Bébé's Kids

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Bebe's Kids
Bebes kids.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBruce W. Smith
Screenplay byReginald Hudlin
Based onBébé's Kids
by Robin Harris
Produced by
Starring
Edited by
  • Lynne Southerland
  • Documentary segment:
  • Tim Ryder
Music byJohn Barnes
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 31, 1992 (1992-07-31)
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$8.4 million[1]

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.[2] 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.

Plot[edit]

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.

Voice cast[edit]

Original stand-up version[edit]

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.[4]

Music[edit]

Robin Harris' Bebe's Kids: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Released1992
GenreHip hop, rap, funk, soul
Length66:39
LabelCapitol, Virgin
Producervarious artists
No.TitleWriter(s)ArtistLength
1."Tear It Up (On Our Worst Behavior)"Chris Stokes, Christopher Stewart, Jermaine Dupri, Thaddis Harrell, Marquis DairImmature3:26
2."I Got It Bad Y'all"Roger McBride, Eric Brooks, Mark JordanKing Tee3:28
3."I Got the 411"Taura Taylor-Mendoza, Bajita Ivie, Humphrey RileyUrban Prop5:04
4."It Takes Two to Make a Party"Max Elliott, Tyrone Wilkins, Howard Thompson, Michael BennettMaxi Priest featuring Little Shawn3:56
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 WestfieldNew Version of Soul4:57
6."Oh No!"Todd Thomas, Timothy BarnwellArrested Development4:56
7."Straight Jackin'"Reginald Hudlin, Eric Sadler, William Stephney, Chris Champion, Michael BerrinBébé's Kids (Wayne Collins, Jonell Green, Marques Houston) featuring Tone Lōc2:49
8."Freedom Song"Hudlin, Allen Hayes, Stephney, Champion, BerrinBébé's Kids (Wayne Collins, Jonell Green, Marques Houston) featuring Tone Lōc2:44
9."I Ain't Havin' It"Hudlin, Sadler, HayesFaizon Love3:25
10."Standing on the Rock of Love"John Barnes, William Griffin, Cynthia MizelleAretha Franklin5:04
11."Your Love Keeps Working on Me"Joey Diggs, Barnes, Ronald WhiteJoey Diggs4:56
12."Can't Say Goodbye"Barnes, Griffin, WhiteThe O'Jays5:18
13."Deeper"Barnes, GriffinRonald Isley5:49
14."All My Love"William Miller Jr., Carole StevensPhil Perry featuring Renee Diggs6:18
15."I Want to Thank You for Your Love"Barnes, Griffin, White, Wanda VaughnThe Emotions4:29

Release[edit]

The original theatrical and home video release were preceded by the short, Itsy Bitsy Spider.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics.[6][7][8] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 36% "rotten" score based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10.[9]

Box office[edit]

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.[10][11][12] Its final domestic total is $8,442,162.[1][13]

Accolades[edit]

Bébé's Kids was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature at the 20th Annie Awards, losing to Beauty and the Beast.

Home media[edit]

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.

Video game[edit]

The film was later adapted into a [14] video game for the Super NES in 1994.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aleiss, Angela (January 24, 1999). "Animated Features of a Different Hue". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. pp. 168–169. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  3. ^ Christon, Lawrence (July 28, 1992). "Comic's Legacy: 'Bebe's Kids' : Robin Harris Lives On in New Animated Feature". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  4. ^ YouTube
  5. ^ "The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Trivia". IMDB.com. Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  6. ^ Kempley, Rita (August 1, 1992). "'Bebe's Kids'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 1, 1992). "MOVIE REVIEW : A Spirited Outing With 'Bebe's Kids'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  8. ^ McBride, Joseph (August 3, 1992). "Bebe's Kids". Variety. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  9. ^ "Bebe's Kids". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 8, 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  10. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (May 10, 1994). "Weekend Box Office "Honors Tops in a Lackluster Bunch"". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 28, 2010.
  11. ^ Spillman, Susan (August 3, 1992). "'Death' does lively box office". USA Today.
  12. ^ Solomon, Charles (January 4, 1994). "It's Tough to Stay Afloat in the Film-Cartoon Biz". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 3, 2010.
  13. ^ "Bebe's Kids". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Bébé's Kids for SNES - Gamerankings". Retrieved October 29, 2009.

External links[edit]