Fat Albert (2004)
Albert's a Fish Out of Water
Doris (Kyla Pratt) is having a tough time at school as she has no friends and when she comes home her mum is never there. But whilst watching a rerun of "Fat Albert" a tear lands on the remote control which magically opens up a portal into Fat Albert's junkyard and before she knows it Fat Albert and his gang are standing in her living room. But before they can return their show is over and the gang are stuck in the real world till their show is on TV again the next day. That means Doris finds herself stuck with Albert and the gang who make it their mission to help Doris become popular whilst Albert falls for Doris' foster sister Lauri (Dania Ramirez).
I know that in America the cartoon "Fat Albert" was popular during the 70s and 80s but having been born at the start of the 70s I have no recollection of it ever being shown on British TV during those decades. As such I have no idea how accurate this 2004 live action version of "Fat Albert" gets to recreating the original or how much it might offend those who grew up on the antics of Albert and his gang. Despite this what I got was an enjoyable but convoluted children's movie, I repeat children's movie and not one for those who grew up on Albert's antics.
Part of the trouble with "Fat Albert" is that it over eggs things and we have too much going on. We have Albert and the gang trying to help Doris, then there is Albert's falling for her foster sister Lauri, then there is their fish out of water antics as these kids from the 70s in the 21st century struggle with things such as laptops to cans with ring pulls on them, and then on top of that we have their need to get back to their show before they fade away. It may not sound a lot but it is and so "Fat Albert" ends up to busy, darting from one aspect to another.
Despite it being too busy "Fat Albert" is still enjoyable and whilst some of that is down to the fun the writers have with fish out of water antics most of it is down to the actors. Kenan Thompson has fun playing it as comically naive and good hearted as Albert whilst Kyla Pratt as Doris has that girl next door warmth and smile which makes her extremely easy to like.
What this all boils down to is that "Fat Albert" is enjoyable especially for someone who has never watched a Fat Albert cartoon before but it does spoil things by trying to cram far too much in.
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