Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Tim Salmons
  • Review Date: May 10, 2024
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose (Blu-ray Review)


Arthur Davis, Oscar Dufau, John Kimball, Jay Sarbry, Paul Sommers, Rudy Zamora, Ray Patterson

Release Date(s)

1987 (February 20, 2024)


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

Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose (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 November 26, 1987, Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose sees the return of Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo, this time bringing along a cavalcade of familiar faces (Huckleberry Hound, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, and Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy) for a magical trip aboard the world-famous Spruce Goose airplane. But once the plane takes off, they find a young stowaway, Bernice, who joins them for adventures involving saving animals at the South Pole who are caught in a snowstorm and can’t escape, an ocean liner full of animals lost at sea, and a mysterious island where someone has scrawled the word “HELP” into the sand.

This fourth animated TV movie sees the return of a number of Hanna-Barbera characters (perhaps a few too many), who join Yogi Bear for a trip across the globe, with a surprise appearance by Dastardly and Muttley (named Dread Baron and Mumbly here). It’s a very, very stretched-out idea that mixes a bit of environmentalism into the proceedings, hopping from one escapade to the next, but feels more like a meandering first draft than an actual plot. Matters aren’t helped by the presence of the annoying Bernice, who acts as a fifth wheel more than a participant. Even so, Yogi and his friends take her to heart, finding themselves in a variety of predicaments, but managing to come out on top with the magical help of the legendary Howard Hughes mechanical marvel. It’s a breezy, laid-back skylark (pun intended), even for a Hanna-Barbera production, but it’s perhaps not among the top tier of the films in this series.

Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose 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. As with the previous Hanna-Barbera Blu-rays, this release also offers an excellent upgrade with bitrates sitting primarily between 30 and 40Mbps. Linework, cel dirt, and other inherent debris in the original animation remain intact, even if the presentation itself is not always the sharpest. It’s a tad scrubbed, but not to the point of appearing inorganic. As usual, color and contrast levels are ideal, with no major defects to be seen.

Audio is presented in English 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio with optional subtitles in English SDH. Like its predecessors, it offers a well-balanced experience with plenty of good support for dialogue, score, and sound effects. It’s also clean with no signs hiss, dropouts, or distortion.

No extras have been included with this single-disc release of Yogi Bear and the Magical Flight of the Spruce Goose, 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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