LOS ANGELES – He's fat and he wears red. But this Christmas it's not ho ho ho ... it's hey, hey hey.
Based on Bill Cosby's (search) stand-up comedy monologues, "Fat Albert" (search) now moves from 1970s animation to live action as the gang steps through the TV screen into an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood.
"See, many people offered us a chance to go up on the big screen -- but they didn't have the integrity," Cosby said at the movie's premiere. "They were crazy people. 'We love 'Fat Albert,' we wanna do [the movie]' ... and the next thing you know you see a script ... and that's not what we did on television."
This time around, Cosby liked what he saw -- or at least he related to it.
"When I finished seeing the movie, sitting with my wife, I said, "That's me -- up on that screen," he told FOX News.
"Saturday Night Live" actor Kenan Thompson (search), who plays Fat Albert, said he thinks the film is a good holiday-weekend option.
"I hope that there is a name-recognition type thing that'll get everybody out to the theaters, but even if there's not -- it doesn't really matter, because this is the type of movie if you got a whole family, and you wanna go to the movies on Christmas -- this is what you're gonna go see," he said.
And with the '70s still hip on TV, Thompson hopes the movie's revenues are as fat as his character.
"'Fat Albert's kinda like perfect timing right now 'cause everybody's missing it [the show] and everybody's really excited about it -- plus, it's something positive for our urban communities," he said.
But Associated Press movie writer David Germain says "Fat Albert should have stayed away," giving it one and a half stars out of four.
"The big-screen "Fat Albert," mostly a live-action update of Bill Cosby's Saturday morning cartoon series, is a hokey, insipid, outdated mess that even the most nostalgic of parents and the most gullible of kids will have trouble embracing," he wrote.
FOX News' Mike Waco contributed to this report.