Tooncrap #24 - Bebe's Kids
This movie died, and it certainly did not multiply!
Written by: Raymond Gallant
Let me talk to you about a man named Robin Harris.
Harris was a comedian in the 80's who was starting to earn some
mainstream attention. One of the big reasons for the attention was a
part of his stand up routine where he talks about Bebe's Kids, three
cruel kids who pretty much made him look like a fool and made life hell
for him. The skit was popular enough that Bebe's Kids was going to be
Robin's first big main starring role.
However, on March 18th, 1990, Robin Harris died of a heart attack at the
age of 36. That didn't stop Robin's Bebe's Kids skit from becoming a
movie however, and in 1992 Paramount Pictures would bring it to the
world... to mostly negative feedback.
So, I figured it's as good a time as any to finally cover this long
awaited induction. Is Bebe's kids as bad as most claim? Let's see how it
goes as we review this thing.
The movie opens in a rather classy way by showing some of Robin Harris'
comedy, particularly that of his Bebe's Kids material interspliced with
animated footage of said Bebe's kids causing all sorts of mayhem. So
that at least shows that the writers did pay some respect to Harris and
his work. So the movie gets off to a good start.
We then move to the actual animated Robin heading to a bar in a
particularly sour mood. At first he doesn't want to talk about what's
bugging him, but is quick to lament to the blind bartender about the
trouble of a woman he met at a funeral for a friend (of sorts) named
Walter. Instantly infatuated with Walter's secretary by the name of
Jamika, he follows her home, and even asks for a drive since he is
without car for the evening.
Robin's charm (or lack thereof) isn't working on Jamika, but she takes
him with her as she has to pick up her son Leon from the babysitters.
After dazzling the young lad about the adventures of Dolemite, they hit
it off, as Leon is a good kid all around. Still trying to get good with
Jamika, he willingly offers to take them to Funworld (ah Funworld, the
Metro City of uninspired amusement park names), blissfully unaware of
what would be coming with them.
The next day comes, and he drives to Jamika's place ready for a day of
fun with the three of them. But it turns out that the trip is now being
accompanied with Bebe's three children. Bullyish older sister LaShawn,
Militant Kahlil, and, or course...
Baby Ton Loc, whose big gimmick is he craps his diaper
We get to see the titular Bebe's kids bad reputation immediately as they
have fun punching around Leon. They eventually make it to Fun World, and
Robin is immediately felt up by a state trooper (even making what
appears to be a clear cut Rodney King reference in the process).
While Robin is paying to get into the park, Kahlil encounters Funworld
security, who are already giving him a hard time, and warn him that the
entire park is under strict surveillance. It's less of a Funworld and
more NSA California Adventure. It doesn't help that the rules in the
park are massive, pretty much not allowing you to run, cut in line, have
a bad attitude, or littering. And more importantly
So, of course it takes all of five seconds for LaShawn and Kahlil to
start chaos in the gift shop all while we get a song from Robin that
feels weirdly out of place. Robin eventually tries to intervene, but
PeeWee (that's the Tone Loc baby BTW) is busy smashing glass in the
house of glass, which feels like a terrible place to have in an
amusement park. But despite that, this has been a pretty rough day for
Robin, but it could always be worse.
See, it could and does get worse. His ex-wife Dorthea and her friend
Vivian are also conveniently at Funworld. But they don't give Robin much
of an issue yet, as the kids drag Robin on to a bunch of dangerous
rides, which eventually makes them a bit easier with Robin for the time
being. They leave Robin and Jamika alone to go on the tunnel of love.
Not before Robin gives Leon advice to finally nut up and make Bebe's
kids respect him.
In the tunnel of love, it leads to both a song, and what is some of the
better animation in the film. Which is pretty easy since to be honest,
the animation has been rather sub par. Pretty much showing Jamika and
Robin getting closer while Dorthea and Vivian constantly fail at
splitting them apart.
Back to the kids who continue to be annoying little shits, until they
run into the security once again, who escort them against their will
into a small world-ish monorail about how FunWorld pretty much rips off
their customers. They escape, and raid the conveniently placed toy store
in the monorail. Security tries to fight back, but end up being easily
This leads to another song as Bebe's kids rap about how bad ass they are
while beating down the assorted costumed mascots. They get chased by the
security some more, and they run into a some sort of underground
facility in FunWorld, while the security are being distracted by other
kids that Bebe's kids met along the way.
While that's going down, Robin and Jamika turn out to be infatuated with
one another. That is of course until Dorthea and Vivian tell Jamika
about her past with him, saying that he's a bad father. With Jamika now
mad at him, Robin tries to remedy the situation in the only way
possible... by lying about her past with Dorthea.
Back to the kids, as Kahlil ends up being captured by a giant robot.
Because, you know, that should happen in this film. For the most part,
it seemed like a movie dipped in some sense of a normal reality, but all
of a sudden we have robots and a sudden shift into the more fantastical.
Turns out all the animatronics are alive and after the kids. But they
are eventually rescued by, who else...
Robot Abe Lincoln.
Robo-Abe suggests that Kahlil is given a fair trial, complete with the
prosecutor being robotic Richard Nixon, who proves Kahlil is guilty of
robocide. Turns out that not even Robo-Abe can't save the day, but Leon
and the others defend Kahlil's innocence in rap form.
With Leon getting a bit TOO into the song.
It turns out to work however, and the kids escape.
Meanwhile, Robin finally fesses up about Dorthea to Jamika, as he learns
about the lies she's been spreading. They confront the two in an
argument that devolves into "yo Momma" jokes. The kids are confronted by
the security guards again, and end up on a pirate ship ride. And with
their army of child privateers, they attack a Titanic cruise ride, that
conveniently Robin and Jamika have boarded.
They Commandeer the boat while Robin escapes, trying to full on ditch
Bebe's kids. But they end up there in plenty of time. As they leave, Fun
World literally falls to pieces. Finally sick of the day he's had, Robin
drops Bebe's kids at home. However, he quickly realizes that Bebe's
still nowhere to be found, which makes him start to feel remorse for
However, he still sticks to his guns and wants to be done of the whole
thing. This leads us back to the bar as he eventually comes to the error
of his ways, and goes back to get them. And so it all looks like it's
all a happy ending with the group heading to Vegas...
Except that Pee-Wee unplugs the entire town in the most poorly placed
plug of all time. The end.
And that's Bebe's Kids. I don't think this movie is horrible. Especially
compared to other animated films I've covered for Tooncrap. But there
are still a ton of issues that the film does suffer from. The animation,
while far from the worst does feel really cheap for a theatrical film.
Character designs range from decent to weird. Robin at times looks like
he could be a certified bobble head.
Speaking of Robin, his subplot with Jamika is honestly pretty dull.
However, the parts with Bebe's kids feel a little too out of control and
move at such a pace you can't really digest most of it. It's fitting
it's set in an amusement park as the film often feels like a series of
rides. We go to one than another, then another with very little to
anything involved. As for the comedy sides, there were a few funny
moments, but nothing overly hilarious. On the music side, save for a
couple of the songs around the end, most of it is pretty forgettable, or
In the end though, while I wouldn't recommend Bebe's Kids, I still think
it's probably the best thing I've watched on Tooncrap in a while. There
are far worse movies to sit through, and if this was all you had with no
alternatives, you might find some enjoyment out of it. It's flawed, but
it's certainly not one of the worst products of all time.
The Super Nintendo game on the other hand...