Dan Akroyd is Yogi Bear

December 17, 2010 9:47:17 AM PST
Dan Aykroyd stars as the voice of everyone's favorite pic-a-nic basket-stealing bear in ''Yogi Bear,'' a new adventure, filmed in 3D, that combines live action with computer animation.

Faithful pal and co-conspirator Boo Boo, voiced by Justin Timberlake, aids Yogi in schemes to separate Jellystone Park visitors from their lunches.

Yogi has always relied on his quick wit and fast feet to stay one step ahead of irate campers while dodging his long-suffering nemesis, Ranger Smith. But he and Boo Boo are about to face a situation worse than anything Yogi has ever gotten them into -- Jellystone Park is being sold!

To cover his mismanagement of city funds and fuel his election campaign, Mayor Brown plans to sell the park to loggers. Families will no longer be able to experience the natural beauty of the outdoors Jellystone has always provided -- and, even worse, Yogi, Boo Boo and all their friends will be tossed out of the only home they've ever known.

Faced with his biggest challenge ever, Yogi must prove he really is "smarter than the average bear," as he and Boo Boo join forces with Ranger Smith to find a way to save the park from closing forever.

Leading the film's live-action cast are Anna Faris as visiting nature documentary filmmaker Rachel Johnson; Tom Cavanagh as the diligent Ranger Smith; T.J. Miller as Smith's over-enthusiastic deputy, Ranger Jones; Andrew Daly as the conniving Mayor Brown; and Nate Corddry following behind as Brown's Chief of Staff.

"Yogi Bear" is directed by Eric Brevig and produced by Donald De Line and Karen Rosenfelt. The screenplay is by Jeffrey Ventimilia & Joshua Sternin and Brad Copeland, based on characters created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.

"Yogi Bear" is rated PG by the MPAA for some mild rude humor. www.yogibear.com

MEET DAN AYKROYD

Friday, December 17
Hollywood Blvd Cinema
1001 W. 75th St.
Woodridge, IL 60517
630-427-1880
www.atriptothemovies.com


6 p.m.: Autograph signing
7 p.m.: Dan will introduce the 7 p.m. showing of "Yogi" Bear

Saturday, December 18
Hollywood Palms
352 S. Route 59
Naperville, IL 60540
630-428-5800
www.hollywoodpalmscinema.com
Noon - signing
1 p.m. - Dan will introduce the 1p.m. public showing of "Yogi Bear"

Friday, December 17
Zanies Comedy Club
1548 N. Wells Street, Chicago
Introducing the 10:30 p.m. show

ABOUT DAN AKRYOYD

Dan Aykroyd (Yogi Bear) has enjoyed a more-than-30-year career in entertainment and was honored with an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Boolie Werthan in the Best Picture winner "Driving Miss Daisy." The Ottawa, Ontario native is well known to film audiences for his work in more than 60 features, including Ivan Reitman's "Ghostbusters" and "Ghostbusters II," both of which Aykroyd co-wrote; the heartwarming "My Girl"; the comedy hit "Trading Places"; and Sir Richard Attenborough's "Chaplin." Altogether, Aykroyd's films have grossed close to $1 billion worldwide.

Aykroyd first came to fame as one of the original Not Ready for Primetime Players on "Saturday Night Live." While on the show, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Series, and created many of its most popular and enduring characters, including the Coneheads' patriarch, Beldar, and Elwood Blues who,together with John Belushi's Jake Blues, formed The Blues Brothers. Aykroyd and Belushi received a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Artist of 1979 for their triple platinum-selling album "Briefcase Full of Blues." In his persona as Elwood Blues, Aykroyd has performed on a total of seven CDs, with sales totaling approximately five million units.

He and Belushi later brought The Blues Brothers to the big screen in the hit film of the same name, co-written by Aykroyd. He later recruited James Belushi to perform as Jake's blood brother Zee, and the two have since performed as Elwood and Zee Blues for live audiences around the U.S. Aykroyd also wrote and starred in the film sequel, "Blues Brothers 2000," directed by John Landis. Aykroyd co-wrote and starred in the comedies "Spies Like Us," "Dragnet," and "Nothing But Trouble," as well as "Coneheads," based on his popular "SNL" character. His many other feature film credits include "Pearl Harbor," "Twilight Zone: The Movie," Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "My Stepmother Is an Alien," "Sneakers," "My Girl 2," "Exit to Eden," "Tommy Boy," "Grosse Pointe Blank," "The House of Mirth," the computer-animated "Antz" and Ivan Reitman's "Evolution."

In addition to his work in film and television, Aykroyd is a busy entrepreneur whose many business endeavors include helping to bring the Hard Rock Café restaurants to the United States and later co-founding The House of Blues Entertainment, Inc., opening House of Blues concert hall/restaurant/retail store venues across the country. As Elwood Blues, Aykroyd hosts the 10-year-running House of Blues Radio Hour, which is syndicated on 180 radio stations through the United Stations Radio Networks. Aykroyd and James Belushi also work as co-emcees, vocalists and dancers in their "Have Love Will Travel Revue," in service of classic American songs.

Aykroyd also has several interests in the field of wine and spirits, including Patron Spirits, which he distributes throughout Canada; a partnership with Toronto-based Diamond Estates Wine and Spirits Ltd, resulting in the launch of such wines as the Dan Aykroyd Discovery Series and the Dan Aykroyd Signature Reserve VQA Vidal Ice Wine, the former being named Canadian Wine of the Year; and Crystal Head Vodka, produced in Newfoundland. In June 2007, Diamond Estates announced it would build The Dan Aykroyd Winery in the heart of Canada's wine region in Niagra. The $12 million, 45,000 square-foot winery features a multi-level hospitality building and pays tribute to the region's terrain and to Aykroyd's work in film and television by showcasing some of his favorite memorabilia throughout the building.

Invested with the Order of Canada in 1999, Aykroyd received a Vice-Regal decoration from the Governor General as a prominent Canadian who "desires to make A better country." He also served as a sworn Captain in the Reserve of the Department of Police in the City of Harahan, Louisiana, receiving a citation for his work in youth anticrime education.

"YOGI AND BOO BOO: Let's Grab Lunch"

Yogi Bear and Boo Boo made their first appearance on the small screen in 1958 as part of Hanna-Barbera's "The Huckleberry Hound Show," the first cartoon series ever to earn an Emmy Award for Distinguished Children's Programming. The pair's popularity soon launched their own spin-off show, in 1961, followed by a nationally syndicated comic strip and, in 1964, their big-screen debut. In the ensuing years, the carefree mooch and his sweet-natured pal have been spotted in numerous series, specials, movies and DVD collections.

Throughout, one theme has remained constant: friendship. No matter what's at stake or whether or not Yogi's latest contraption will crash-land the two of them through the roof of the ranger station, at the heart of every "Yogi Bear" tale is the abiding camaraderie and comedic interplay between Yogi and Boo Boo. And their latest adventure is no exception.

"It's about loyalty. In the end, your friends are your friends and you gotta stand by them," Aykroyd said.

"Yogi makes every crazy idea sound so attractive because of his enthusiasm, that Boo Boo always ends up going along with it, no matter how dangerous or ill-advised," adds Aykroyd, who laughingly cites a prime example: "One of my favorite scenes is Yogi up on a cliff, hooking himself up to a zip line. He actually thinks he has accurately targeted a picnic basket, and you know that's not going to happen."

But what Yogi lacks in engineering acumen, he makes up for in charisma. He may be a tad vain, impulsive and sticky-fingered, but we love him because he's also decent, kindhearted and endlessly optimistic.

Aykroyd, who jokes that he and his character share "the Yogi Bear appetite," attributes his Yogi-channeling ability to "just having him in my head from watching the show so many times."


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