A scant two years after Smokey the Bear was re-imagined as a hulking, Sam Elliot-voiced computer-generated beast who could morph out of anyone he pleases, he's back and re-re-imagined—still computer-generated, only this time on perhaps a tighter budget. And yes, the U.S. Forest Serviceand the Ad Council have chosen to keep him saddled with that endearingly awkward and seemingly backwards catchphrase, "Get Your Smokey On."
But the big news is this: Smokey finally gets a backstory. Check it out:
Once you get past the sub-par production values and voice acting, the animated stills showing his past is quietly poignant, and much more effective than his conversations with the bug-eyed kids. If your home and family was destroyed by wildfires, wouldn't you want to go work out at the gym and scare kids straight? I would.