Fat Albert (film)

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Fat Albert
Fat albert poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Joel Zwick
Produced by John Davis
Written by Charles Kipps
William H. Cosby, Jr.
Based on Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids 
by Bill Cosby
Starring Kenan Thompson
Kyla Pratt
Dania Ramirez
Omarion
Bill Cosby
Music by Richard Gibbs
Cinematography Paul Elliott
Edited by Tony Lombardo
Production
  company
Davis Entertainment
SAH Enterprises
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • December 25, 2004 (2004-12-25)
Running time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million[1]
Box office $48,551,322

Fat Albert is a 2004 live-action/animated comedy film based on the Filmation animated series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The movie was produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and stars Kenan Thompson as the title character.

The plot surrounds Fat Albert and the gang leaving the cartoon world and entering the real world in order to help a teenage girl, Doris Robertson (Kyla Pratt), deal with the challenges of being unpopular, and not having any friends except her foster sister. Doris withdrew after the death of her grandfather, Albert Robertson, who was the real-life inspiration for the Fat Albert character. Fat Albert and the gang must show her that she is special and that she can make friends. But if Albert and his friends stay in the real world they will turn to celluloid dust, and it's up to Bill Cosby to help them get them back into the cartoon world.

Unlike films that meld the cartoon world with the real world while at the same time keeping the cartoon characters two-dimensional, e.g., Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam, etc., Fat Albert takes a twist and transforms the cartoon characters into three-dimensional humans, who have to come to grips with the differences that exist between their world and the real world.

This is currently the last film appearance of Bill Cosby.

Plot[edit]

The film opens with an animated sequence featuring Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) performing the original series' theme song "Gonna Have a Good Time".

In real life, Doris (Kyla Pratt) is a sad teenager still recovering from the death of her grandfather, and she's ignoring her foster sister Lauri's (Dania Ramirez) efforts to bring her a social life. Upon learning that her parents will be away for the weekend, Doris sadly lets a tear hit her TV remote, as Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is on. The tear opens up the TV world to the real world and Fat Albert jumps out of the TV, thinking she has a problem. Then, Rudy (Shedrack Anderson III), Dumb Donald (R&B singer Marques Houston), Mushmouth (Jermaine Williams), Bucky (Alphonso McAuley), and Old Weird Harold (Aaron Frazier) jump out of the TV. Bill (Keith Robinson) tells Russell (voice of Jeremy Suarez) to stay put and jumps out of the TV. Doris insists that she is fine, but the gang wants to stay and the show ends and they have to wait until the next day's show to go back. They follow Doris to school the next day and are amazed by the new technology like cell phones, laptops, and the Internet.

Fat Albert also notices Lauri and falls in love with her. In another attempt to help Doris, the gang persuades some cheerleaders to invite them all to an outdoors party. With some reluctance, Doris agrees to attend. While they're there, Lauri dances with Fat Albert. Reggie (R&B singer Omarion), an annoying classmate with an obsessive crush on Lauri, desperately attempts to make her jealous by dancing with Doris. When Lauri doesn't notice him, he tries to kiss Doris. Doris is offended and causes a scene. Doris runs from the party and Fat Albert warns the boy to stay away from Doris. The next day, Doris goes to school, but asks the gang to go to the park instead of following her. Weird Harold, normally very clumsy, joins in a basketball game and is able to play perfectly. Mushmouth, who can't talk normally, is taught how to speak by a little girl. Dumb Donald goes to the library and is able to read and remove his pink face-covering hat.

When Doris gets them and takes them back to her TV, Bucky, Old Weird Harold and Dumb Donald (whose eyes float in the TV without the hat on) jump into the TV but the show ends before the others can enter. Fat Albert and Bill have an argument in private about going back. Fat Albert wants to stay in the real world with Lauri, while Bill says otherwise. Meanwhile, Rudy has fallen in love with Doris and ask her if she would go out with him if he was a real person and she said yes. Searching for guidance, Fat Albert literally meets his maker Bill Cosby (who appears in a cameo) and tells him of the dilemma. Mr. Cosby tells him that his character is based on Doris' grandfather Albert Robertson which explains Doris' confusion over why Albert seems so familiar to her. Mr. Cosby then tells Fat Albert that he has to return to the TV, or he will turn into celluloid dust. Devastated, Fat Albert tries to tell Lauri that he has to leave, but she doesn't believe he's from the TV and thinks that he is just being insensitive. The next day, Mushmouth, Rudy, and Bill jump back into the TV. Fat Albert waits and goes to the track meet, where Doris and Lauri are competing, encourages Doris to a victory, and rushes to the girls' home on a borrowed skateboard. Bill jumps back out of the TV to tell Albert to hurry up. Albert pushes him back in, says goodbye to Doris and Lauri and jumps back into the TV.

Sometime later, Mr. Cosby and his friends (who were in his routines, then were characters in the show) stand in front of their old friend Albert Robertson's grave. As the camera pans on each of the men, images of their counterparts are seen, revealing, for instance, that Bill was inspired by Cosby himself. Doris watches them. The old men race away; they are still kids at heart, the same kids from the TV show that they helped Bill Cosby inspire.

Before the end credits start, Fat Albert is trying to leap out of the movie screen, but his pals are pulling him back. He points out that people in the audience need help and he even tells someone in the back of the theater that he/she needs to come back and finish watching the credits. The boys pull Fat Albert back inside and the end credits resume, beginning with the a blend of both the animated characters' voices and the live-action characters singing the Fat Albert Theme Song.

Cast[edit]

Cameo appearances[edit]

Voices[edit]

Production[edit]

The filming locations were in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Valencia, Santa Clarita, California.

Reception[edit]

Reviews of the film were generally negative, garnering a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes, carrying the consensus "A bland but good-natured adaptation of the cartoon show."[2] The film grossed $48.6 million worldwide.[3]

References[edit]

External links[edit]