Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids - The Original Animated Series, Vol. 1 (with Bonus CD)
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This has the good stuff from the Golden era. Great stories interwoven with stuff from Cosby's classic routines, the wonderful songs of the Junkyard Band and the voice of Micheal Gray (note to FA novices-the Junkyard Band was the Cosby Kids band that provided the cool music for the show-and an additional CD of the songs to boot!) memorable characters (Begging Benny, Scrap Iron Yates, Dumb Donald's cousin Betty, Lying Edward, etc.)
"Moving," what I consider to the their all-time best episode, is included here. In 30 minutes, Albert and crew play out Bill Cosby's classic BUCK BUCK and GO CARTS routines within the context of the story, as well as a really beautiful song called "Friends" that holds up well years later.
"Fish Out of Water" has the gang meeting some white kids at a summer camp (surprisingly, the difference in the character's race as a source of their antagonism is deftly underplayed). But the thing to watch out for in this one is an animated version of the greatest of all Bill Cosby routines-THE CHICKEN HEART as Cosby's younger animated self scares his friends with this tale around the campfire.
"Creativity" tells the tale of the forming of the Junkyard Band, and includes Bill Cosby's "Mudfoot Brown" character (one wonders if this was the source of Richard Pryor's legendary "Mudbone") telling Albert and Weird Harold a tall tale about bear fighting. This bit has nothing to do with the story in question, but it's a really cool scene as children today rarely experience the pleasure of having an old man in their neighborhood entertain them with wild stories.Read more ›
Cosby had tremendous respect for young children, and his segments in the series demonstrate his gift for being able to talk to children without talking down to them. Like a good teacher, Cosby addressed his young viewers not as immature troublemakers, but as the young adults they would one day become. His presence was more than just a gimmick to keep animation costs down; he actually gave instant credibility to the lessons that were being taught in every episode.
This DVD package includes an audio CD of the songs from each episode, but the sound quality is poor; what you're hearing is the original tinny-sounding TV soundtrack with extra bass added. Sadly, the only way you can hear these songs in stereo is to hunt down a copy of the ultra-rare 1973 soundtrack LP. Hopefully, someone will dig up the original studio tapes for a CD boxed set soon, and I hope it includes the soulful instrumental themes as well.
In its day, the series was widely praised by parents and educators for its positive portrayal of black teenagers as role models for young viewers. Three decades later, these shows are still considered the standard by which all other animated series are judged.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS DVD/CD IS THE BOMB....I LOVE IT IT'S LIKE HIGH QUALITY JOY. I ENJOYED WATCHING FAT ALBERT AND THE GANG AS A CHILD AND NOW MY GRAND CHILDREN ENJOYED IT TOO. Read morePublished 3 months ago by ms garland
My daughter loved the entire series and enjoyed watching it repeatedly. She understood the messages that were delivered in each episode. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
So this is a preliminary review. I just watched the first 10 minutes or so of the first episode and laughed so hard I was almost in tears. Read morePublished 5 months ago by JM