Fat Albert (film)
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
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 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 (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 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. 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. 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 Rothstein 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 theatre 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
- Bill Cosby as Himself
- Omarion as Reggie
- J. Mack Slaughter, Jr. as Arthur
- Alice Greczyn as Becky
- Rick Overton as Coach Gillespie
- Keri Lynn Pratt as Heather
- Dylan Cash as Emmitt
- Aaron Carter as Darren (credited as "Teen")
- Fonzworth Bentley as Salesman (as Derek 'Mr. Bentley' Watkins)
- Jeff Garlin as Jerry (uncredited)
- Joel Madden as Classmate with Mohawk (uncredited)
- Mase as Himself (archive footage)
- Nick Zano as Classmate
- Earl Billings as Mr. Mudfoot
- Catero Colbert as Lead Teen
- Charles Duckworth as Teen #1
- Benjamin Diskin as Teen #2
- Josh Uhler as Teen #3
- Jeremy Suarez as Russell
- Raven-Symoné as Danielle
- Bill Ratner as Announcer
Differences from the TV show
- Despite what appears in the film, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids never appeared in TV Land. The episodes shown in the film is produced specifically for the film and animated with Flash animation rather than the limited animation style of Filmation shown in the original episodes.
- The characters have a different design; most noticeably Weird Harold and Bill. Except for Russell and Mudfoot who look exactly like their original designs, the rest of the characters slightly resemble their actors. The Three River Blockbusters' designs are relatively different as they don't wear there trademark jackets and one of the members is white in the film.
- The characters don't break into song in the episodes, although they do sing at least one song per episode; though they do sing too much in the film itself. Though both francises' musical scores have moralistic meanings.
- Rudy's personality in the film, is completely opposite of his cartoon counterpart. In the original series, Rudy was often portrayed as selfish, arrogant and rather troublesome. Here, he's shown to be a polite, underconfident gentleman.
- Weird Harold is called "Old Weird Harold" and sports a huge afro. He also serves as Mushmouth's translator.
- Everyone could understand Mushmouth just fine in the original cartoons. But only Weird Harold knows what he's saying. A running gag is that Mushmouth would say something inappropriate which Harold would reply by 'You watch your mouth'.
- Fat Albert is very naive and clumsy in the film.
- Bucky's fearsome strike pose was not shown in the original series. He would often strike that pose in the film when him and Dumb Donald argue about who's in the conversation which Bill had to break up. In one point, Bill ended the argument quickly before it begun by saying "Don't start" and Bucky still did his pose.
- Some of the characters such as Mushmouth [who plays the accordion] and Fat Albert [who just sang] played different instruments.
- Mushmouth's voice is high pitched and kind of fast unlike the original cartoon where it's slow and deep. Bucky and Russell's voice is older than his voice in the cartoons.
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 the TCM Movie Database
- Fat Albert at allmovie
- Fat Albert at Box Office Mojo
- Fat Albert at Rotten Tomatoes
- Official Bill Cosby Site