December 13, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it a B

Fat Albert is finally hitting the big screen, but darn it if the trailers for the live-action version aren’t a bit too shiny, happy — sterile, even. The original was a cartoon, sure, but we’d hoped the filmmakers might have considered the premise — dirt poor North Philly teens deal with life’s issues in a junkyard — and gone grittier. Ah, well. At least now there’s a boxed set of Albert’s most angst-ridden episodes. See Albert guide his gang through the muddy waters of drugs, porn, racism, and (gasp!) videogame addiction. The show’s preachiness, like its choppy animation, grates, but tune in for the old-school barbs: ”I thought he could stop on a dime,” says Mush-mouth. Answers Dumb Donald, ”He could if he had a dime.”


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