I never try to understand my dreams – just take them at their (often bizarre) face value.
But, last night must have been a manifestation of seeing too many commercials for the new CGI Yogi Bear Movie – and my recent indulgences in the films and television product of Alfred Hitchcock. …Let’s go to the dream!
In the dream, Yogi Bear’s CGI movie failed miserably, and the “smarter than average” bear was looking for a comeback vehicle. While said vehicle was not firm, the film’s director was… Alfred Hitchcock – looking just as if he stepped out of the mid-1950s. Though my dream was “in-color”, I think Mr. Hitchcock even appeared in “black-and-white”.
As if THAT wasn’t weird enough, I was selected as the screenwriter by Mr. Hitchcock, and approved by Mr. Bear!
With Yogi’s best writers unable to commit to the project – Warren Foster was dead, and Mark Evanier was unavailable – the job fell to me, because BOTH Mr. Hitchcock, and Mr. Bear enjoyed my freelance scripting jobs on the Disney Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic books published by Gemstone and Boom Studios! (…Yes, really!)
Flabbergasted, I asked: “Do you actually READ those things?”
In tandem, they replied: “Doesn’t everybody?”
I thought it best NOT to correct such “gods” of the entertainment industry.
Immediately, I went to work on several treatments…
“Bear-Faced Psycho” found Yogi in the shower, when the curtain opened to the harsh chords of Bernard Herrmann to reveal someone dressed as an “old lady bear” who hits Yogi in the face with a cream pie!
I envisioned Hitchcock’s magnificent shot of the residual splattered pie-cream swirling down the drain, as Yogi licked as much as possible off his face. Oh, and if you don’t think this is scary… the cream pie was laced with deadly “Joker Venom”!
Alas, Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Bear rejected the concept, as it would have Yogi “exit the picture” halfway through, as Janet Leigh did in “PSYCHO” – and no one felt that Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith could carry that much of the film’s remainder without Yogi.
And, so we moved on to “Lifeboat Bear”. (I KNOW this was the result of recent events, because I’d just reviewed “ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S LIFEBOAT” on this Blog!)
We open with Yogi Bear alone and adrift on a lifeboat in the North Atlantic.
One by one, other Hanna-Barbera characters begin to climb aboard. Not just any H-B characters, but OTHER “animal characters” that continuously confounded a human authority figure… just like Yogi did!
In turn, there was Top Cat, Wally Gator, Magilla Gorilla, Squiddly Diddly, and Breezly Bruin the polar bear.
And so we have lots of Hitchcock-ian TENSION, as Yogi confronts the others about “stealing his shtick” – and the rest show open envy over Yogi’s stardom.
Then the tension INCREASES, as a “Saturday Morning Network Executive from the ‘70s and ‘80s” is pulled from the drink – and ALL the characters gang up on HIM for the irreparable damage of blandness, pro-social messaging, and toy-based merchandising he and his ilk inflicted – not only upon them, but on the entire field in which they toiled!
They beat him and threw him overboard to drown!
Alfred Hitchcock loved the treatment, and Yogi felt it was “justified” after “Yogi’s Ark”, “Yo-Yogi” and everything else in between!
But, Joe Barbera stepped-in and said that it went against everything his early characters were all about – BEING FUNNY! I couldn’t argue with that (…even given the unspeakable atrocities of “Yogi’s Ark” and “Yo-Yogi”), and scrapped the idea!
Finally, genius struck… in the form of “Alfred Hitchcock’s The Bears”!
For no apparent reason, beyond the Hitchcock-brand of suspense and terror, the bears in Jellystone Park devolved into ZOMBIES, would form packs (ominously perching on some VERY STURDY high-tension wires), and attack innocent tourists indiscriminately!
It was up to Yogi to lead Boo-Boo, Cindy Bear, Ranger Smith, Snagglepuss, Yakky Doodle, Chopper, Fibber Fox, Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor, and myself out of the park and to safety! (Yes, I ACTED in the film, too! As “Frightened Tourist # 1”! It was MY dream, after all!)
Alfred Hitchcock’s requisite cameo was to appear as the character of “Alfy Gator”, and not everyone makes it out alive… alas, poor Fibber!
The film was a tremendous success, and I was about to buy the DVD, when I woke up!
Um, that’s REALLY how the dream went… believe it or not.