Open main menu

Bébé's Kids (released on home media as Robin Harris' Bébé's Kids) is a 1992 American animated comedy film produced by Hyperion Studio for Paramount Pictures. Directed by Bruce W. Smith, it is based upon comedian Robin Harris' stand-up comedy act of the same name. Harris died two years before the film was released; in the film, he is voiced by Faizon Love in his film debut. Other voice actors include Vanessa Bell Calloway, Marques Houston, Nell Carter, and Tone Lōc, as well as Tom Everett, Rich Little, and Louie Anderson.

Bébé's Kids
Bebes kids.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBruce W. Smith
Produced by
Screenplay byReginald Hudlin
Based onCharacters
by Robin Harris
Starring
Music byJohn Barnes
Edited by
  • Lynne Southerland
  • Documentary segment:
  • Tim Ryder
Production
company
Hyperion Studio
Hudlin Bros.
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 31, 1992 (1992-07-31)
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10 million
Box office$8.4 million

The film was originally released on July 31, 1992, and received mixed to unfavorable reviews from critics and grossed $8.4 million.

PlotEdit

The film is based on a stand-up routine by Robin Harris that is shown in a brief live-action segment at the beginning of the film. The story begins with an animated version of Harris woefully recounting his troubles to a blind bartender. He traces his problems all the way back to Jamika, an attractive woman he met at a funeral.

Outside the premises, Robin approaches Jamika and asks her out. Jamika picks up her mild-mannered son, Leon, from the babysitter and invites Robin to come along with her to an amusement park named Fun World, to which Robin agrees. The next day, Jamika introduces Robin to Kahlil, LaShawn, and Pee-Wee, the neglected, truant, violent children of her absentee hedonistic friend, Bébé, for whom Jamika serves as an oblivious enabler. All six travel to Fun World, but are confronted by security before they can enter, and warned they are being watched. Upon entering the park, the kids are set loose and promptly wreak havoc. Robin's disastrous outing is further disrupted by a chance encounter with his ex-wife, Dorothea.

After going on a couple of rides with the kids, Robin and Jamika let the kids go off on their own again as they attempt to enjoy a ride through the Tunnel of Love, where Jamika commends Robin for his endurance. While Robin and Jamika spend time together on their own, Leon tries to fit in with Bébé's kids but is at first unsuccessful, although they allow him to tag along in their company. The kids then resume their trouble until they are caught by security. However, they escape and convince a bunch of other kids to spread the chaos. Meanwhile, Dorothea and her friend Vivian attempt to sabotage the growing relationship between Robin and Jamika but are thwarted by Robin.

Elsewhere, in an abandoned building, Leon and Bébé's kids are captured by robot versions of the Terminator, Abraham Lincoln, and Richard Nixon, and are put on trial. The robot "Terminator" acts as the judge who decides whether the kids are worth sending to the electric chair, while "Lincoln" acts as the kids' defense attorney with "Nixon" as the prosecutor. The kids win their freedom through the power of rap, then celebrate their victory by stealing a pirate ship and crashing it into an ocean liner, tying up the crew and passengers.

Robin and Jamika finally leave Fun World with the kids who have destroyed the park. When a cop drives by, Robin tries to get his attention, but Bébé's kids glare at the cop threateningly and he flees, yelling, "Uh oh, those are Bébé's Kids!" (a line spoken by several other characters).

Robin drops the kids off at their apartment, where he sees how they really live. Bébé, as usual, is not home and has left a note on the empty refrigerator, expecting Jamika to feed the kids. Back at the bar, Robin has a change of heart and goes back to the apartment to hang out with the kids a little while longer, despite the trouble they've caused. Later, the kids force him to take them all to Las Vegas, where the kids are recognized, and everyone runs away screaming. Pee-Wee pulls a plug out of a socket, causing a city-wide blackout.

CastEdit

Voice castEdit

BackgroundEdit

Original stand-up versionEdit

In the original act, Robin's prospective girlfriend, Jamika, asks him to take her and her son to a Disneyland-type amusement park, but when he agrees she shows up with four kids, three of whom are the children of her friend, Bébé, whom Jamika refuses to judge.

Bébé's kids are misbehaved truants and violent troublemakers. They terrorize park staff, cut off Donald Duck's feet to use for swimming, try to steal Robin's 8-track/radio while he's listening to it, and make a general menace of themselves, literally destroying the park. Their reputation is so bad that even the police refuse to mess with them. In the second act, Robin is picked up from a bar by Jamika and the kids. The kids force him to take them to Las Vegas. Pee-Wee pulls out a power cord and the city's power goes out.[2]

SoundtrackEdit

Bébé's Kids: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedAugust 25, 1992
LabelCapitol
  1. "Down Home Blues" – Z Z Hill
  2. "Tear It Up (On Our Worst Behavior)" – Immature
  3. "I Got It Bad, Y´All" – King Tee
  4. "I Got the 411" – Urban Prop
  5. "It Takes Two to Make a Party" – Maxi Priest featuring Little Shawn
  6. "66 Mello" – New Version of Soul
  7. "Oh No!" – Arrested Development
  8. "Straight Jackin'" – Bebe's Kids feat. Tone Lōc
  9. "Freedom Song" – Bebe's Kids feat. Tone Lōc
  10. "I Ain't Havin' It" – Faizon Love
  11. "Standing on the Rock of Love" – Aretha Franklin
  12. "Your Love Keeps Working on Me" – Joey Diggs
  13. "Can´t Say Goodbye" – The O'Jays
  14. "Deeper" – Ronald Isley
  15. "All My Love" – Phil Perry featuring Renée Diggs
  16. "I Want to Thank You for Your Love" – The Emotions

ReceptionEdit

The film received negative reviews from critics.[3][4][5] It currently holds a 25% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[6]

Box officeEdit

The film earned a total $8,442,162 in North America.[7][8] The film opened at #7 with $3,010,987 in its opening weekend (7/31–8/2), behind Death Becomes Her; Honey, I Blew Up the Kid; Mo' Money; A League of Their Own; Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and Sister Act.[9][10][11]

AccoladesEdit

Bébé's Kids was nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature at the 20th Annie Awards, losing to Beauty and the Beast.

Home mediaEdit

Bébé's Kids was released on DVD on October 5, 2004. The original theatrical and home video release were preceded by the short, Itsy Bitsy Spider.[12] This title (including the Itsy Bitsy Spider short) was released on Laserdisc in March 1993.

Video gameEdit

The film was later adapted into a poorly reviewed[13] video game for the Super NES in 1994.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Christon, Lawrence (July 28, 1992). "Comic's Legacy: 'Bebe's Kids' : Robin Harris Lives On in New Animated Feature". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  2. ^ YouTube
  3. ^ Kempley, Rita (August 1, 1992). "'Bebe's Kids'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 21, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Thomas, Kevin (August 1, 1992). "MOVIE REVIEW : A Spirited Outing With 'Bebe's Kids'". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  5. ^ McBride, Joseph (August 3, 1992). "Bebe's Kids". Variety. Archived from the original on May 25, 2010. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Bébé's Kids at Rotten Tomatoes
  7. ^ Aleiss, Angela (January 24, 1999). "Animated Features of a Different Hue". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "Bebe's Kids". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (1994-05-10). "Weekend Box Office "Honors Tops in a Lackluster Bunch"". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  10. ^ Spillman, Susan (1992-08-03). "'Death' does lively box office". USA Today.
  11. ^ Solomon, Charles (1994-01-04). "It's Tough to Stay Afloat in the Film-Cartoon Biz". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-03.
  12. ^ "The Itsy Bitsy Spider: Trivia". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
  13. ^ "Bébé's Kids for SNES - Gamerankings". Retrieved 2009-10-29.

External linksEdit