Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tooniversary: Yogi's Ark Lark (1972)

From the ABC Saturday Superstar Movie is a backdoor pilot for the following year's Yogi's Gang.

Yogi's Ark Lark brings Yogi Bear and Boo Boo together with some of their fellow Hanna-Barbera funny animal stars, such as Huckleberry Hound, Squiddly Diddly, Magilla Gorilla, Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, Top Cat, and more. In a modern day, environmentally-charged spin on the Biblical story of Noah's Ark, Yogi and pals team with Captain Noah to raise awareness of the then-prevalent issues of littering and pollution, issues that would be explored again 20 years later on Captain Planet. While Yogi (Daws Butler) had a rep for being a thief, he wasn't a litterbug.

The idea behind Ark Lark was to bring back Yogi, Huck, et al, and introduce them to a new generation of viewers. Their classic shorts would soon return in syndication as a by-product of this film and the subsequent Yogi's Gang, even though the series lasted just 1 season. As we've noted previously in reviewing Gang, the series would later return, with episodes chopped up into two parts---and in this particular case, four, as it was rerun on Gang as a two-part story---in order to fit an additional segment or two into Fred Flintstone & Friends.

Despite the cancellation, interest in Yogi and his growing supporting cast was such that Yogi, Huck, Snagglepuss, and others would resurface again and again in later years, including the mid-80's series, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, which recast Top Cat (Arnold Stang) in more of a leadership role that was never really explained.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember this and the series that followed (funny one did since this movie had a definitive ending!) and I liked it at first. Many of the old HB animal toons were on board (most of whom I'd already known from syndication. The only ones I didn't know at the time were Touche Turtle & Dumm Dumm, Lippy & Hardy Har Har, and Ruff & Reddy.

What I hated was the cloying message. I know times were different but now I can't help but think where this show could have gone.

At least in the end of this movie, they wised up and said what I would have told them - clean up your own back yard!! When the series started they continued on looking for Utopia which of course doesn't exist. Captain Planet didn't do any better.

I realized also the ark was renamed "Yogi's Ark" and Noah phased out entirely. Poor guy! Mus t be the Pete Best of HB

hobbyfan said...

As I understand it, the movie was later re-edited into the final two episodes of the series to give it the closure you describe. Noah was dropped for no reason, as he could've served as a moral compass to help the gang.