Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Bruce W. Smith|
|Screenplay by||Reginald Hudlin|
by Robin Harris
|Music by||John Barnes|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$8.4 million|
Bébé's Kids (released on home media as Robin Harris' Bébé's Kids) is a 1992 American animated comedy film produced by Hyperion Studio for Paramount Pictures. Directed by Bruce W. Smith, it is based upon comedian Robin Harris' stand-up comedy act of the same name. Harris died two years before the film was released; in the film, he is voiced by Faizon Love in his film debut. Other voice actors include Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, and Tone Lōc, as well as Tom Everett, Rich Little, and Louie Anderson.
The film was originally released on July 31, 1992, and received mixed to unfavorable reviews from critics and grossed $8.4 million.
The film is based on a stand-up routine by Robin Harris that is shown in a brief live-action segment at the beginning of the film. The story begins with an animated version of Harris woefully recounting his troubles to a blind bartender. He traces his problems all the way back to Jamika, an attractive woman he met at a funeral.
Outside the premises, Robin approaches Jamika and asks her out. Jamika picks up her mild-mannered son, Leon, from the babysitter and invites Robin to come along with her to an amusement park named Fun World, to which Robin agrees. The next day, Jamika introduces Robin to Kahlil, LaShawn, and Pee-Wee, the neglected, truant, violent children of her absentee hedonistic friend, Bébé, for whom Jamika serves as an oblivious enabler. All six travel to Fun World, but are confronted by security before they can enter, and warned they are being watched. Upon entering the park, the kids are set loose and promptly wreak havoc. Robin's disastrous outing is further disrupted by a chance encounter with his ex-wife, Dorothea.
After going on a couple of rides with the kids, Robin and Jamika let the kids go off on their own again as they attempt to enjoy a ride through the Tunnel of Love, where Jamika commends Robin for his endurance. While Robin and Jamika spend time together on their own, Leon tries to fit in with Bébé's kids but is at first unsuccessful, although they allow him to tag along in their company. The kids then resume their trouble until they are caught by security. However, they escape and convince a bunch of other kids to spread the chaos. Meanwhile, Dorothea and her friend Vivian attempt to sabotage the growing relationship between Robin and Jamika but are thwarted by Robin.
Elsewhere, in an abandoned building, Leon and Bébé's kids are captured by robot versions of the Terminator, Abraham Lincoln, and Richard Nixon, and are put on trial. The robot "Terminator" acts as the judge who decides whether the kids are worth sending to the electric chair, while "Lincoln" acts as the kids' defense attorney with "Nixon" as the prosecutor. The kids win their freedom through the power of rap, then celebrate their victory by stealing a pirate ship and crashing it into an ocean liner, tying up the crew and passengers.
Robin and Jamika finally leave Fun World with the kids who have destroyed the park. When a cop drives by, Robin tries to get his attention, but Bébé's kids glare at the cop threateningly and he flees, yelling, "Uh oh, those are Bébé's Kids!" (a line spoken by several other characters).
Robin drops the kids off at their apartment, where he sees how they really live. Bébé, as usual, is not home and has left a note on the empty refrigerator, expecting Jamika to feed the kids. Back at the bar, Robin has a change of heart and goes back to the apartment to hang out with the kids a little while longer. Later, the kids force him to take them all to Las Vegas, where the kids are recognized, and everyone runs away screaming. Pee-Wee pulls a plug out of a socket, causing a blackout.
- Robin Harris as himself (stand-up segment at the beginning)
- Faizon Love as Robin Harris
- Vanessa Bell Calloway as Jamika
- Marques Houston as Kahlil
- Jonell Green as LaShawn
- Tone Lōc as Pee-Wee
- Wayne Collins, Jr. as Leon
- Myra J. as Dorothea
- Nell Carter as Vivian
- Phillip Glasser as Winthrop "Opie"
- Louie Anderson as Security Guard #1
- Tom Everett as Security Guard #2
- Rich Little as President Nixon
- John Witherspoon as Card Player #1
- George Wallace as Card Player #4
Original stand-up version
In the original act, Robin's prospective girlfriend, Jamika, asks him to take her and her son to a Disneyland-type amusement park, but when he agrees she shows up with four kids, three of whom are the children of her friend, Bébé, whom Jamika refuses to judge.
Bébé's kids are misbehaved truants and violent troublemakers. They terrorize park staff, cut off Donald Duck's feet to use for swimming, try to steal Robin's 8-track/radio while he's listening to it, and make a general menace of themselves, literally destroying the park. Their reputation is so bad that even the police refuse to mess with them. In the second act, Robin is picked up from a bar by Jamika and the kids. The kids force him to take them to Las Vegas. Pee-Wee pulls out a power cord and the city's power goes out.
Animated film version
The film made a few changes to the original story, moving the location from Disneyland to a generic amusement park named "Fun World," which is completely demolished by the kids' antics. The film was heavily toned down in content to make it more appropriate for family viewing, but still received a PG-13 rating.
|Bébé's Kids: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||August 25, 1992|
- "Down Home Blues" – Z Z Hill
- "Tear It Up (On Our Worst Behavior)" – Immature
- "I Got It Bad, Y´All" – King Tee
- "I Got the 411" – Urban Prop
- "It Takes Two to Make a Party" – Maxi Priest featuring Little Shawn
- "66 Mello" – New Version of Soul
- "Oh No!" – Arrested Development
- "Straight Jackin'" – Bebe's Kids feat. Tone Lōc
- "Freedom Song" – Bebe's Kids feat. Tone Lōc
- "I Ain't Havin' It" – Faizon Love
- "Standing on the Rock of Love" – Aretha Franklin
- "Your Love Keeps Working on Me" – Joey Diggs
- "Can´t Say Goodbye" – The O'Jays
- "Deeper" – Ronald Isley
- "All My Love" – Phil Perry featuring Renée Diggs
- "I Want to Thank You for Your Love" – The Emotions
The film earned a total $8,442,162 in North America. The film opened at #7 with $3,010,987 in its opening weekend (7/31–8/2), behind Death Becomes Her; Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; Mo' Money; A League of Their Own; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and Sister Act.
Bébé's Kids was released on DVD on October 5, 2004. The original theatrical and home video release were preceded by the short, Itsy Bitsy Spider. This title (including the Itsy Bitsy Spider short) was released on Laserdisc in March 1993.
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- McBride, Joseph (1992-08-02). "Bébé's Kids'". Variety. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
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- ""Bébé's Kids"". Washington Post. 1992-08-01. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- Bébé's Kids at Rotten Tomatoes
- Aleiss, Angela (1999-01-24). "MOVIES; Animated Features of a Different Hue; More films are using ethnic and minority characters, but there is still a dearth of African American roles". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
- $8,442,162 earnings in North America, boxofficemojo.com; accessed March 28, 2016.
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- Solomon, Charles (1994-01-04). "It's Tough to Stay Afloat in the Film-Cartoon Biz". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
- "The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Trivia". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- "Bébé's Kids for SNES - Gamerankings". Retrieved 2009-10-29.