Yogi's Ark Lark is a television movie aired in 1972 on ABC. It was the pilot film for Yogi's Gang. This movie features the appearances of many Hanna-Barbera characters from the 1950s and 1960s cartoons.
Concerned about the terrible state of the environment, dozens of animals gather for a meeting in Jellystone Park, chaired by Yogi Bear. They decide to leave their homes and search for "the perfect place"; i.e., a place free of pollution, deforestation, and other forms of mankind's despoilment. Jellystone handyman Noah Smitty helps them build a flying ship for their journey, and they decide to name it after him. Because "Smitty's Houseboat" is too long to paint on the bow, they name it "Noah's Ark." With Noah at the helm, they travel to places around the world searching for "the perfect place." They start by driving down the highway into the ocean, where they soon end up on the back of a sleeping Moby Dick. Huckleberry Hound is sent down to wake him. They then end up in the Sahara Desert, which they originally mistake for a beach. The desert sun causes Yogi to hallucinate and believe he's King Tut until Boo Boo and Noah Smitty arrive. Some time later, So So spots an oasis. As Yogi and crew settle down to make themselves at home, Lambsy Divey spots a "dragon", which turns out to be a construction vehicle developing a new city. Yogi and the crew then take their leave of the area.
They soon arrive in antarctic territory and settle down there....until it ends up like the oasis. Next, Yogi and the crew wind up in outer space upon going up too far. It isn’t long before Earth ejects its "junk" (missiles, satellites, etc.) into space. With the Ark back on earth and sailing the sea, tensions arise between the animals. Huckleberry Hound throws water down a pipe, which causes Dum Dum to emerge and throw water at him. Quick Draw McGraw insults Snagglepuss’ slicing of salami. Peter Potamus insults Magilla Gorilla by telling Magilla he looks like a gorilla. Lippy the Lion grows tired of Hardy Har Har's complaining. Yogi Bear becomes aware of this just as So So spots a typhoon coming, which the animals struggle to survive through. The typhoon lands them on top of a mountain and the animals almost believe that they’ve found what they’ve been looking for....but are disappointed again when Yakky Doodle returns with an empty tin can and the animals notice a deforestation occurring below.
At this point, the younger animals (consisting of Augie Doggie, Boo Boo Bear, Baba Looey, Benny the Ball, Lambsy, Shag Rugg, and Yakky Doodle) come to a decision of their own: that they should all simply go back home and clean up the messes that they were trying to escape. This decision is met with unanimous approval, and the animals all head for home so that they can start turning it into "the perfect place".
During the credits, Wally Gator and Squiddly Diddly are cleaning the rivers, Paw and Shag Rugg are picking up garbage around their house, and Yogi Bear picks up a recently discarded hamburger wrapping.
List of Characters
The following Hanna-Barbera characters appeared in this movie (not all of whom appeared on Yogi’s Gang) in alphabetical order:
- Atom Ant
- Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy
- Yogi Bear's Family
- Hokey Wolf and Ding-A-Ling
- Huckleberry Hound
- Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har
- Magilla Gorilla
- Moby Dick (from Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor)
- Peter Potamus and So-So
- Pixie and Dixie
- Quick Draw McGraw and Baba Looey
- Ruff and Reddy
- Sawtooth the Beaver (Rufus Ruffcut's pet beaver on Wacky Races)
- Secret Squirrel
- Squiddly Diddly
- Top Cat and his gang (Benny the Ball, Spook, Choo Choo, Fancy Fancy, and the Brain)
- Touché Turtle and Dum Dum
- Wally Gator
- Yakky Doodle and Chopper
- Yogi Bear and Boo Boo
- An unknown dinosaur character
Differences Between Pilot and Series
- Although this was the pilot for Yogi's Gang, some changes were made for the series:
- Noah Smitty was written out, and only the animals were on the ark.
- The vessel’s name was changed from "Noah's Ark" to "Yogi's Ark".
- Some of the animals, such as Top Cat, were also written out, thus giving the ark a smaller crew.
- This one-hour feature was later turned into two half-hour episodes of Yogi's Gang with new intro and concluding sequences for each episode. To fit the feature into these new time frames, some of its sequences were shortened or edited out.
- The song "The Perfect Place" is sung six times throughout the film, and would later be remade as the theme song for Yogi's Gang, with different lyrics.
- Mel Blanc as Secret Squirrel
- Daws Butler as Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Wally Gator, Peter Potamus, Augie Doggie, Lippy the Lion, Dixie, Baba Looey, Lambsy, Top Cat
- Henry Corden as Paw Rugg, Truck Driver #1
- Walker Edmiston as Squiddly Diddly, Yakky Doodle
- Allan Melvin as Magilla Gorilla, Truck Driver #2, Man
- Don Messick as Boo Boo, Atom Ant, Touché Turtle, Pixie, So So, Moby Dick
- John Stephenson as Benny the Ball, Doggie Daddy, Hardy Har Har
- Jean Vander Pyl as Flo Rugg, Maw Rugg, Woman
- Lennie Weinrib as Cap'n Noah Smitty
Note #1: Choo Choo, Spook, Fancy Fancy, The Brain, Secret Squirrel, Hokey Wolf, Ding-A-Ling Wolf, Chopper, Ruff and Reddy, Dum Dum, Shag Rugg and Sawtooth the Beaver appear, but have no dialogue.
Note #2: Hardy Har Har, Atom Ant, Squiddly Diddly, Top Cat, Benny the Ball, and Yakky Doodle are voiced by John Stephenson, Don Messick, Daws Butler, and Walker Edmiston here. It was presumed that Mel Blanc, Paul Frees, Howard Morris, Arnold Stang and Jimmy Weldon weren't available to voice them for this TV movie, while Benny's voice actor Maurice Gosfield had died in 1964. In fact with his Daws Butler voice, Top Cat sounded just like Hokey Wolf. This may be why Hokey and Ding-A-Ling didn't have dialogue in this movie, although Hokey did have dialogue in one episode of Yogi's Gang. Though Arnold Stang continued to voice Top Cat after this, John Stephenson and Don Messick voiced Hardy Har Har and Squiddly Diddly in Yogi's Gang and other appearances.
Note #3: Don Messick began voicing Touché Turtle here after the death of Bill Thompson. John Stephenson began voicing Doggie Daddy here because Doug Young was caring for his ailing wife at the time.
Note #4: Cindy Bear, Snooper and Blabber, Mr. Jinks, Loopy De Loop, Scooby-Doo, Blubber Bear, Morocco Mole, Precious Pupp, Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long Coyote, Punkin' Puss and Mushmouse, Breezly and Sneezly, Yippee, Yappee and Yahooey, Bristle Hound, Mildew Wolf, Motormouse, Autocat, the Cattanooga Cats, and the Hair Bear Bunch are absent from the movie, although Morocco and Cindy did appear occasionally in Yogi's Gang.
- Produced and Directed by: Joseph Barbera and William Hanna
- Executive Producers: Norm Prescott, Iwao Takamoto
- Associate Producers: Lew Marshall, Alex Lovy, Art Scott, Zoran Janjic
- Story: Bob Ogle, Dick Robbins, Don Christensen, Fred Freiberger
- Story Direction: George Gordon, Don Christensen, Clark Haas, Warren Tufts
- Starring Daws Butler as the voices of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and others
- Voices: Henry Corden, Don Messick, Walker Edmiston, John Stephenson, Allan Melvin, Jean Vander Pyl, Len Weinrib, Mel Blanc
- Animation Director: Charles A. Nichols
- Production Design: Iwao Takamoto
- Production Supervisors: Victor O. Schipek, Kirsten Hansen
- Character Design: Jerry Eisenberg, Takashi Masunaga
- Layout: Dick Bickenbach, Pete Alvarado, Jaime Diaz, Don Sheppard, Roman Arambula, Joel Seibel, Terry Slade
- Animation: Dick Lundy, Rudy Cataldi, Hicks Lokey, Tony Love, Tom Ray, Ken Southworth, Bob Goe, Ed Love, Bill Hutten, Morey Reden, Carlo Vinci
- Backgrounds: Walt Peregoy, Daniela Bielecka, Cathy Patrick, Don Watson
- Titles: Iraj Paran
- Musical Director: Hoyt Curtin
- Musical Supervision: Paul DeKorte
- Technical Supervisor: Frank Paiker
- Ink & Paint Supervisor: Jayne Barbera
- Ink and Paint: Joan Pabian
- Xerography: Robert "Tiger" West
- Sound Direction: Richard Olson, Bill Getty
- Editorial Supervisor: Larry Cowan
- Film Editor: James Yaras
- Sound Effects Editors: Richard Allen, Cliff Kohlweck
- Music Editor: James Yaras
- Negative Consultant: William E. DeBoer
- Post Production: Joed Eaton
- Camera: Dennis Weaver, Dick Blundell, Roy Wade, Ralph Migliori
- Animation Checkers: Carmel Lennon, Louise Luschwitz, Narelle Nixon, Jolanta Pillich, Kay Self
- A Hanna-Barbera Production
- RCA Sound Recording
- This Picture Made Under the Jurisdiction of IATSE-IA Affiliated with A.F.L.-C.I.O.
- © 1972 Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
Yogi's Ark Lark was released on the Yogi's Gang: The Complete Series DVD from the Warner Archive Collection 19 February 2013.
- Yogi's Ark Lark at the Internet Movie Database