New Fat Albert Set - Episodes Listed

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MarcoBiscotti, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    According to Toonzone.net:

    An UrbanWorks Entertainment representative has provided Toon Zone with exclusive details on their two upcoming Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids DVD titles: the single-disc release of "the five most sought-after episodes", and the 4-disc box set Fat Albert's Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection.


    Here's the TV series summary, via venturadistribution.com:

    Fat Albert and the Cosby kids, aired from 1972 to 1984 and was re-syndicated in 1989. This creative animated series enjoyed one of the longest and most successful runs in Saturday morning cartoon history.

    Live action commentaries featuring Bill Cosby were set around animated episodes of Fat Albert and the Cosby kids, a series about a group of urban adolescents growing up in a Philadelphia neighborhood. The show was based on Cosby's 60's stand up comedy monologues about his childhood.

    The episodes revolved around the daily life lessons learned by Fat Albert and his friends. Topics ranged from social issues to personal introspection and were blended with humor and music. Among the many great characters that inhabited Fat Albert's world were Rudy, Mushmouth, Donald, Bill, Weird Harold and Russell.



    Previous sources, such as an ad in the 10.11.04 issue of Video Business, mentioned that the 4-disc boxed set would include "bonus features." Unfortunately, this is not true. UrbanWorks rep Brett D. tells Toon Zone that "there will be no bonus material on these two releases."

    "The 4-disc box set," says Brett, "will feature a 12-page collector's booklet, embossed packaging with artwork of all the Fat Albert characters as well as a free t-shirt with purchase (depending on from which account it is purchased.) We will look at including bonus material for our episodic releases throughout 2005." And for fans who remember the two Fat Albert Holiday TV specials, Brett adds, "The Halloween and Christmas specials will be a part of our 2005 release schedule."


    Following is the complete episode listing for both upcoming Fat Albert titles, due for release on 12.14.04:

    + For the single-disc release (total run-time 110 mins), episodes include:

    Creativity
    Take Two, They’re Small
    Smoke Gets In Your Hair
    Sweet Sorrow
    Poll Time

    + Included on Fat Albert’s Greatest Hits – The Ultimate Collection (total run-time 440 mins):

    Disc 1:

    Lying
    Creativity
    Tomboy
    Fat Albert Meets Dan Cupid
    Take Two, They’re Small

    Disc 2:

    Smoke Gets In Your Hair
    Readin’, Ritin’ and Rudy
    Sweet Sorrow
    Poll Time
    Soft Core

    Disc 3:

    The Secret
    The Gunslinger
    Little Girl Found
    Watch Thy Neighborhood
    Justice Good As Ever

    Disc 4:

    Rebop For Bebop
    Handwriting On The Wall
    Video Mania
    Second Chance
    The Birds, The Bees and Dumb Donald


    For episode plot summaries, visit tvtome.com.

    The cover art for both titles still has not been finalized, but a tentative one for the 4-disc box set is viewable via Ventura Distribution.

    UrbanWorks' two upcoming DVD releases have suggested retail prices of $14.99 (single-disc) and $49.99 (box set), respectively. And a big *up* to UrbanWorks and Entertainment Rights for acquiring the rights to this series and offering a more reasonably-priced alternative to the horribly-overpriced meager content "Fat Albert" DVDs from a certain retailer whose name shall not be mentioned.

    Special thanks to Brett D. for providing the episode listings.






    I personally think this is an incredibly stupid release context and Urbanworks Entertainment gets no "big up" from me.


    Why on earth would they bother issuing a random 4-disc compilation set mixing episodes from not only different seasons but series altogether, when they could have just as easily offered a complete collection of season sets at the same ammount of effort and retail cost?


    This is just ignorance on their behalf and nothing more. Now consumers are left to chose between this 4-disc set which compiles only 7 episodes from the original series, all of which have already been released through Time-Life only mixed and matched throughout various discs with other episodes not featured in this box set, or the Time-Life releases which might be more costly but still offer more episodes. At the very least, Urbanworks could have done their homework and compiled the remaining episodes not featured in Time-Life's series so that they'd eliminate the competition between sales and make our decisions a hell of a lot easier!

    They also go so far as to mention that they will be issuing "episodic" releases through 2005, whatever that means?

    Is this to say that eventually Urbanworks will release the entire series in individual volumes and we should hold off on purchases until this is confirmed or does this mean we will see a random budget compilation of episodes from different series and seasons tossed together every few months?

    What kind of a release pattern is that?!

    It's obvious this company has little knowledge or experience in the TV-DVD field because by now it should be very clear what consumers expect from these type of releases and I would have thought that we'd reached a stage where even the big names studios would be aware of it. Warner Bros, Fox, Universal and even Paramount for the most part have gotten the gist of it. You'd think a smaller independant corporation dedicated to the production/release of such a fondly remembered popular landmark animated series would take this to task.

    Instead, they've delivered an odd mix of cartoons from various series thrown together in one 4-disc box set that could have just as easily been a complete season collection. It shouldn't be so difficult to do things properly!

    I personally will not be supporting this type of release and will wait to see what comes from this company in the future.

    Hopefully fans of the series will come together in sending emails, letters and telephone calls to the company letting them know the "right" way to do things and perhaps we'll see something similair to the Fraggle Rock fiasco unfold. I hope Gord Lacey and the TVShowsOnDVD crew get in contact with the company as well to campaign for proper comprehensive releases.

    Unfortunately right now, we have basically two choises - 1. individual discs offered through Time-Life's mail order at a higher cost, or - 2. less of the same episodes tossed around with some others from various incarnations of the show offered in this 4-disc set with possibly more to come in various formats in the future?


    At the very least, I'd hope to see an improvement in video quality and cleanup from the TL releases to even warrant the sale of this box!

    Sorry for the pessimism, but this sucks. I was hoping for something MUCH better than this falsely advertised package which now only seems to contain 7 already released episodes of 'Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids' and a 12-page insert that Urbanworks likes ot call a "Collector's book"...


    PS - I've never even heard of the episodes from the last 2-discs before, they're not from the original series OR the 1979 version either... what are these???
     
  2. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    I'm going to pass on this one. I would've much preferred season sets. But as Marco stated above, they've gone all over the place with this one. They should've at least had this set consist of original series episodes. I like "Fat Albert" but not enough to warrant such a purchase.
     
  3. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton Auditioning

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    I'd like to ask that you guys not be too quick to pass judgement on UrbanWorks on these releases. True, they did rush production on the first 2 "Fat Albert" DVDs in order to time them with the release of the live-action movie, but their future releases are still TBD -- and there is a possibility of season sets, and bonus content.

    I followed up on my article at ToonZone.net with some additional questions, and UrbanWorks' reply is now included in an update at the URL below:

    forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=124800

    I would appreciate any further comments or suggestions on this, and I'll be glad to pass them along to UrbanWorks. They really do seem to be open to fan response with regards to their 2005 releases.

    Craig Crumpton
    Toon Zone Staff
    toonzone.net
     
  4. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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    Craig, I responded to the thread on my forum, but to reiterate here, I think if we did some coordinated polls across a few websites, it would provide some good info as to how fans would like to see the series released. Combined with the data that TVShowsOnDVD.com has already collected from its members, it should hopefully give UrbanWorks a good idea of what to put out.
     
  5. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thank you or passing along our sentiments Craig.

    I can only base judgements on what's currently been announced, which, as stated above, is NOT what any of us (fans of the series) were hoping for.

    If Urbanworks would be open to producing TRUE comprehensive season sets of the 1972-1979 'Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids' series (43 episodes total) in a well packaged box set (extras or not), I would have nothing but praise and gratitude to offer along with my money - BUT - as it stands, I will not support this poorly considered release.

    What's possibly even more disturbing, is the fact that Urbanworks is only now considering "episodic releases" which "might" be offered in chronological order... WHY?

    What better oppurtunity to offer episodes in choronological fashion, than a 4-disc BOX SET?

    Missed oppurtunity I'd say...

    Again, it's not my intention to come down hard on the company, but as a consumer, there are certain things that are expected and appreciated for which we willingly support.

    Urbanworks has missed the mark on this one by a long-shot.

    I'm hoping more than anyone that they're able to correct this and the way to go about doing so - is chronological box-sets.


    UW is releasing a 20 episode mishmash of a collection (featuring many episodes most of us do not remember or have never heard of - not a smart move!) next month.

    Had this been in proper context, all it would take was a second follow-up set to complete the series and every single fan of the show would be ready on release date with wallets in hand.

    I'm just surprised that Urbanworks wouldn't have figured this out...

    I personally have not heard much buzz or hype over this set since the specs and details have been posted and that's truly a shame because I can guarantee that it would have been quite the opposite if UrbanWorks did a little market research prior to compiling this set to understand exactly what we all want.

    What they are currently offering, in terms of original episodes, is no better than what Time-Life currently has, in fact costs aside, it's actually worse (as TL presents more episodes in total over their 10 disc issues).

    If UrbanWorks can produce a 20-episode collection as is currently slated for release next month, than they can surely do the same collecting episodes from the original seasons in chronological order. 2 boxes is all it would take. Than they could follow it up with a disc for the two holiday specials: Halloween & Christmas.

    Money in the bank.


    I'm confident that you will cue Urban Works in to what would be the right way to go about pursuing these releases Craig, so hopefully in the near future, we will finally get what we've all been wanting for a very long time....

    May the force be with you!
     
  6. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    I agree with you completely Marco.

    When I saw "4 disk set", I thought it's obviously the complete original series, duh! I don't remember watching the show after about 1977, so it's the early stuff I'm interested in. I'm always a little on the fence on these "nostalgic" purchases anyway, so when I'm not sure what I'm getting, it doesn't help.

    Having not seen the newer stuff, does it still use the Herbie Hancock music. I've got that stuff on record (CD).
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    To anyone who's a fan of Fat Albert...

    Joshua Lane, the host of the great AnimatedBliss.com website has started a poll on his forum asking voters to chose their preferred release context for the series, if they ultimately had their choice, what would it be? - Season Sets, Best-Of Compilations, Individual Release Volumes In Chronological Order, etc.

    I believe he intends to forward the results of this poll to Urbanworks Entertainment, the producers of the current Fat Albert releases at the end of the month.

    Go ahead and cast your votes in support of proper season sets of Fat Albert & The Cosby Kids!!!

    http://animatedbliss.com/FORUM/forum...964&PN=1&TPN=1
     
  8. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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    Thanks for the link Marco! Although, you might want to chop off that "&RN=1" part of the URL. The forum software is popping up a "Thank-you for casting your vote" prompt... even thought a vote hasn't been made. I don't want people to think the poll is rigged or buggy or something. And I do plan to forward the results onto UrbanWorks.

    Also, the poll is featured on the main page of the site too, www.animatedbliss.com
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Woops!

    :b
     
  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Don't forget to cast your vote at TVShowsOnDVD for Fat Albert as well. It is already in the top 5% of our most-wanted shows on DVD, and 94% of voters want season sets. If you are registered at TSoD, or would like to register (it's not only free, it's spam-free!) then you can tell us what format you want the future releases to be in.

    We, like Joshua, are working with Craig Crumpton of ToonZone.net to pass word to UrbanWorks about this topic. Craig deserves 100% of the credit for taking the initiative to do something about these December "best-of's" that frankly are made up of episodes that half of which are titles that die-hard Fat Albert fans have never heard of!
     
  11. Joshua Lane

    Joshua Lane Second Unit

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  12. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor

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    How can they call it the Ultimate Collection? I was anticipating the complete run of Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids. That is what I will wait to purchase. No sale for me.
     
  13. Craig Crumpton

    Craig Crumpton Auditioning

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    Got a new update for you all -- fan opinion has once again helped to make a difference (scroll down past the previous news for the update):

    forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?p=1479781

    As promised, I forwarded fans' concerns about UrbanWorks' upcoming
    releases (I had quite a few of my own I shared with them). UrbanWorks
    listened and had a special staff meeting where those concerns were
    discussed in depth, and it does appear that their future releases will
    indeed have the fans' interest in mind. Look for an official announcement
    in the near future. And in addition to the news added this week, I've also been given a sneak peek at what's to come (which I can't share at this time, unfortunately), and I assure you it's good news for fans and DVD collectors.

    And the official cover art for the two December releases, as well as a preview pic of the box set, should be added to the article in the next 24 hours.
     

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