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This is a cool, monstrous megaset, but is Fat Albert: The Complete Series on DVD all it should be...?
Shout! Factory / 2340 Minutes / 1972-1985 / Unrated / Street Date: June 25, 2013
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series is a big, beautiful box set – it’s a heavy, lovingly-designed release – but in this streaming age of ours, the question must be asked: is it valuable enough to merit its $100+ price tag? Bill Cosby’s iconic show has innate appeal to viewers who grew up watching toons like this one in the 70s and 80s, but will The Complete Series inspire many of them to shell out the cash?
The first strike against the box set is that it’s not as complete as it claims to be. Animation devotees insistent on having everything Fat Albert on their shelves will be stung by the fact that a number of specials that were broadcast haven’t been included here. On the other hand, the shows that appear here look and sound pretty impressive, which is great, and there is a lovely 40-minute documentary on the production and legacy of Fat Albert rounds things out nicely, so The Complete Series has those merits going for it.
But this is a big investment for a standard-def set – Amazon has it on sale for $109.05 right now – and that’s pretty sizable. Fat Albert is a charming, well-meaning animated series that is more than just a nostalgia trip: looking back on it from 2013, there’s an altruistic, goofy charm to the show and the characters who populate its world. If you love your Fat Albert and can find a good deal, strike.