|Directed by||Bruce W. Smith|
|Screenplay by||Reginald Hudlin|
|Based on||Bébé's Kids|
by Robin Harris
|Music by||John Barnes|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$8.4 million|
Bebe's Kids (also marketed as Robin Harris' Bébé's Kids) is a 1992 American adult animated comedy film produced by Hyperion Studio for Paramount Pictures. Directed by Bruce W. Smith, in his directorial debut, 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. The film co-stars Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter and Tone Lōc.
Originally released theatrically on July 31, 1992 by Paramount Pictures, it received mostly negative reviews from critics and grossed $8.4 million at the box office.
The original stand-up routine by Robin Harris is shown in a brief live-action segment before an animated version of Harris woefully recounts 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 the amusement park Fun World, to which Robin agrees. The next day, Jamika introduces Robin to LaShawn, Kahlil and Pee-Wee, a trio of neglected, truant, violent children and the offspring of her absentee hedonistic friend, Bébé, for whom Jamika serves as an obvious enabler. All six travel to Fun World, but are confronted by security at the entrance, 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, and her best friend Vivian.
After going on a couple of rides with the kids, Robin and Jamika let them 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. The kids then resume their mischief until they are caught by security. However, they escape and convince a group of other free-range children to spread the chaos. Meanwhile, Dorothea and 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 animatronic robot versions of the Terminator, Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon, and are put on trial. The robot "Terminator" acts as judge who decides whether their antics are worth sending to the electric chair, while "Lincoln" acts as the kids' defense attorney with "Nixon" as the prosecutor. Leon proves his courage through a rap that not only wins their freedom but also gains him Bébé's kids' respect. They celebrate their victory by stealing a pirate ship and crashing it into a recreation of the RMS Titanic, taking hostage the crew and passengers, including Dorothea and Vivian.
Robin and Jamika finally leave Fun World, with the park ultimately crumbling in destruction through Robin's rearview mirror. When a cop passes, Robin tries to get his attention, but Bébé's kids scare the officer away. Robin drops the kids off at their apartment, where he sees how they really live. Bébé, as usual, is nowhere to be seen, and has left a note on the empty refrigerator, expecting Jamika to feed the kids. Sad to see Robin go, the kids bid him an emotional goodbye, but not before he gives them what money he has left so they can order themselves a pizza. At the bar, Robin has a change of heart and returns to hang out with the kids a little while longer, despite all the mayhem they've caused. The kids force him to take them all to Las Vegas, where everybody flees in terror when they recognize the kids. Pee-Wee finds and pulls a plug out of a socket, causing a citywide blackout.
- Faizon Love as Robin Harris
- Harris makes a live-action appearance in the opening scene.
- 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 neglected children of her friend, Bébé, whom Jamika refuses to judge.
Bébé's kids are misbehaved truants and violent troublemakers, over whom Jamika does not attempt to exercise any control. 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.
|Robin Harris' Bebe's Kids: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Genre||Hip hop, rap, funk, soul|
|1.||"Tear It Up (On Our Worst Behavior)"||Chris Stokes, Christopher Stewart, Jermaine Dupri, Thaddis Harrell, Marquis Dair||Immature||3:26|
|2.||"I Got It Bad Y'all"||Roger McBride, Eric Brooks, Mark Jordan||King Tee||3:28|
|3.||"I Got the 411"||Taura Taylor-Mendoza, Bajita Ivie, Humphrey Riley||Urban Prop||5:04|
|4.||"It Takes Two to Make a Party"||Max Elliott, Tyrone Wilkins, Howard Thompson, Michael Bennett||Maxi Priest featuring Little Shawn||3:56|
|5.||"66 Mello"||George Worrell Jr., William Collins, Claydes Smith, George Clinton Jr., Dennis Thomas, George Brown, Robert Mickens, Robert Bell, Ronald Bell, James Phillips, Michael O. Johnson, Otha Nash, Richard Westfield||New Version of Soul||4:57|
|6.||"Oh No!"||Todd Thomas, Timothy Barnwell||Arrested Development||4:56|
|7.||"Straight Jackin'"||Reginald Hudlin, Eric Sadler, William Stephney, Chris Champion, Michael Berrin||Bébé's Kids (Wayne Collins, Jonell Green, Marques Houston) featuring Tone Lōc||2:49|
|8.||"Freedom Song"||Hudlin, Allen Hayes, Stephney, Champion, Berrin||Bébé's Kids (Wayne Collins, Jonell Green, Marques Houston) featuring Tone Lōc||2:44|
|9.||"I Ain't Havin' It"||Hudlin, Sadler, Hayes||Faizon Love||3:25|
|10.||"Standing on the Rock of Love"||John Barnes, William Griffin, Cynthia Mizelle||Aretha Franklin||5:04|
|11.||"Your Love Keeps Working on Me"||Joey Diggs, Barnes, Ronald White||Joey Diggs||4:56|
|12.||"Can't Say Goodbye"||Barnes, Griffin, White||The O'Jays||5:18|
|13.||"Deeper"||Barnes, Griffin||Ronald Isley||5:49|
|14.||"All My Love"||William Miller Jr., Carole Stevens||Phil Perry featuring Renee Diggs||6:18|
|15.||"I Want to Thank You for Your Love"||Barnes, Griffin, White, Wanda Vaughn||The Emotions||4:29|
In its opening weekend, the film ranked seventh with $3,010,987, behind Death Becomes Her, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Mo' Money, A League of Their Own, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sister Act. Its final domestic total is $8,442,162.
The film was released on VHS by Paramount Home Video on March 10, 1993, as well as on Laserdisc on March 17. It was then released on DVD on October 5, 2004. It had its re-release on DVD by Warner Home Video on November 24, 2015, under the Warner Archive Collection. On July 12, 2022, the film was released on Blu-ray for the first time.
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