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Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake talk friendship

Yogi Bear in 3D
27 June 2011

Everyone’s favorite pic-a-nic basket-stealing bear comes to the big screen in Yogi Bear. Jellystone Park has been losing business, so greedy Mayor Brown decides to shut it down and sell the land. That means families will no longer be able to experience the natural beauty of the outdoors — and, even worse, Yogi and Boo Boo will be tossed out of the only home they’ve ever known. Faced with his biggest challenge ever, Yogi must prove that he really is smarter than the average bear as he and Boo Boo join forces with their old nemesis Ranger Smith to find a way to save Jellystone Park from closing forever.

With Yogi Bear coming to DVD and Blu-ray today, Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake talk about bringing these iconic characters to the big screen.


What is it about the appeal of Yogi and Boo Boo has made them last for over 50 years and appeal to people of all ages?

Dan Aykroyd: I think it’s the quality of their friendship, their relationship.  It’s a classic comedy duo, like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Felix and Oscar, maybe even the Blues Brothers.

They’re friends, they’re buddies, they’re roommates, they need each other to survive. It’s full of warmth and heart and affection. The greatest movies are those that ust bring home the heart.

I think the Yogi and Boo Boo relationship, even in the original cartoons and now in our re-tribute, the heart and the sweetness of the relationship is there.


You were able to do your voice recordings together. Did that really help establish their relationship and allow you some freedom in how you performed your roles?

Justin Timberlake: A number of the sessions, we were able to record together, and it was a huge advantage.  I think we both came into it as fans. Dan said something earlier about it being subliminally infused into our systems; and it was the same for me.  I grew up with this cartoon as a Saturday morning cartoon, so I had the voice, both of the voices, in my head ever since I was a kid. We both came in knowing the value of our individual characters.

Every comic duo has a banter back and forth, and it’s all about timing and rhythm, and that’s where we were able to really hone everything in, with the timing and the rhythm of each beat. Recording together gave us that opportunity.

We found a lot of great stuff in there, because we were playing back and forth with these voices.  I don’t know that it would’ve come out that way if we were isolated by ourselves recording.


The film has an environmental message. What do you hope audiences take away from the film?

Dan Aykroyd: I hope they take away a feeling of having a great time and watching a great comedy and walk out with a good feeling, and then the message to the younger generation, we’ve got treasures out there.

Justin Timberlake: Preserve what we have, that was here before us.

Dan Aykroyd: We are custodians for the future.  We don’t own it, and it’s got to be passed on.



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