Not Your Average Bear!

yogi & booboo

I’m not too certain what made me thing about Yogi, but the smile that curled my lips when I did was immediate.

Saturday morning cartoons.

It was a ritual growing up.  Two hours of nonsense where I could get lost in an animated world.

Characters got blown up, had humongous rocks fall on them and fell from cliffs regularly.

But they never died.

If a cat has nine lives then animated characters are indeed immortal.

Silly pranks were played.  Scheming villains tried in vain to execute their various brands of treachery.

Every week their debauched visions were crushed by sly intellectual bunnies or awkward buffoonish bears.

Yogi and Boo Boo ruled ‘Yellow Stone National Park’ much to the chagrin of Ranger Smith.

This was and still is a sweet innocence for me.  There was no hard sell.

It was always a simple formula, one that I came to expect and it was offered week after week, year after year, and it worked.

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A capricious bunny, an enamored skunk, a witty road runner, a southern rooster or a hero of a mouse…just to mention a few.

We were blessed with so many lovely characters.

Back in the 1990’s though, we were all grown up and adult animation became a demand and began to move to the forefront.

Some of the creations were a delight.  Pinky and the Brain, Future Cat & Friends are a few faves.

“The Simpsons” truly changed the landscape or animation.

Some very dark characters emerged during this time.  Then gaming exploded.

I got to thinking of cartoon from the Merry Melody collection called ‘One Froggy Evening’ done in genuine black and white.  It was likely produced in the 1950’s.


A man finds a frog who can sing like  Pavarotti.  Elated he thinks he’s struck gold.  He advertises this and fills a concert house.  The frog, however, will sing only for him…alone.

This has been a favorite of mine for a lifetime it seems.  There is a joy in its simplicity that is so endearing to me.

These days its hard to find a cinematic production that is just plain old fun.  Making movies is first and foremost a big business.

Last weekend as I was curled up suffering from a dreadful cold and convinced I would never smell the sweetness of a rose again.  I watched ‘Guardians of Galaxy’.   I enjoyed it.  Now perhaps it was the fever but hell, there was a quirky innocence to each of the characters.

This doesn’t happen often in movies such as this for me.

It was silly, goofy and totally predictable, but what sold me was the depth of the characters.  I liked them and wanted to get to know them better.  When this happens I’m hooked.

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I read an article about a year ago that stated that movies follow just twelve various formats.  That’s it!  And as I pondered this I likened it to be true.

Why is it that some movies just blow us away?  Certain catch phrases are adopted or personality traits are adopted and emulated.

Others movies are forgotten before we leave the theatre.

Why did one leave an imprint and the other fade away?

This principle applies to the written word a well.  Those books that capture our imagination and allow it to expand.

In a nutshell, it is character development and plot execution.


How do you take something that has been told a million times or more before and tell it again…originally?

What I’ve learned may sound simple but can really be the toughest thing you’ll ever do.

Tell your story as only you see it.  That is what makes it unique  because none of sees or feels the same about anything really.  Individually we all have variations.

This perhaps, is the most endearing factor in the human equation to me.

Perfection is a myth.

Forgiveness is the key to freedom.

Love is absolute.

…and how each of sees the rise and set of each day is as infinite as the sky we gaze into each day and each night.




PB 3

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”-Ralph Waldo

In the end, we only regret the chances we did not take.

I am preparing a few posts for the week ahead based on what I discussed here yesterday.  After posting my submission yesterday I began to ponder, of all things, how I equate people with animated characters.

Winnie the Pooh and all the characters associated with the stories are likely my favourite animated characters.  Still, when I was young I had a thing for Paddington Bear.  He was a bit of gypsy traipsing about in his rain hat and coat.  Always with suitcase in hand and he had a love of marmalade.

Saturday mornings were always spent watching Loonie Toons.  Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil and of course the Road Runner.

Paddington  Actually both Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear came to my attention through books initially.  Later, both would go on to have a spot on television, though Winnie definitely had a great deal more success, at least on this side of the pond.

Paddington likely was huge in his native England.

When I entered into high school I began associating certain people with animated characters based on their personality.  A strange thing to do and something that I never disclosed at the time.

When I did offer this up for the first time, it was met with disregard and an annoyance.  Mind you the fellow was quite brilliant but had some serious mental health issues.  I would have been in my late teens possibly very early 20’s.

Randall was maybe in his late 20’s.  He was a friend of my sister’s and we were having some obscure conversation, the kind that were strange and thought-provoking that typically made little to no sense. He pushed his coke bottle glasses up on his nose and cleared his throat.  At that moment, I made the connection.

“Hey, you know who you remind me of?” I asked brightly.

“Who?” he replied completely uninterested.

“Owl from Winnie the Pooh.” I championed.

There was no reply.  Just a look that pretty much summed up that he wasn’t impressed.  Mind you, telling a guy that you’re interested in that he reminds you of an Owl may not be the most flattering compliment.  Still, on my end it was meant as such.

At that time I was too young to understand my affiliation with animated characters. What I understand now is how much I escaped into the animated world and identified with certain characters.  Paddington, for example, was such a free spirit to me traveling about on his own.  Winnie was just so sweet and lovable.  Owl was smart, Piglet was shy, Tigger was beyond happy, and Eeyore seemed perpetually sad.

I was quite shy as a child and really lived in my head.  I’ve always had a deep love of horses as well.  I think at times it just seemed easier to think of life as an animation rather than the actuality of it.  Better to make up stories in my head as to why things were the way they were.

If things got really bad around the house I could conjure that an evil witch had placed a spell on my dad and that’s why he was so mean.   Despite my active imagination on this end, I could never sell myself the stories that I made up .

I still associate people with animated characters though I don’t tell them.  I shared these things with my daughter when she was little.  She thought it quite funny then, now she’ll give me one of those dubious looks of hers conveying the message ‘Really Mom?’.

Oddly enough, two songs that will always bring tears to my eyes are ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ and ‘House at Pooh Corner’.

I get really tired of hearing that ‘Puff’ is about marijuana.  This song was around when I was a little kid and the potheads hadn’t come onto the scene just yet.  To me it is a song about a little boy’s imaginary world and as he gets older, he leaves that world behind him.

Kenny Loggin’s ‘House at Pooh Corner’ is the return to that imaginary world and finding the importance of sharing it with your child.

I suppose there is an innocence in all of this.  I certainly don’t make these associations as much as I used to, but from time to time when I meet someone, they will say or do something and it will trigger this response.  Now I smile to myself.

We all have animated characters that we loved as a child. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know who your favorite character or toy was and why.

PB 4Have a great day everyone and thanks for stopping by.