Someone tell Ranger Smith* that Yogi Bear is up to something. Namely, he’s getting his own movie. Yes, the lovable, conniving, talking bear created by Hanna-Barbera in the Sixties is going down the live-action/CG hybrid route, almost seven years after his stablemate, Scooby-Doo, paved the way. 

I’m actually surprised that, given the success of both Scooby-Doo movies as well as last winter’s Alvin And The Chipmunks, that Warners – which owns the rights to Hanna-Barbera’s overstocked back catalogue – has been slow in further raiding it. But Yogi, famous of course for his platonic relationship with his life partner, Boo Boo, his laconic voice and catchphrases (he’s smarter than the average bear, in case you hadn’t heard) and constant attempts to outwit Ranger Smith, custodian of Jellystone Park, is the first to get the movie star treatment.

Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia are writing the screenplay, with Ash Brannon set to direct. There’s no word yet on the story – but I’d imagine that Ranger Smith will be played by a genuine, real live human being. And that Yogi will be a lovable thorn in his side, and not a rampaging beast on the hunt for human flesh. I’ ve always had a soft spot for Yogi and Boo Boo (not to mention Mr. Ranger, that poor, put-upon bastard) so we’re looking forward to this. But what’s next – The Jetsons? Top Cat? Huckleberry Hound?

The possibilities are almost endless.

* I do want to make sure that people know that the Ranger Smith we’re referring to is the fictional character from the Yogi Bear cartoon, and not the current manager of Glasgow Rangers FC, Mr. Walter Smith. Mr. Smith has achieved much in his life, but he doesn’t run around trying to stop bears from stealing picnic baskets. Unless there’s something Ally McCoist isn’t telling us.

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