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Marshall Fine Headshot

Smarter than the average studio exec

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Just when you thought it couldn't get any more stupid out there...

I read a story the other day touting a looming deal that would cast Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi Bear in a hybrid live-action/computer-animated film.

The mind boggles until the head explodes.

This is so wrong on so many levels that I'm afraid I'm going to start sputtering like some bad genetic mutation of Yosemite Sam and Porky Pig. It made me gag even harder than when I read that Kenneth Branagh was going to direct the film version of Marvel's Thor.

(Kenneth Branagh? A comic-book superhero movie? Are things really that tough? And not even an A-list Marvel hero - but Thor? Perhaps the lamest superhero in the Marvel pantheon, with the possible exception of Ant-Man? But I digress.)

So let me dig in here with a few bullet points:

-- Yogi Bear? Really? This character - and Huckleberry Hound and Quick-Draw McGraw and Magilla Gorilla and the rest of the Hanna-Barbera menagerie - was comedy for 8-year-olds (and not bright 8-year-olds, either). Whose brilliant idea was this - and does his ADD keep him from remembering a little something called The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle? Or Garfield?

-- Forget about the level of the writing on the old cartoon shows, which was consistently witless. Here's the real issue: Hanna-Barbera single-handedly destroyed quality animation with these shows. Their limited approach - using a fraction of the drawings to create the illusion of animation - was cheaper and faster to produce than the work being done by Disney or Warner Bros. or MGM in the 1950s. As a result, the studios and networks jumped on the bandwagon since, hey, it's just for kids. It was like the kudzu of cartoons, spreading a lower standard like a mutating flu virus.

-- I'll admit to a personal bias against Dan Aykroyd, who's built a career on mediocre-to-worse movies in the 30-plus years since he debuted on Saturday Night Live. His filmography is jam-packed with drek and his continued viability as a film performer baffles me. I guess I consider Aykroyd irredeemable and feel this project is just par for his particular course. I'd probably give him props if he tried to play Yogi Berra - but not Yogi Bear.

-- I don't even think I need to go into the slow brain-death that is the Hollywood creative process. Dredging up Yogi Bear for big-budget treatment is further proof that shit rules - and the shittier the better.

A pox on all their houses.

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