It’s Christmas Eve, and I and the fam have just finished indulging in one of our many traditions: The annual viewing of the holiday classic, Yogi’s First Christmas. I have watched this cartoon movie every year, without fail, since it first aired in 1980, which means that Yogi Bear has had his “first” Christmas 37 times, so far. This show’s been a part of my daughter’s life for the past 16 years, so she has never known a Christmas without Yogi and the gang belting out “Comin’ Up Christmas Time” and all the other catchy singalong songs. If you haven’t seen it, get out from under that rock and dial it up on Amazon, Youtube, or Google Play. Then, come back and read this.
Welcome back! Fun little show, wasn’t it? I grew up on Hanna-Barbera cartoons, so I was always on board for any program where Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Augie and Doggie Daddy were all in the same show.
Actually, Yogi doesn’t join up with the crew until their raucous holiday tunes wake him and Boo Boo from hibernation. Yogi learns all about Christmas, and will soon find himself wondering why he slept through it all those years.
The B-plot centers on Sophie Throckmorton, the owner of the Jellystone Lodge. She wants to sell the lodge so that they can raze it and run a superhighway through the park or somesuch, and it’s up to Ranger Smith and hotel manager Mr. Dingwell to convince her to keep the lodge standing. But that won’t be easy, because some no-goodnik has been disrupting past Christmas parties, which has been driving crowds away. The holiday party-pooper is, namely, Herman The Hermit, a backwoodsman (who is squatting on state property, btw) who hates people and Christmas, and especially hates Christmas people. Or, in this case, Christmas anthropomorphic animals.
Herman soon partners up with Snively Throckmorton, Sophie’s asshole nephew, who also hates Christmas, though we’re not sure why, because no one ever asks, and Snively never tells. Could be because every year, Sophie’s brother and sister pawn Snively off on her, while they stay home and open up their house to all their swinger friends for a XXXmas party. That’s just a theory, though.
Herman and Snively set about ruining this year’s Christmas festivities, for no good reason other than they’re just a couple of Christmas-hating jerkasses. They are thwarted at every turn by Yogi, not because he’s smarter than the average bear, but because he bumbles his way all around the park and still manages to come to everyone’s rescue.
Mrs. Throckmorton’s not happy with the singing, so Boo Boo decides to wake up Cindy Bear to add more female vocals to the mix. Apparently, Cindy was not only hibernating, she was also in heat, ’cause she starts scheming to get Yogi under the mistletoe in a major way.
Having seen this show over three dozen times, I can naturally recite every line word-for-word, and I know where all the glitches are (every time Huck’s black ears turn blue, the part where Augie talks with Huck’s voice, etc.), and of course, I know how it turns out. Yogi helps save Jellystone Lodge, on purpose, even, and Herman and Snively learn that it’s better to love Christmas and get turkey, than to hate it and be left with cold, dry catfish nuggets.
If you haven’t made Yogi’s First Christmas a part of your required holiday viewing, I recommend you do so now, ding-dang it.