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Western Animation / Yogi's First Christmas

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Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This feature-length Christmas Special, produced by Hanna-Barbera and first aired in syndication in 1980, details the first time that Yogi Bear ever celebrated Christmas.

Christmastime has come to Jellystone Park and while Yogi and his buddy, Boo-Boo, hibernate through it, as they do every winter, a group of their friends (made up of Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy) are brought in by Ranger Smith to spend the annual Christmas Carnival at the Jellystone Lodge. However, upon arrival the group find out that this may be the last Christmas they celebrate in the lodge when the manager, Mr. Dingwell, tells them that because of a series of strange occurrences last year, business is virtually nonexistent and the owner of the lodge, Sophie Throckmorton, is likely to sell it so a freeway can be built. A chance at saving the lodge does appear when the gang are informed that Mrs. Throckmorton is coming to stay for the Christmas Carnival and if she enjoys herself she may not sell the lodge.

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The group's ensuing revelry manages to wake up Yogi and Boo-Boo from their hibernation, and upon finding out that it's time for Christmas, they decide to stay awake to celebrate. Ranger Smith, fearing that Yogi's antics could ruin efforts to save the lodge, refuses to allow the bears to stay, and chases them down to force them back to their cave. During that time, Yogi saves Mrs. Throckmorton and her bratty nephew, Snively, from an avalanche caused by Herman the Hermit, a Christmas-hating villain character who wants nothing more than to ruin the Christmas Carnival. This act of heroism endears Yogi to Mrs. Throckmorton and keeps Ranger Smith from forcing Yogi back to his cave for risk of upsetting her. So begin Yogi's efforts to celebrate Christmas, but with Herman's sabotage, Snively's pranks, Ranger Smith's eager desire to get rid of him should trouble arise, and his own instincts, will Yogi be able to make it to Christmas?

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Preceded by 1979's Casper's First Christmas, in which Yogi and friends helped the friendly ghost celebrate his first Christmas. Followed by 1982's Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper, which also featured many of the same principal characters.

After years of syndication on Cartoon Network and Boomerang, the film saw physical release through the manufactured-on-demamd Warner Archive Collection, which shifted into HBO Max.


Yogi's First Christmas provides examples of:

  • Accidental Hero: Yogi manages to continually save Mrs. Throckmorton by sheer coincidence throughout the special.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Snively. And how — he doesn't want to come to Jellystone Lodge in the first place, constantly complains, frames Yogi for mischief twice (albeit unsuccessfully), is a sore loser at the various sporting contests, runs away just to cause more trouble, and finally teams up with Herman the Hermit.
  • Dis Continuity: Yogi and Boo Boo both appeared in Casper's First Christmas the year before, so this can not possibly be their "first" Christmas. The opening song "Coming Up Christmas" is even reused from the previous special (see Plot Hole below). It's possible that this movie is a prequel to Casper's First Christmas, though.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The Villain Song briefly descends into this with marching devil silhouettes.
  • Frameup: Snively does this when he gives Yogi his aunt's skates for the skating contest and Ranger Smith thinks that Yogi stole them.
  • The Grinch: Herman the Hermit, up to and including living in a cave on a mountaintop just like the trope namer.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Snively and Herman have a profound change of heart after being invited to the lodge Christmas party.
  • Holiday Pardon: Herman and Snively are let off the hook after they realize they were wrong about Christmas being "for dum-dums."
  • Inspector Javert: Ranger Smith has shades of this. He is quick to act on any evidence that Yogi is causing trouble, not even taking the time to properly question him over it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Snively complains that Yogi won the figure skating contest by dumb luck. The thing is he's not wrong, as Yogi's routine was largely just a clumsy effort to escape Ranger Smith sending him back to his cave.
    • Ranger Smith as well. He wants to send Yogi back to his cave, by force if necessary, because he's worried that Yogi is going to cause trouble while Mrs. Throckmorton is at the lodge. Considering that this is the bear who steals picnic baskets, it's hard to fault him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Part of The Huckleberry Hound Show theme song can be heard while Huck does his ski jump attempt.
    • As was also a habit, songs from previous H-B Christmas specials returned and in were some cases sung by different characters. Also, Herman's song is a reworked variation of Sam Sniperly's song from Oliver and the Artful Dodger. Which was probably shameless recycling but then again the two could be related.
  • Never My Fault: Once caught, Snively pins all the blame on Herman to gain sympathy from his aunt, who isn't having it.
  • Plot Hole: Boo-Boo can be heard singing during the opening song even though at that point he's still hibernating with Yogi. On top of that, this song is recycled from Casper's First Christmas with Doggie Daddy now singing Quick Draw's lines, yet doesn't have someone else sing Boo Boo's lines.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Ranger Smith. He does want to send Yogi back to his cave and is a little trigger happy about doing so but won't act without justifiable cause and relents when evidence winds up being false.
    • Mrs. Throckmorton intends to sell the lodge, but isn't unreasonable about it and gives everyone a chance to talk her around. When she changes her mind, she not only keeps it open but decides to invite orphans over to have a nice Christmas there every year.
  • Santa Claus: Of course he shows up, did you think he'd miss Yogi's first Christmas? Yogi, who's playing Santa for the orphans at the time, thinks Your Costume Needs Work.
  • Villain Song: Herman the Hermit gets "Mean, Sour, Crafty, and Cruel" (originally from Oliver and the Artful Dodger). Snively joins in on the final chorus.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ranger Smith initially wants to take Yogi back to his cave out of concern that Yogi could cause trouble, which might get the lodge torn down, but relents when proven wrong.


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