PG for momentary language.
Dec. 25, 2004
Kenan Thompson, Kyla Pratt, Dania
Ramirez, Shedrack Anderson III, Jermaine Williams, Keith D.
Robinson, Alphonso McAuley, Aaron A. Frazier, Marques B. Houston,
and Bill Cosby
BASED ON THE TV CARTOON SERIES BY:
20th Century Fox
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Dr. Tom Snyder
Albert is based on the TV cartoon series created by actor and educator
Dr. William H. “Bill” Cosby. It is a thoroughly delightful,
funny, morally uplifting, clever, and intelligent movie that transcends
the video limitations of its source material. It is perfect entertainment
for the whole family this Christmas season, or any season.
The story opens with Doris Robertson, a lonely high school student who
has no friends. Though she’s on the school track team, Doris feels
unappreciated, especially compared to her popular foster sister, Lauri.
While watching the Fat Albert cartoon on TV, a tear runs down
Doris’ cheek and lands on the TV remote. This magically opens some
kind of tunnel between the real world and the cartoon world. As a result,
Fat Albert suddenly can see Doris’ sad face in the sky. Good heart
that he is, Albert decides he must help Doris with her problem. He pushes
through the TV screen into her living room, pulling everyone except Bill’s
little brother, Russell, into her world.
Now live action characters, Fat Albert and the gang try to solve Doris’
problem, but Doris is reluctant to let anyone into her life, especially
a bunch of crazy, runaway cartoon characters. Slowly, Fat Albert breaks
down her defenses, but things become more complicated when Fat Albert
and his gang are themselves affected by the real world in unexpected ways.
Fat Albert eventually decides he has to seek out his creator, Bill Cosby,
to make everything work out all right.
Albert is a very amusing and very clean family movie. Both children
and adults will enjoy the story and characters, which are well defined
and very appealing. Kenan Thomas as Fat Albert and the rest of his cartoon
gang do a fine job of making a goofy concept seem real.
Fat Albert is not only an enjoyable family movie, it’s
also a clever one. For example, the movie shows the impact that art can
have on life and vice versa. Thus, Fat Albert and his gang literally jump
through the TV set to affect the lives of Doris and her foster sister.
This is a truth that Movieguide’s media-wise families have
known for years, that the mass media of entertainment can have a strong
impact, for good or ill, on children of all ages. This intelligent, media-wise
theme comes powerfully to life in the movie’s final emotional shots,
which will bring joyful tears to many media-wise moviegoers. Eventually,
viewers are reminded that Bill Cosby based his characters on real-life
people that he knows and loves. In other words, art imitates life, and
life intimates art, and Dr. Cosby’s script brilliantly acknowledges
and celebrates that fact.
Fat Albert contains one possible worldview problem. When Fat
Albert goes to see Bill Cosby, Dr. Cosby mentions something about Albert
being able to see Doris’ “spirit”. The line is a short
throwaway line, however, so it was hard to tell at the time what kind
of supernatural connection Dr. C was trying to make. It’s better,
therefore, just to remind children that the story they are watching is
just a fantasy, that there is no way, supernatural or otherwise, that
cartoon characters can see or talk to anyone in the real world. Although
cartoon characters are not real, they still can really have a big impact
on your child’s world.
Surprisingly, Fat Albert is one of the most entertaining, most
intelligent family movies of the year. It’s worth seeing more than
Please address your comments to:
Peter Chernin, President/COO
The Fox Group
Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos, Chairmen
Fox Filmed Entertainment
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine.
For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide
Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org.
Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by
informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing
media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly
movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide
now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org.
The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative
articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise
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