The video: With the release of the 3-D Yogi Bear movie just days away, a brief clip billed as an alternate ending to the kid flick exploded on the internet on Monday. The video follows the plot of the climactic scene of the 2007 drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Yogi enters a room looking for Boo Boo, who is seated and holding a double-barrel shotgun. The bears lock eyes, then Boo Boo gestures toward a poster offering a $5,000 reward "for the killing of Yogi Bear." Yogi says, "Don't that poster look dusty," then, just as Jesse James did, he calmly walks forward and meets his violent fate. At the request of Warner Bros., the clip now includes a disclaimer saying it's a parody created by Edmund Earle, a 25-year-old Rhode Island School of Design illustration grad who did the spoof in his spare time, and says he has "no affiliation with the actual creators of the film."
The reaction: This is "brilliant," says Matt Goldberg in Collider. "If Yogi Bear actually ended with this fake 'alternate ending,' I would declare it the best film of 2010," even if it's jam-packed with "every lame slapstick joke in the book." Usually, parodies by fans with "a surplus of talent and time" help new releases "garner attention" they need to get people into theaters, says Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times. "But it's hard to imagine Warner Bros. will be hugely thrilled that a movie aimed at kids may become better known for a dark, murderous ending." This might not be the flattery those "picnic basket-stealing bandits of Jellystone National Park" would hope for, says Peter Hall in Moviefone, but it's "a loving, homemade hat-tip to a certain film starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck." Watch Earle's "alternate ending" below: