Yogi's First Christmas



Hey hey, Boo Boo! Yogi's Christmas caper is a keeper.
  • Review Date: November 19, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

A few sundry facts are thrown in for good measure: that salt melts ice, that eels are categorized as fish, and that orderly behavior when trimming the Christmas tree is required so as not to break ornaments. The rhymes that Yogi comes up with are fun to riff on with kids, too eg: "Hey hey, I'll join you in a libretto with my female-like falsetto."

Positive messages

In Yogi's attempts to keep Jellystone Lodge from being sold he shows what he thinks the holidays are about: being together and having fun. There are gifts given at Christmas, but the focus is on how much fun the characters have playing games, catching fish, and skating.

Positive role models

The adults in this cartoon set decent boundaries and are respected when they give directions. Yogi is a classic anti-hero, meaning that he does not necessarily deserve the success that he accrues, but he is so charming that he is in like Flynn, hey hey!

Violence & scariness

Snively and Herman the Hermit plot against the group of celebrants at the Jellystone Lodge. They attempt to derail Yogi's skating and skiing efforts, placing him in danger. They steal Christmas ornaments and even hijack a helicopter, but no one is hurt.

Sexy stuff

Cindy the Bear is crazy for Yogi. She hangs mistletoe from every crossbeam and sings a song about getting kissed by him ("I'm not too sure how far I'll go."). But her efforts are comical. What does Yogi say in response? "I'm late. I gotta go check the bobsled."


Snively calls the holiday revelers "dumb-dumbs." The ill-tempered cook calls Yogi and Boo Boo "dunderheads" and "lamebrains." 


Yogi loves his snacks. He dreams of picnic baskets at night. In fact, Santa gives him a picnic basket for Christmas.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this musical cartoon from 1980 (re-released for the 2009 holiday rush) is a fun one for kids and adults (unlike more recent kids-only My Little Pony and Mickey Mouse fare). Yogi does have an ardent admirer in the form of Cindy Bear, who takes enthusiastic advantage of mistletoe to give Yogi kisses. She sings songs about snagging Yogi, and even says she is "ready and willing." Yogi's response? "It ain't easy being a dreamboat."

What's the story?

The setting is Christmastime at Jellystone Park, and Ranger Smith is driving Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, and the gang to the Jellystone Lodge for some holiday fun. As they gear up for a big celebration, their music awakens a certain pair of bears who should be hibernating for the winter. Just in time, too, because this lodge is in danger of being sold "for financial reasons." The said owner of the lodge, Mrs. Throckmorton, is going to join the festivities with her nephew Snively for a last bash before she puts the lodge up for sale. Yogi and Boo Boo find themselves being mistaken as waiters, but are soon getting swept into the holiday spirit. Since bears usually hibernate all winter long, Yogi has never seen a Christmas and he makes it his goal to stay awake for the holiday. Can he stay awake? Even more importantly: can he help save the lodge?

Is it any good?


Before there was Garifield, there was Yogi Bear: the picnic-basket obsessed bear who's charmed audiences with his suave style since 1961. This full-length movie highlights the most charming facets of Yogi's appeal. He's got an appetite, he's got talent, he's good with the ladies, and he knows how to bust a rhyme. Who else in the cartoon pantheon wakes from a deep winter's sleep to say: "Hey hey hey, I'm going into a coma/ over that tantalizing aroma"? And there are enough interesting side stories to keep even the most restless holiday viewer interested until the end. A very nice alternative to the typical Christmas fare. And it's funny to boot.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about crushes. Are Cindy's singing advances toward Yogi just silly fun or not? How does Yogi handle his suitor?

  • What makes a good holiday special? Which ones are just fun for kids and which ones are fun for the whole family? What are your family's favorites? Do you watch them every year?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 24, 2009
Cast:Daws Butler, Don Messick, Sue Allen
Director:Ray Patterson
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Yogi's First Christmas was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 6 years old April 14, 2011
Parent of a 13 year old Written byDr. Weird September 11, 2010

Hey Boo-Boo.

Silly little film. Mildly sexual.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Adult Written byLowe's man March 31, 2014

the best Christmas special ever

Some Christmas specials are either too silly, too sappy or too juvenile. Not this one. Yogi's First Christmas is a feel-good special that is calm and peaceful, and it does so without coming across as too good to be true. Nor did the writers and producers feel the need to go to the other extreme of being either crude or commercial like so many other Christmas movies and specials are. This one shows no hint of either. This is a clean show no matter how you slice it and dice it. The plot is strong too, especially when Snively goes missing. That part is enough to keep anybody interested. The pace finds just the right balance, as it's neither too fast nor too slow. This is one that everybody, regardless of age, can enjoy. A great alternative to some of the other Christmas movies and specials.


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