Fat Albert and the Cosby kids aired from 1972 to 1984 and enjoyed one of the longest and most successful runs in Saturday morning cartoon history. Live action bumpers featuring Bill Cosby were set around animated episo... more »des of Fat Albert and the Cosby kids, a series about a group of urban adolescents growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood. The show was based on Cosby's 60's stand up comedy monologues about his childhood. The episodes revolved around the daily life lessons learned by Fat Albert and his friends. Topics ranged from social issues to personal introspection and were blended with humor and music. Among the many great characters that inhabited Fat Albert's world were Rudy, Mushmouth, Donald, Bill, Weird Harold and Russell. A special collection of these historic episodes were compiled into one box set...The Ultimate Fat Albert 4 Disc Set. This unique piece of memorabilia is a collector's item in which many generations will enjoy.« less
"Very happy to hear Fat Albert is coming out on DVD. I grew up on this wholesome show that taught me values and how not to look down on somebody who is different. Not easy for a white boy from Georgia to do. Thanks Bill, I love that big guy. :)
The feeling I get when watching them has never left me. Recently I found a copy of the Christmas special and it put tears in my eyes. I simply can't wait to get all of these on DVD. Like many of my other favorite shows, it's overwelming emotionally that these are coming to DVD.
This is a "best of" set featuring 20 favorites based on internet research thru search engines. But there's some confusion as to whether all episodes will be realised as Season sets or in a random manner like this set. It's hard to believe, but at this point I'm avoiding this one so I don't risk having to rebuy some of these next year.
The company UrbanWorks Entertainment says that they have acquired the rights to most of the episodes including the specials done for Halloween, Christmas and Easter but excluding the 1969 pilot episode "Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert" that only aired once and was owned by NBC not CBS which aired the rest of the series. They will begin releasing all of them in 2005. So it just sounds like this is an expensive "teaser". :(
I say wait. Personally I'll have to condition myself not to order this or pick it up if I see it in the store. Wish me luck. ;)
And Hey, Hey, Hey! Have a happy day! :D"
An amazing contribution to the world
C. J. Elder | Santa Maria, CA United States | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm at a loss of words for this show. I can't possibly praise it high enough to do it justice. I watched it religiously every Saturday morning as a white kid from a well-off neighborhood where there were no "minorities." This show was probably intended to help black kids make the right decisions in a hard life, and I'm sure it did. The lessons it taught applied to everyone regardless of race and the message definately got through to all. But from my perspective, it probably did more to help white kids get over the racism that was still going strong in areas like my neighborhood, and it accomplished this without me even realizing it back then. That's ok. I realize it now."
Hey Hey Hey I've got good and bad to say
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"From 1972 to 1976 Bill Cosby's "Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids" entertained and enlightened in a world full of dumbed down cartoons and stereotypes. First, this compilation while good could have been great. The first two discs consist of episodes aired between 1972 through 1979. The first disc feature prime "Fat Albert" episodes from the series high points; we get "Lying", "Creativity", "Tomboy", "Fat Albert Meets Dan Cupid", "Take Two, They're Small". These are the best and informed by a gentle wit similar in tone and style to Cosby's stand up routine. The episodes from 1976-79 on disc 2 are OK but lack the originality, charm and wit that made the series so essential in its early years. The best on disc 2 are from 1976 "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "Readin', Ritin' and Rudy". With "Sweet Sorrow" through to "Soft Core" the series went into a tailspin with increasingly weak stories that didn't lose the message but lost the fun. The 3rd disc features episodes from 1980 through 1984 when the show was in syndication. While the late 70's and early 80's shows could be bad, the syndicated shows are horrible. The stories, animation and performances are weak. By 1984 the series had declined and featured the horrible episodes with The Brown Hornet. Even the drawings for the animation were second and third rate (they were being done overseas completely at that stage)with poor design where characters varied from scene to scene or seemed to have wandering eyes.
So I'd give the series 4 stars but this set 3 stars. There's also a booklet with an interview with producer Lou Scheimer discussing how Cosby came up with the concept and they the animators embelished on it. He also discusses how the various voice actors ended up being cast 9including Scheimer himself as Dumb Donald). The songs were a bit plus--melodic and infused with soul. The later episodes missing the junkyard song sequences just don't have the same quality as the earlier episodes.
This is far from "The Ultimate Edition". It seems the producer of this DVD wanted to represent each year episodes were produced fairly picking the best from each one. Unfortunately, the a little bit of water in desert doesn't compare to an ocean. The best episodes here are confined to discs 1 and 2 with the rest being dreck. Pick up the first season anthology as this "Greatest Hits" collection features a mix of great episodes and dross."
Hey Hey Hey, only some are Okay
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 01/31/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This collection could be called "The Good, the bad, the ugly" of Fat Albert.
THE GOOD-It contains some of the best episodes from the series' glory years of 1972-76. These contain episodes such as "Lying," Playing Hookey," "Creativity" "Moving," (my all time favorite), etc. These episodes did have messages, but were filled with genuine humor (some of it based directly from Bill Cosby's 1960s routines that inspired this show in the first place, such as TONSILS, CHICKEN HEART, BUCK BUCK, etc.), a likeable cast, and best of all the music of the Junk Yard Band (for those who don't know-this was where Albert & co. ended episodes where they sang soulful songs about the theme of the story and played junkyard objects as musical instruments). Classic, classic! The response in reviews from both blacks and whites who enjoyed these as children proved that Bill Cosby's expereiment was a success in teaching tolerance and good behavior through "edutainment."
THE BAD-The post 1979 episodes. This replaced the wonderful junkyard band segments with a corny bit called "The Brown Hornet" which was a really stupid superhero takeoff that one would be hard pressed to crack a smile at viewing. These episodes ere also strong on preaching, but short on entertainment or even convincing performances. If you can sit through "hard core" (an anti-pornography piece) or the episode about the kid who finds the gun, you deserve a medal and have a cast-iron stomach.
THE UGLY-See above.
Overall, this is good for the FA episodes before they "jumped the shark" in 1979. The rest of this is frisbee material. I ould strongly recommend Fat Albert fans and lovers of good animation to check FAT ALBERT-THE ORIGINAL ANIMATED SERIES VOL.1. This contains the glory days of the series first season and a CD of the Junkyard Band tunes. Now THAT'S a real treat!
Only thing that needs to be done is to get the 1969 debut "Hey Hey Hey It's Fat Albert" and the 1970 special "Weird Harold" (the latter based on Cosby's classic GO CARTS routine from "Wonderfulness") that proceeded this series on DVD and the "Albertology" will be complete.
THE COSBY CLASSIC
Tim Janson | Michigan | 12/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like many baby boomers, I first heard of Fat Albert NOT through the cartoon, but rather through Bill Cosby's hilarious stand-up comedy. I recall hearing about the game of "Buck buck" and how Fat Albert was the gang's secret weapon.
The Cartoon first appeared when I was 10 and was an immediate favorite. it was funny, which I appreciate, but then you always had Bill Cosby on to teach a few life lessons during each episode which still hold true today.
I'm not really sure i would call this an ultimate collection. It does only contain 20 episodes afterall which isn't too many considering it's 12 year run. Still, it's great fun for those of us who grew up with the show and I think even today's kids will enjoy it as well."