Fat Albert (2004)
Fat Albert is a 2004 American live-action/animated fantasy romantic comedy film based on the Filmation animated series of the same name created by Bill Cosby. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and stars Kenan Thompson (better known for acting in Nickelodeon's BTSW) as the title character alongside Cosby himself in a key supporting role.
Cartoon character Fat Albert emerges from his TV universe into the real world, accompanied by Old Weird Harold, Dumb Donald and Mushmouth. Though the gang is flabbergasted by the modern world, they make new friends, and Albert attempts to help young Doris become popular. But things get complicated when Albert falls for her older sister, Lauri, and must turn to creator Bill Cosby for advice.
- A ridiculous premise that has cartoon characters Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids emerge from the TV world into the real world by a teenage girl's single tear touching a TV remote.
- Poor acting from actors outside of the main cast.
- Slightly poor grasp of the source material. For instance, in the cartoon, the stories take place in the 1970's. In this movie however, most of the scenes take place in modern North Philadelphia.
- Poor attempts at humor.
- The film never explains why Doris' tear opened up a portal to the cartoon world, it only happens because Fat Albert needed to enter the real world somehow.
- The scene where Fat Albert leaps out of the TV is portrayed less like a whimsical moment and more like something from a horror movie, particularly from how the music is orchestrated and how Doris screams in absolute terror.
- Some of the songs aren't that good nor sung.
- Though the animated segments are a plus, the characters aren't drawn in the exact Filmation style as in the original, which gave its unique yet stilted charm.
- One too many uses of comic sans, though only for the opening credits.
- It eventually killed the Fat Albert franchise as there were no further productions based on Fat Albert after this film, especially after Billy Cosby's recent activities with the law came to light.
- Kenan Thompson was perfect as Fat Albert (both live-action and animated) and the supporting cast were decent as his friends, mainly the Cosby kids.
- The ending is pretty emotional.
- The theme from the original show was used, though remixed, and the rendition at the start and end of the movie is pretty good.
- A pretty heartfelt quote by Fat Albert himself: "You can't let fear keep you from caring about someone because, caring about someone is wonderful."
- For a live-action/animated film, the animated segments are wonderfully smooth and improve the original with the same charisma; this is reinforced since the animation was done by Disney veteran Eric Goldberg.
On RWW, the film received a rating 23%, based on 89 reviews, with the consensus reading, "A bland but good-natured adaptation of the cartoon show." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 39 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
The film grossed $48.6 million worldwide, against a $45 million budget.
- Bill Cosby wrote the movie and plays as himself.
- This was also the final released film Bill Cosby has starred in before he went to prison in 2018. Additionally, an unreleased stand-up comedy film featuring Cosby titled Billy Cosby 77 was scheduled to be released on Netflix on November 28, 2014, but it was cancelled following his arrest and eventually his conviction.