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Fat Albert (2004)

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ON DISC
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids come to life and step out of their animated, inner-city Philadelphia world.

Director:

Joel Zwick

Writers:

Bill Cosby (as William H. Cosby Jr. Ed.D.), Charles Kipps
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenan Thompson ... Fat Albert
Kyla Pratt ... Doris
Dania Ramirez ... Lauri
Shedrack Anderson III ... Rudy
Aaron Frazier ... Old Weird Harold (as Aaron A. Frazier)
Marques Houston ... Dumb Donald (as Marques B. Houston)
Alphonso McAuley ... Bucky
Keith Robinson ... Bill (as Keith D. Robinson)
Jermaine Williams ... Mushmouth
Aaron Carter ... Teen
Omarion Grandberry ... Reggie (as Omari Grandberry)
J. Mack Slaughter ... Arthur (as J. Mack Slaughter Jr.)
Nick Zano ... Camera Salesman
Annie Abbott ... Mrs. Forchick
Alice Greczyn ... Becky
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Storyline

An obese boy named Fat Albert and his friends Rudy, Mushmouth, Bill, Dumb Donald, Russell, and Weird Harold, pulls into trouble when they "fall" out of their TV world into the real world, where Fat Albert tries to help a young girl, Doris, make friends. However, the simple life of the group is interrupted when Fat Albert falls for Doris' older sister, Lauri, sparking his friends to worry that their leader may never want to return to his cartoon world again. Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hey! Hey! Hey! Christmas Day


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for momentary language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Albert, o Gordo See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,021,510, 26 December 2004, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$48,116,322, 7 April 2005

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,551,322, 31 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Some of the characters in the movie take their names from Bill Cosby's old sketches, such as his girlfriend's name of Doris, his running track at Temple and high jumping, and the "Buck, Buck" sketch that opens the cartoon part of the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Doris runs home from school after not being invited to the party when she opens the door the man and woman are walking past her as soon as she opens the door but when they zoom out the man and woman that was walking past her is just now approaching her front door to walk past it. See more »

Quotes

Dumb Donald: Are you ready? 'Cause when I buck-buck, you better duck-duck.
Lead Teen: Are you gonna buck-buck, or are you just gonna talk talk?
Dumb Donald: Buck buck number 6, Comin'!
[runs and jumps on the pile]
Lead Teen: Yes! We held! Now we're the buck-buck champions!
Bill: Hold on. We've still got one more guy.
Lead Teen: Bring him out then.
Bill: Come on out, Fa-a-a-at Albert! He loves to hear us call his name.
Fat Albert: Hey, hey, hey! Who wants to play?
Lead Teen: Oh, no! Run! I got a bad back.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits begin, the animated Fat Albert starts to sing the title song again. Suddenly the live action Fat Albert bursts halfway through the picture, 'looking out' at the audience and picking out audience members, saying that he has to stop the movie so he can help them and telling one guy in the back getting out of his seat that he needs to stick around for the end credits. At this point the cartoon versions of the Cosby Kids finally manage to pull Albert back into their world, and the end credits continue. See more »

Connections

Featured in Saturday Night Live: Scarlett Johansson/Lorde (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Keep It On
Written by Mase (as Mason Betha), Tyrice Jones, Preston Glass and Narada Michael Walden
Performed by Mase
Courtesy of Bad Boy Records, Inc. & Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
(contains an interpolation of "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off")
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You're like school on Saturday: no class.
6 May 2005 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

Is there an unwritten rule in Hollywood that if you choose to recreate comedy, it has to be less funny than the original so that it doesn't overpower the genuine moment of the first? I am a strong believer that there is such a rule because I fully witnessed it in the film Fat Albert. This film had so much potential that I really wanted to jump into my television and start grabbing necks a-la Homer Simpson. Frustration grew inside of me as jokes were tossed out towards the viewing audience with such disappointment that to laugh would have given the film way too much credit. The characters were flat, the story was "normal chaos that has been done in nearly every other film", and the class of the television program Fat Albert was diminished by cheap thrills and over-budgeting. Did Bill Cosby have a true writing credit to this film? It would be hard for me to believe that he seriously considered this work great, but then again, he is older and has bills to pay … so why not? While the ending tried to bring a tear to your eye, I was already crying at the utter lack of appreciation that this film carried and influenced the youth of our nation.

To say that this film was horrible would be too kind of a word, to quote a line from the film "(Fat Albert is) like school on Saturday: no class" would again, probably be giving it too much credit. From the opening credit sequence to the overly animated cartoons to the lack of animation in the characters when they became real was difficult to watch. Kenan Thompson tries really hard to empower the soul of Fat Albert, but what comes through the screen are just pathetic. He has no backbone and literally, he gives Albert this image of ignorance. Instead of being this helpful friend, Thompson's Albert has these huge glazed eyes that roll around whenever trouble begins. He just didn't seem to have that pizazz that I remember Albert having from the television programs. If Albert was a leader in the cartoon, he was not one in this film. Unless you count the fact that the other actors in this film followed his suit by also leaving their energy at home. Childish humor coupled with this sense of apathy really didn't spark this film onto the level it should have been. I kept seeing glances of this really humorous story about Fat Albert in the real world, but instead I was forced through yet another Cool World. That is how I would best describe this film, Cool World for children.

With our characters firmly not caring about their careers, we are then forced to focus on the non-existent story that apparently the writers of this film chose to not write. Instead of creating a plot with some climactic moments, our writers of this film chose to just let Fat Albert wander until something funny happened. I kept wondering to myself if this was an actual scripted film or just Thompson and Zwick allowing improv to occur anywhere and anytime. Now, if you were working with a genuine comic actor this could have worked (like Robin Williams or Will Ferrell), but with Thompson it just felt forced. Nearly every scene felt forced or overworked in this film. Spontaneity was not an element that these writers considered. This ultimately caused the jokes to be extremely flat. The humor just didn't bring the true life of Albert onto the screen. This is where I question the validity of Cosby being involved with this production. I know he was getting paid, but how much did he work? The jokes felt so old and used that I am surprised that children responded to them. Maybe it was the urban feel that Albert somehow felt comfortable in … who knows? Either way, the loose story allowed for unfizzy jokes, which ultimately lead to the demise of this picture.

Finally, I would like to say that Fat Albert (when I was growing up) was an inspiration and "every man" to us all. The group that followed him and his actions somehow always felt like a part of us. There wasn't anything that could stop Fat Albert from helping another lost soul, and somehow in this film adaptation, none of these old feels could be remembered. It wasn't as if they were trying, but this was definitely not the same Fat Albert that I grew up with. He didn't reach me like he used to, and perhaps it was the larger budget or the lack of imagination, but Albert hurt the soul in this film. I am surprised that he was able to assist Doris in her problem (this obscure problem that was never quite defined), because if I were in her shoes, I would have politely kicked this Albert to the curb. Cosby needed to reconsider his options before allowing this Albert to see the light of day.

Overall, as if you couldn't tell already, this film hurt me. As I watched this dopey picture, I couldn't help but wonder if this film was focused correctly. When it first started I had this feeling that Albert would be called to help Doris with her problem, causing him to be a secondary character (like her own Jiminie Cricket), but instead what happened is that Thompson's camera excitement stole the performance away from Doris while creating a film centered around Albert. This should not have been the case for this to be a truly inspirational film. We lost the central focus of the film, and then the story just went fuzzy. Too many hands in the honey pot with one hand wanting to be on top. It was sad, and ultimately destroyed this film.

Grade: ** out of *****


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