Saturday Morning Cartoons failures for NBC due to low ratings and is often cited as one of the reasons why NBC decided to give up on broadcasting Saturday Morning Cartoons. It also even managed to kill off the Yogi Bear franchise (at least on TV) until the announcement of C.H. Greenblatt's Jellystone! in 2019, will debut on HBO Max in 2020.
Jellystone Park in Wyoming is now being converted to a national mall and is guarded by Ranger Smith. Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo along with their other friends Huckleberry Hound, Cindy Bear and Snagglepuss are now teenagers and are okay about wearing clothes and acting more like humans (though Boo-Boo still looking young is never explained). In pretty much each episode the 5 friends get engaged in mysteries and trying to stop criminals from stealing things in the mall.
Why It Sucks
- The show's attempts at being trendy and radical are another example of cheap and unneeded attempt at modernizing an old franchise. This also quickly becomes outdated and unfunny decades later after the show first premiered.
- Poor grasp of the source material.
- Despite the plots trying to do something different with each episode, they end up being the same (i.e something goes wrong at Jellystone Mall and it's up to Yogi and his friends to save the day).
- In all episodes, Yogi at some point spins his hat telling the viewer to wear 3D glasses for a certain scene (the 3D glasses came out of now out-of-print cereals that sponsored the show). They seem pointless to include because they make the show look like a mere product placement cartoon.
- The show's plots are too similar to Hanna-Barbera's other franchise Scooby-Doo most notably A Pup Named Scooby-Doo since it featured younger versions of classic cartoon characters, but without that show's cleverness or charm, and another Hanna-Barbera franchise Flinstones prequel, Flinstone Kids.
- Yogi Bear would threaten anyone for being a classicist that is not "hip & radical".
- William Hanna, the co-creator of the Yogi Bear franchise and co-founder of Hanna-Barbera, was offended by Yogi's redesign, saying: They screwed it up by redesigning [Yogi]. They made him look like a whoremonger. If you have something that works, don't screw it up!
- The show has killed the Yogi Bear franchise from getting a new show for several years until C.H. Greenblatt's upcoming Yogi Bear series Jellystone! was announced in 2019.
- As said before, this show contributed to the death of saturday morning cartoons.
- Its animation is actually very smooth and cartoony and is a huge step-up over most of Hanna-Barbera's previous cartoon shows, aside from glaring ink and paint errors.
- The voice acting is okay.
- Decent theme song.
- It's a slight improvement over Hanna-Barbera's previous attempt at reviving a classic icon.