Bebe's Kids

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Bebe's Kids
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It's animation with a bad attitude.
Genre: Animation
Comedy
Directed By: Bruce W. Smith
Produced By: Reginald Hudlin
Willard Carroll
Thomas L. Wilhite
Written By: Reginald Hudlin
Based On: Characters by Robin Harris
Starring: Faizon Love
Nell Carter
Myra J.
Vanessa Bell Calloway
Tone Lōc
Wayne Collins
Jonell Green
Marques Houston
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: July 31, 1992
Runtime: 72 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $10 million
Box Office: $8.4 million


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. He died two years prior to the film's release while it was in pre-production. 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.

Plot

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 animatronic 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. Leon and the kids win through a powerful rap which ensures their freedom, then celebrate their victory by stealing a pirate ship and crashing it into an ocean liner, tying up the crew and passengers, including Dorothea and Vivian.

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. The kids, sad to see Robin go, bid him an emotional goodbye but not before he gives them his last few dollars so they could order themselves dinner. 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, despite the trouble they've caused. 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 city-wide blackout.

Bad Qualities

  1. Weak plot: It's just about kids making trouble in an amusement park.
  2. Some characters are unlikable, especially Khalil along with LaShawn and Pee Wee. They never get punished for their actions. Doretha and Vivian are creepy stalkers and they are very unlikable.
  3. Plot-hole: How does Khalil have a knife in his hoodie to cut his and the kids' seatbelt to escape from a ride they're trapped on?
  4. Some clips by Robin Harris in the intro are considered filler due to wasting the theme song and animated sequences.
  5. Some unfunny gross-out humor.
  6. The kids in a pirate ship used cannons to destroy a small cruise, then they later knock down people as pretending to be pirates.
  7. Why would they put "Handicapped" on the admission prices?
  8. Bad ending: Pee-Wee pulls the plug and caused the whole city of Las Vegas to lose light.

Good Qualities

  1. There are some funny moments.
  2. The animation is decent, especially by 1992-standards.
  3. "We don't die, we multiply."
  4. It was the first animated feature film to be directed by an African-American.
  5. The soundtrack was good, especially for the theme song, "Tear It Up (On Our Worst Behavior)" by Immature.
  6. Robin and Leon are likable characters and receive decent character development.
  7. While Robin Harris died in pre-production, this film was still a great tribute to him.
  8. The very kid-friendly short film, The Itsy Bitsy Spider can be a massive improvement over this feature film.

Reception

The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and audiences, but has since gained a cult following amongst black audiences.

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

Trivia

  1. The movie got a video game adaptation for the SNES of the same title, which is considered one of the worst games on the console and one of the worst beat 'em ups of all time.

Videos

External Links

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