Hey, hey, hey, it's "Fat Albert," and the 20th Century Fox film is still having fun now in the top five at the box office this past weekend.
With a holiday weekend devoid of any new features, "Fat Albert" remains popular in fourth place with $10.7 million. Since opening on Christmas Day, its brought in $33.3 million.
This film is based on childhood friends and characters from Bill Cosby's stand-up comedy routines about his youth. The characters became so popular that a Saturday morning cartoon series "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" was developed and it ran from 1972 to 1984.
Fast forward to the present, as we're introduced to Doris (Kyla Pratt), a West Philadelphia teenager who enjoys watching the Fat Albert cartoon after school. In a moment of loneliness, she openly weeps, and a single tear falls upon the television remote control. That tear opens a window into the animated world of Fat Albert.
With that occurring, the entire junkyard gang leap through Doris' television screen and into her living room. Leading the way is red sweatered Fat Albert (Kenan Thompson), purple fly cap wearing Rudy (Shedrack Anderson III), young Bill Cosby (Keith Robinson), vocally challenged Mushmouth (Jermaine Williams), Bucky (Alphonso McAuley), Old Weird Harold (Aaron Frazier) and Dumb Donald (Marques Houston).
Noting that there is a problem that needs solved, the gang decides to help Doris become popular. While Doris immediately puts up a resistance, she finds herself tagging along with the gang in hopes of getting them back to their animated world.
The gang gets Doris invited to a popular cheerleader's block party, which means a trip to the mall for everyone involved. Since this is their first visit to a mall, it's a whole new experience for the guys. A Big and Tall salesman sees dollar signs while trying to upgrade Fat Albert's look, while Old Weird Harold and Mushmouth listen to rap music on headphones.
While at the block party, it appears the gang is quickly blending in with the rest of the crowd, and a crush soon develops between Fat Albert and Doris' foster sister Lauri (Dania Ramirez).
However, the gang's time in the present begins to take its toll, as their colors begin to fade, signaling a retreat back into the television.
While the gang is in reality, Bill's younger brother Russell is still in animation, and fending off a gang of kids who want to take over the junkyard.
The nice thing about "Fat Albert" is that the overall morality sticks close to the cartoon series. The warm idea of trying to solve Doris' "problem" is reminiscent of the efforts and lessons the gang endured week in and week out. For some kids back in the day, that series is where they learned quite a bit about life's lessons.
Unfortunately, the hippness of the past being interwoven in the present was a bit unsettling. It was interesting seeing the gang evolve individually during their brief time in the norm. Things like Old Weird Harold discovering his basketball skills, to a little girl teaching Mushmouth how to say the word 'balloon' properly, it showed a different side of the guys that wasn't expected.
Na, na, na, you may have a good time seeing "Fat Albert" at three out of four stars.
"Fat Albert" is rated PG for momentary language. Running time is 1 hour, 40 minutes.
Everyone was clamoring to "Meet The Fockers" for a second straight week, adding $41.7 million to its two-week total of $162.4 million.
Marking a third consecutive week at No. 2 is "Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events." The Jim Carrey film has captured $14.5 million - inching close to the $100 million mark with $94.6 million in three weeks.
"Ocean's Twelve" rounds out the top five again with $9.4 million. The star-studded sequel to "Ocean's Eleven" has stolen $107 million in four weeks.
Warner Bros.' "The Polar Express" is still chugging along on the eighth track with $5.6 million, $155.1 million in eight weeks.
For more information and show times, contact Regal Cinemas Marketplace 24, 180 Mill Road, Oaks, at 610-666-6697.
Dennis J. Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.