Fat Albert (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joel Zwick|
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Written by||Charles Kipps
Shedrack Anderson III
|Music by||Richard Gibbs|
|Editing by||Tony Lombardo|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Fat Albert is a 2004 live-action/animated 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 (Kyla Pratt) deal with the challenges of being unpopular, and not having any friends except her foster sister. Her unpopularity stemmed from her tendency to withdraw into a world of her own as a consequence of the death of her grandfather, Albert Robertson, who was actually the inspiration for the Fat Albert character. Fat Albert and the gang must show her that she is special and that she can make friends. Unfortunately, disaster strikes, if Albert and his Friends stay in the real world they will begin to turn to dust and its 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.
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. Lauri's annoying ex-boyfriend Reggie (R&B singer Omarion), 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, 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 a track meet that Doris and Lauri have, then takes them home. 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 the characters in the show were based on) 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 is also there watching them. Then the group of men have a little race, showing no matter how old they are, 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 and the live-action characters singing the Fat Albert Theme Song.
- Kenan Thompson as Fat Albert
- Kyla Pratt as Doris Robertson
- Dania Ramirez as Lauri Robertson
- Shedrack Anderson III as Rudy
- Keith Robinson as Bill
- Marques Houston as Dumb Donald
- Jermaine Williams as Mushmouth
- Aaron Frazier as Old Weird Harold
- Alphonso McAuley as Bucky
- Jeremy Suarez as Russell (voice)
- Omarion as Reggie
- J. Mack Slaughter, Jr. as Arthur
- Alice Greczyn as Becky
- Keri Lynn Pratt as Heather
- Dylan Cash as Emmitt
- Bill Cosby as Himself
- Cameo appearances
- Raven-Symoné as Danielle (voice)
- Aaron Carter as Darren (credited as "Teen")
- Joel Madden (uncredited) as Classmate with Mohawk
- Fonzworth Bentley as Salesman (as Derek 'Mr. Bentley' Watkins)
- Jeff Garlin (uncredited) as Jerry
- Earl Billings as Mr. Mudfoot (voice)
- Mase (uncredited) as Himself (archive footage)
- Bill Ratner as Announcer (voice)
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." The film grossed $48.6 million worldwide.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Fat Albert|
- Fat Albert at the Internet Movie Database
- Fat Albert at AllRovi
- Fat Albert at Box Office Mojo
- Fat Albert at Rotten Tomatoes
- Official Bill Cosby Site