The Yogi Bear “alternate ending” video that took the Internet by storm yesterday is the handiwork of New York-based animator Edmund Earle, whose 3-D modeling and animation work can be seen on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and elsewhere. But when he saw the trailer for Yogi Bear, his attention turned to pic-a-nics. And … brutality. We caught up with Earle to ask him about Boo Boo, shotguns, and his rise to viral video fame.
“This started in September, when they released the trailer, and it seemed ripe for parody,” Earle says. “It’s a sad trend to revamp these old shows in pretty horrifying CG films, and my brand of humor is always to put something ridiculous and stupid into a dark and serious situation. I’m a big fan of [The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford] … and it seemed like a good mix, the goofiness of Yogi Bear mixed with about the darkest thing you can get.”
Earle began working on the short film late at night, but says that because he’s an experienced animator, he “knows a lot of shortcuts.” “I’ve animated humans before, but we all have a specific idea of how humans look and behave. With animals, you have more leeway — they can look generic. It was an easy cross over.”
The video has already pulled in over 670,000 views, some of which came from the legal department at Warner Bros. (Entertainment Weekly and Warner Bros. are owned by the same parent company.) “[Warner] contacted me, and they were very supportive,” Earle says. They did ask, though, that he add a disclaimer to his video to make it clear that the studio had nothing to do with its creation. (Earle complied, but declined to make the video accessible only to those over 18.)
Earle says he’s “amazed” by the response his work has garnered, especially since the video only went up yesterday, but he hasn’t made any firm plans about his next project. Except, of course, seeing Yogi Bear when it comes out. “After living the Yogi Bear experience for the past two months, it’s sort of become part of me,” he laughs.