Who Keeps Cool And then Gets Shot? Yogi Bear!

Yesterday’s big viral video was this spoof of the CGI Yogi Bear, mashed up with The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford. Created by an animator named Edmund Earle, it matched the style of the new movie so closely that many people assumed it had been created by the makers of the film, and sent out onto the internet as a promotional tool. Earle may even have been trying to give this impression, since he put the credits of the real movie at the end of the video; he has since added a caption making it clear that it’s a parody. Warner Brothers has already announced they won’t fight it — the optics would be bad, they’d lose anyway because parody is protected under U.S. law, and they’re getting tons of publicity from it.

I didn’t like the video quite as much as I was expecting to; it’s well-made and all, but when you come down to it it’s still just a “what if these characters re-enacted a scene from a completely different movie” type of video, and that’s not my favourite type of parody. The reason people were able to believe that it might have been an official creation of Warner Brothers is that it doesn’t really say anything bad about the new movie, and actually makes the case that Yogi Bear could work in CGI. So ironically, Earle may have helped the movie he set out to make fun of.

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