Yogi’s Great Escape (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: Apr 18, 2024
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Yogi’s Great Escape (Blu-ray Review)


Bob Goe, Paul Sommer, Rudy Zamora, Ray Patterso

Release Date(s)

1987 (February 20, 2024)


Hanna-Barbera (Warner Archive Collection)
  • Film/Program Grade: B-
  • Video Grade: B+
  • Audio Grade: B
  • Extras Grade: F

Yogi's Great Escape (Blu-ray)



During the 1980s, Hanna-Barbera was in full swing with any number of TV shows, including their previous hits which were in constant rotation in re-runs. However, a return to the classic characters of old in some new adventures was definitely needed, and from 1987 to 1988, they produced ten syndicated made-for-TV feature films starring many of their most popular stars, including Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Huckleberry Hound, Top Cat, and many others. This series eventually became known collectively as Hanna-Barbera’s Superstars 10, and 36 years later, the folks at the Warner Archive Collection have released all of the films on Blu-ray for the first time.

Premiering on September 20, 1987 was Yogi’s Great Escape. Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo wake up from their winter hibernation to discover a picnic basket with three little bear cubs on their doorstep. Ranger Smith shows up to inform them that Jellystone Park is over its budget and will be closed down soon. Because of this, Yogi, Boo-Boo, and the three cubs will have to live in a zoo. Horrified at the thought, Yogi whips up a makeshift motorcar and the five of them set out on an adventure to evade Ranger Smith and keep themselves out of the zoo. Also on their trail is Trapper and Yapper, who’ve been hired to help Ranger Smith track them down, but with help along the way from Yogi’s young friends, known as the Lone Raiders, they’re sure to escape.

Yogi Bear was still quite popular in the 1980s, so it’s fitting that Hanna-Barbera’s Superstars 10 debut would feature him as the leading character. Yogi’s trek across the country with Boo-Boo and the three cubs finds them hiding out in treehouses, caves, the old west, the swamps of the bayou, a carnival, and even atop the Empire State Building. Ranger Smith is in his usual “I’ll get Yogi Bear or else” mode throughout, always eluded and never really successful at the task. It’s also nice to see other characters like Wally Gator, Snagglepuss, and Quick Draw McGraw make appearances, though it’s too bad that Baba Looey is absent this time around. Like all of the films in the series, none of them are particularly mind-blowing, but Yogi’s adventure across the USA with his friends is nothing if not an enjoyable romp.

Yogi’s Great Escape was animated and finished on 35 mm film at the aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Warner Archive brings the film to Blu-ray on a BD-50 disc, maintaining its original television aspect ratio. This release bears (no pun intended) many of the positive hallmarks that are typical of animated titles released through Warner Archive, including a more vibrant color palette with good contrast, a high bitrate that sits primarily between 30 to 40Mbps, and a presentation that maintains linework, cel dirt, and other debris. There’s also a bit of mild speckling, as to be expected, and a light layer of film grain. Some mild noise removal has been applied, but everything appears organic with only a mild softness and good definition all around.

Audio is presented in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. Outside of some extremely mild distortion, there’s little to complain about as the track offers plenty of fidelity and support for score, dialogue, and sound effects.

No extras have been included with this single-disc release of Yogi’s Great Escape, but for people of a certain age who saw these films when they originally aired on TV, or rented them on VHS through Worldvision Enterprises, seeing them in such high quality is a real treat. Thankfully, Warner Archive realized that not everybody may like every film in this series, and they’ve given them the opportunity to purchase them individually, or pick them all up in the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 Blu-ray boxed set; which, if you’re planning on getting all of them, is the better bargain. Regardless, it’s great to see these films finally make it past the DVD format.

- Tim Salmons

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