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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 38 - Bébé's Kids (1992)

Bebe's Kids (1992; Hyperion Films)
The last contribution by likable comedian and writer Robin Harris, Bébé's Kids is an obnoxious, unfunny, boring animated film about a man who cares for three horrible children in order to win the affection of a woman.  This is a poorly animated, badly written would-be comedy that is not only offensive, but actually goes one step further by being degrading to its target audience and to younger audiences in general.

Robin is trying to get with Jamika, and in a desperate attempt to spend time with her he agrees to aid in watching over her friend’s three kids.  They go to an amusement park and they bring with them all the chaos you’d expect from undisciplined little brats.  So, after the three kids lead a revolt of all the kids at the park, Robin reaches the end of his rope, but his discipline actually results in him bonding with the three kids, or something.  It doesn’t matter.  The ending is very abrupt, out of nowhere and stupid.

This is a bad movie not only because it depicts its target audience as hooligans, which is offensive in itself, but because it finds this behavior funny.  The movie is basking in the character’s blatant delinquency and we are supposed to enjoy it.  Add to that the poor quality of the voice acting, the really horrible musical numbers and the shoddy artwork and you have a truly dreadful animated feature.

A final note on the animation.  It’s bad.  It’s lazy actually.  The characters look like Slinkys when they walk, bobbing exaggeratedly as they stride along the weak backdrop.  The character designs are not all that bad, it is mainly just the way they move.  The background art is also poor, with a flat night sky with mostly featureless buildings taking up most of the scenery and building interiors seem cavernous due to the lack of any attempt at detail on the walls or ceilings.  

Bébé's Kids would be utterly forgettable if it were not for the offensiveness of the characters.  With the two elder siblings spouting bad one-liners while they wreak havoc and the deep-voiced, diaper-bound baby grunting scatological humor throughout.  There was no attempt at originality in this movie.  Robin Harris’ lead does nothing but stand, mouth agape at the destruction the kids are causing then simply grunts out a few frustrated lines as we are carried off to the next stupid set piece.  It is a shame too, because there is a big deficit in animated comedy featuring an African American family, so the fact that this one is so damn condescending is just sad.

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