Jellystone! is the first television production featuring iconic cartoon character, Yogi Bear, in a long while. Not only is the bear known for stealing pic-a-nic baskets returning, but he’s bringing all his Hanna-Barbera friends with him. During Comic-Con@Home, the new animated series held a panel to talk more about what fans can expect. In attendance were EP and showrunner, Carl Greenblatt, supervising director, Ian Wasseluk, and voice talent, Jeff Bergman, Grace Helbig, and Niccole Thurman.
The original idea for the show was to create shorts similar to HBO Max’s Looney Tunes Cartoons. However, Greenblatt thought the best part of the Jellystone! characters was when they were together as a whole. During his youth, he really enjoyed the Laff-A-Lympics and liked the idea of a little Hanna-Barbera universe so he decided to fit as many of the characters he could in one show. However, he didn’t want to be beholden to the feel of the originals so he took what was great about them and remixed them with a modern sensibility.
Initially, they focused on seven main groups for Jellystone!: Auggie Doggy, who is now a girl, and Doggy Daddy with a helicopter parenting vibe, Yogi, Boo-Boo and Cindy as doctors, Top Cat and his crew, Huckleberry Hound, whose stories involve the whole town since he’s the mayor, Jabberjaw, Magilla Gorilla, and El Kabong. They felt it would be funny to have Quickdraw McGraw stay in his El Kabong persona all the time and be a Batman hero type for the town.
Audiences will be surprised by the different characters that appear. Playing an old couple are Lippy the Lion and Harvey Har Har. Mr. Jinx is a fun foil to Huckleberry and serves as his right-hand man. They even find a way to weave in the human characters such as Mighty Mightor, Space Ghost, Funky Phantom, and Falcon. Johnny Quest and Hadji are all grown up and own a bowling alley.
The voice cast play different roles on Jellystone!. Bergman, a modern-day Mel Blanc, plays Yogi, Mr. Jinx, and Wally Gator. Helbig plays Yogi’s colleague, Cindy Bear, and she does it without the classic southern accent. She describes the character as a sweet spaz and feels Cindy, Yogi, and Boo-Boo have a Three Amigos dynamic.
Thurman voices Jabberjaw, Squiddly Diddly and others. She wasn’t too familiar with the original Jabberjaw but wanted to give her a hot mess, super excitable, and loud vibe. Despite all these familiar characters, the creators wanted to break up the traditional pairings and have them interact with new people. For example, Mr. Jinx with Huckleberry instead of Pixie and Dixie.
You can stream Jellystone! this July 29 on HBO Max. But before then the panelists shared some teases for the upcoming series. Jabberjaw has a crush on El Kabong and will assume the identity of a villain to get closer with the hero. The town also needs a new representative and they might parody a reality competition from England to determine who will be selected. They then showed a clip where Grape Ape is a kaiju and passes out in the middle of town but not before destroying everything in his path. Catch the whole panel below and the video is already set to the clip.
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