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Movie review

A fine film fit for a family

By BILLY NORRIS
Published December 27, 2004


Photo
[Twentieth Century Fox]
Fat Albert and the gang (from left): Mushmouth (Jermaine Williams), Dumb Donald (Marques Houston), Bucky (Alphonso McAuley), Bill (Keith Robinson), Old Weird Harold (Aaron Frazier), Rudy (Shedrack Anderson III), and Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson).

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

MOVIE: Fat Albert

RATING: PG for minor language.

SUMMARY: High school student Doris (Kyla Pratt) is having trouble fitting in at school; she can't seem to find a friend or her true sense of self. When a magical tear opens a portal into the television world, Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) and his gang of sidekicks (the Cosby Kids) pop into real life to help solve Doris' problem. But, as one can imagine, cartoon characters' lives become much different when they cross into the real world. Away from their home environment, their souls slowly fade away, but they are determined to lead Doris to happiness before they return to TV land.

MY VIEW: This flick, which transitions back and forth between live-action and animated scenes, is based on the popular '70s cartoon, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, created by comedian Bill Cosby (who makes a cameo appearance in the film). The humor and dialogue are drawn from Cosby's standup routines and his experiences as a teenager in north Philadelphia. The film revolves around the idea that "what truly matters is on the inside," and it encourages one to be accepting and caring. Fat Albert's message kept younger audience members interested and laughing for the entire movie. Kenan Thompson, who plays Fat Albert, has always been a funny guy, ever since his earliest acting days on Nickelodeon's SNL-esque group comedy series, All That. A lot of the teenagers, myself included, remember those hilarious skits and can now enjoy and appreciate Thompson's acting in a humorous role such as this. This is good, clean fun that can be enjoyed by all members of the household, and will likely be well-received by audiences.

Recommendations: Make this a family outing. Grade: B

-- Billy Norris, 17, is in the 11th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.

[Last modified December 23, 2004, 12:11:05]


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