Western Animation: Bebe's Kids
We don't die, we... Multiply!
It's animation! With an attitude! It's animation...
-Another tagline from a trailer
Based on a comedy sketch made popular by the late stand-up comic Robin Harris, Bebe's Kids
became the first animated movie to feature an all-black cast. It was released in 1992 and was directed by Bruce W. Smith, who would later create The Proud Family
for Disney in 2001 (as well as work on another animated flick with a black star, namely The Princess and the Frog
The film has an animated Robin Harris take his new girlfriend, Jameeka, and her son, Leon, to an amusement park named Fun World. This would've been all well and good, but when Jameeka is asked by her friend Bebe to watch her kids for today, he's forced to take Bebe's Kids along with them, who are nothing short of obnoxious brats and basically wreak havoc through the whole park. Hilarity Ensues
Despite bombing at the box office, it has become a Cult Classic
over time. However, it also spawned a SNES game so bad Nintendo Power rated it the worst game it's ever reviewed
, so, um, you can take that as a good or bad thing.
Many of the animators of Bebe's Kids went on to do animation work on The Proud Family
This film provides examples of:
- Accidental Kiss: Between LaShawn and Leon.
- Action Girl: Lashawn.
- Adaptation Distillation: In the original comedy sketches, Bebe's Kids consisted of four children, this was cut down to three in the film with Leon acting as the fourth child. Also, they originally went to Walt Disney World, but got changed to Fun World for legal reasons.
- Adults Are Useless: And the police aren't any better.
- Aerith and Bob: Practically everywhere. While there's characters named Robin and Leon, you also have names like Jameeka and LaShawn. This trope is discussed by Kahlil and LaShawn when they look for license plates with names:
Leon: "Found mine!
Kahlil: "How come we can't ever find our names?"
LaShawn: "Yeah, I know four girls named LaShawn. How come we don't have a license plate?"
- This also applies to when they're hanging out with the other kids of fun world, disatissfied with their boring names like "Winthrop" and "Richie" and giving them "ghetto names".
LaShawn: Dang, ya'll guys got some corny names.
- Almost Kiss: Robin and Jameeka early on, though it's understandable given that they just met at the beginning of the film.
- Amusing Injuries: Robin injures his hand during a complicated handshake with Kahlil.
- Angry Guard Dogs: The park security has Doberman Pinchsers while they're hunting the kids later on in the film.
- Anti-Role Model: Robin. For example, when he meets Leon, he wants to watch a Blaxploitation video with him someday, to which Jameeka objects.
- Art Shift: The tunnel of love scene is black and white during the music video.
- Badass Adorable: The titular kids, with more emphasis on the "badass" part.
- Badass Creed: "Bebe's Kids! We don't die, we...multiply!"
- Bare Your Midriff: Dorthea and Vivian.
- Berserk Button: Bebe's Kids for Robin, and then there's his ex-wife, Dorthea.
- For LaShawn, kissing boys or even teasing her about it.
- Don't mess with Kahill's hat.
- Big Blackout: When they go to Las Vegas at the film's end, Pee-Wee pulls a cord shutting down all the electricity in the city.
- Big Damn Kiss: Robin and Jameeka near the end.
- Big Eater: Vivian, to the point where she tries to bring food onto the tunnel of love. Her Establishing Character Moment has her inhaling cotton candy and swallowing it in one gulp.
- Blatant Lies: Robin's says he's good with kids. While he is good with shy, quiet types like Jameeka's son, Leon, Satisfied Street Rats like the titular Kids quickly drive him to neurosis.
- Butt Monkey: Leon, who doesn't even like Bebe's Kids and is frequently picked on by them. They do bond near the film's end, though.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin' : Played straight at one point when Robin stops the kids (Save Leon who got caught in the madness) from misbehaving when they first arrive in Fun World. Otherwise, it's averted.
- Catch Phrase: Robin's "Test tube, baby!"
- The Chew Toy: Robin himself, given what he's had to put up with throughout the film. Besides Bebe's Kids, he comes across his ex-wife who tries to break up him and Jameeka.
- Children Are Innocent: Averted. Leon is like this early on until later on in the film. And then there's the kids who join in their antics...
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: Dorthea's friend Vivian.
- Deadpan Snarker: Robin, oh so much.
- Disappeared Dad / Invisible Parents: There's a reason the kids are so hostile. No Dad, and Bebe is a nasty piece of work.
- Disney Acid Sequence: That tunnel of love scene.
- Dumb Blonde: Vivian.
- Free-Range Children: Throughout most of the film, Robin and Jameeka let the kids go off on their own while they try to spend some time together.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Listen closely to the song playing on the train ride. At one point, it says "If a hand down your pants feels like a grand resumption."
- There's also a rotating fountain statue, with water coming out of the vase it's holding; however, said statue is first seen from behind, a point of view that makes it look like the statue is peeing.
- Girlish Pigtails: LaShawn.
- Hartman Hips: Jameeka.
- Hero Antagonists: The Fun World security.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: The movie opens with Robin at a bar, talking about his problems to the (blind) bartender.
- Intro-Only Point of View: During the opening credits, we get First Person Perspectives from each of the three kids in order; LaShawn punching out two boys when they draw LaShawn kisses boys on a school chalkboard, Kahill punching out a boy for stealing his hat, and Pee Wee driving around on his big wheel towards the supermarket to get a bottle of milk, causing a car to crash and run over someone's foot in the process.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Robin gives the kids $20 for pizza when they arrive home.
- Jive Turkey
- Kangaroo Court: The kids find themselves in one with Kahlil on trial. Leon bails him out, though, by rapping about freedom.
- Last Disrespects: Robin meets Jamika at a funeral, where "everyone was there, cause everyone was glad he was gone." People are seen drinking, laughing and playing dominoes, while the only one grieving was the widow.
- Little Miss Badass: LaShawn.
- Long List: The rules of Fun World.
- Though cut down to "No Vibes, No Bevis, No Vibes..." in the video game. How come only Butt-head is allowed in, then?
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Bebe's Kids are so feared throughout the neighborhood, the police can't deal with them. This is noticeable on the drive home when a police officer tries to pull over Robin for speeding, but upon seeing Bebe's Kids, he drives away in fear.
- Parental Abandonment: Subverted in the case of Bebe's Kids. No mention is made whether or not Bebe's living as a single parent, widowed or divorced. It doesn't help that Bebe herself isn't seen in the film since she went downtown, leaving Jameeka to look after the kids for the day.
- A throwaway line by Jameeka toward the end of the film has her stating that they SHOT their father when he tried to leave them.
- Perpetual Poverty: Bebe's Kids basically live like this. They barely have anything in their fridge. Also their Freudian Excuse.
- Psycho Ex Wife: Dorthea, Robin's ex wife.
Vivian: You know he still loves you.
- Sassy Black Women
- She Who Must Not Be Seen: Bebe herself is never seen in the film.
- Spit-Trail Kiss
- The Cat Came Back / Offscreen Teleportation: Robin drags away Jameeka away from Fun World and almost gets away from the kids, only to find that they're are already at the car ready to go home.
- Toilet Humor: Pee-Wee's diaper.
- Tsundere: LaShawn is Type A for Leon.
- Villain Protagonists: Guess who?
- Vocal Dissonance: Baby Pee Wee's voice actor is Tone Loc.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Leon throws up at the end of the ride montage.
- We Are Song: Straight Jackin', performed by the kids themselves.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After the yo' mama exchange Dorthea and her friend disappear from the movie.
- Subverted. If you look closely, though, they're part of the passengers that are terrorized by Bebe's Kids when they attack the cruise yacht.
- Wrong Side of the Tracks: The ghetto that Bebe's Kids live in.
- Your Mom: Robin and Dorthea do "The Dozens" (which of course feature tons of yo' mama jokes) in the ladies room.