Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids - This is one FAT Albert update: 3 new releases, pic, trailer, and much more! **UPDATED**
Posted by David Lambert
By now all of you are probably seeing those TV commercials for the Christmas Day release of the new live-action Fat Albert theatrical film, where Albert and the gang leap out of the cartoon into our world and have lots of adventures (like going looking for Bill Cosby himself). But the commercial you might not have seen yet is UrbanWorks' ad for the DVDs of the original animated series. If you would like to check it out, you can see it right here at this link. The pair of "best-of" releases it advertises - one a single disc and one a 4-DVD collection- will be in stores on December 14th
Roughly two weeks ago, we brought you a news update about UrbanWorks' future plans for the series on DVD, and about an Amazon listing for a March release of some kind of "Episodes 1-10" two-disc set. Right after we posted that info, we found out that this didn't accurately reflect UrbanWorks' upcoming plans, and we needed to correct it. However, we've held off on posting that news until we had the correct info to bring you. Now we've got that info...well, a lot of it, anyway.
The main source of our new info is once again Craig Crumpton over at ToonZone.net: he's been working closely with UrbanWorks and been great at keeping info about Fat Albert DVDs flowing to the public. Thanks, Craig! Here's what he had to say in an update to his Fat Albert news at ToonZone on November 20th:
Regarding the possibility of "Fat Albert" season sets and future releases, UrbanWorks has issued the following statement:
"We are still in the planning stages of our 2005 rollout. We are very close to making a final decision. We know that we are going to release the first 36 [episodes], but the method in which we do so is still undetermined. In addition, we are eventually going to release a 'New Fat Albert featuring the Brown Hornet' box set (23 episodes) and the big finish will be the 'Fat Albert Lost Episodes' box set (50 episodes)."
And for fans hoping to see a DVD release for the 1969 pilot "Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert" (which hasn't been seen on TV again since it first premiered) -- alas, UrbanWorks does not have the rights to release it as it aired on NBC and not CBS, and was not included in their acquisition of the Filmation library. However, UrbanWorks does have the rights to the three holiday TV specials: Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.
In regard to that roll-out of the first 36 episodes, on multi-disc set and in order, we now have to turn to Amazon once more. As was noted above, they had a listing for a March release for "Episodes 1-10," which we've been informed was in error. Amazon has now transformed that listing into one described as Fat Albert & (the) Cosby Kids (- Volume) 1. It shows up as having the same March 8th release date as the previous version of the listing displayed, and at the same $24.99 SRP as well. So the main difference is that the count of "10 episodes" has been removed. Also, a listing for Fat Albert & (the) Cosby Kids (- Volume) 2 is also present, for the same price but marked with a release date of June 14th. Amazon says this is a "2-piece" (two-disc) release, meaning that the episode count will stay near the number seen in the original version of the March release. We can speculate that UrbanWorks would either increase the episode count on each Volume to 12, or descrease it to 9 (compared to the original figure of "10"). Either a 9-episode or 12-episode count would be equally divisible into the total count of 36 installments, meaning either 3 or 4 volumes total. Which will it be? We'll let you know when UrbanWorks officially decides and announces.
In the meantime, as mentioned above, UrbanWorks also has the rights to the various holiday specials. And March 8th is also a good time for them to release The Fat Albert Easter Special on DVD, which Amazon is also taking pre-orders for at a list price of $12.99. So you can place your orders right now for both it and Volume 1, and Amazon will deliver both to you on or around March 8, 2005...how convenient!
If you just can't wait that long for the goodness of Fat Albert, or if you just want a good collection of episodes without needing every single story, then go ahead in a couple of weeks and pick up one of the two best-of releases. We recommend you at least go for the 4-disc collection, so you get more shows to watch. And here's an inside look at the package for that item, and its discs, courtesy of Craig Crumpton at ToonZone. He's the man!
A larger version of this pic can be accessed in Craig's story at ToonZone, along with some other pics of the December releases. Plus there you will find something I'm VERY proud to have had a hand in: the very first complete listing on the internet of every Fat Albert episode ever aired. TVShowsOnDVD reader Neil Newton sent me this list, and I helped him edit it and flesh it out a bit. But really, all the credit goes to Neil himself...well done! Its only due to his ingenuity that a complete list of all 110 episodes are currently accessible to the public, and he gets full marks for that. Go check it out in the ToonZone article; Craig has graciously provided the space to post that listing in its entirety! Thanks for that, too, Craig.
Just a few hours after we posted the above, Ventura - who's distributing the Fat Albert DVDs for UrbanWorks and rightsholder Entertainment Rights - posted artwork and other info for the March 8 releases. Our thanks to Joshua Lane of AnimatedBliss.com for sending us the heads-up about it:
Fat Albert and the Cosby kids : The Original Animated Series - Volume 1
Hey, Hey, Hey!!! Let's go back to the very beginning of what eventually became classic, American television. Fat Albert and the Cosby kids - The Original Animated Series Vol.1 includes the FIRST 12 episodes ever broadcasted on CBS. This 2-disc set features episodes from 1972 to 1973 in the order they were originally aired. Join Fat Albert, Rudy, Weird Harold, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald and the rest of the crew as they sing, laugh and rejoice their way into history. Also included: Bonus 12-track audio CD featuring original music from the animated series - Available for the first time!!!
Fat Albert and the Cosby kids are back.and this time they are Easter egg hunting. Join Fat Albert, Rudy, Weird Harold, Mushmouth, Dumb Donald and the rest of the crew as they celebrate the Easter season as only the Cosby kids can. They will sing, laugh and rejoice their way through this historic holiday! The Fat Albert Easter Special is making its video debut - never before released!!!