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Fat Albert  (2004)

 

Rating: PG

Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment

Release Date: March 22, 2005
Review posted: March 28, 2005

 

Reviewed by Dennis Landmann

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson) and the beloved animated characters from the late '70s make the leap to live action to help a troubled teenager (Kyla Pratt) regain her self-esteem as they experience the heartfelt emotions and hilarious absurdities of the real world.

 

CRITIQUE

 

Fat Albert is obviously geared towards the younger crowd, and with that in mind, the filmmakers deliver a completely average film based on a script with a shallow and severely drawn-out premise. Fat Albert wants to solve problems, and when a magical tear from high schooler Doris viewing his animated program spills onto the remote, he takes the opportunity to help her find friends and more, and so he and his friends are transported through the TV set into the real world. The plot is shallow and rather one-dimensional, although it advocates self-esteem, I guess. The film's production looks fairly good in terms of costume and set design, while direction by Joel Zwick is average. Some of the special effects (or blue screen shots) are obvious, such as when Albert engages a school hot shot in a foot race. Kenan Thompson turns in a good performance as Albert, although working with limited material, and the actors playing Albert's gang are good in terms of portraying their quirky characters.

 

THE VIDEO

 

Fox presents Fat Albert in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality looks quite nice, with good definition, adequate sharpness and detail, and a fine color palette. Print flaws are not inherent, though there are a few spots when grain and specks pop up. A pan-and-scan version is also available on this flipper dis.

 

THE AUDIO

 

Fox presents Fat Albert in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Dialogue is very clear and easy to understand. Music and sound effects are also clearly audible. Surround usage is limited. Overall a good presentation that gets the job done but doesn't stand out. Spanish and French Dolby dub tracks are available.

 

THE EXTRAS

 

Commentary by the director and producer is available for the film. Comments vary between discussions on the cast, the story, the production, and other things.

 

Rounding out the extras are several extended scenes, none of which are particularly interesting, Fat Albert: Behind the Band featurette, which is a basic making-of with lots of interviews offering praise, the theatrical trailer, and inside looks at Ice Age 2 and Rebound with Martin Lawrence.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

 

Fat Albert is decent at best, the story is just too drawn out and not very interesting, although certain parts are somewhat enjoyable. Unless you have kids, or you remember the cartoon very fondly, there is no need to see Fat Albert.

 

VERDICT: SKIP IT

 

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:: The DVD

 

:: DVD Ratings

 

THE MOVIE

5

THE VIDEO

8

THE AUDIO

7

THE EXTRAS

5

OVERALL

5

 

:: Merchandise