DIRECTOR: Seth MacFarlane
May Contain Spoilers!
Will we be adding this to our collection? YES
Back in 1999, off the back of The Simpsons and South Park, Family Guy hit our screens. I loved it, but it took its premature cancellation and subsequent re-commissioning after its successful DVD sales to make it the classic that it is today. But Family Guy was at its best during its original run, with the first three seasons of outlandish but restrained comedy, rather than the outrageously un-PC direction that it’s gone into now.
So here comes Ted, or a live action Family Guy as it were, but in the slightly safer take you’d expect from those early seasons. Ted is the story of a little boy’s wish for his teddy bear to become real, which he does, only for the pair to “grow up” to be pot smoking bums. But as the boy (John), now grown-up (Mark Wahlberg), is trying to grow up properly, he is taking his relationship with long-term girlfriend, Lori, (Mila Kunis), more seriously, but she of course, sees Ted as a problem, holding him back from making possible moves forward in his life.
This is a feast of foul language, drug abuse and outlandish flights of fancy, but it works. They are both kids of the 80s, as I was, so the film is littered with references to Flash Gordon, Knight Rider and even T.J. Hooker! It is a film with a heart too, though be it’s that of a smaltzy 1980’s Christmas movie of the week, whilst boasting some of the best stunt casting that I’ve seen in years.
This was well judged comedy, as highlighted by the fact that they managed to spoof a scene with was itself a spoof from the spoof to end all spoofs, Airplane!. MacFarlane (the voice of Ted/and the Director), loves his subject and its setting, and whist he doesn’t hit every mark, this was very funny and a little heartwarming to boot. Certainly a step in the right direction but I couldn’t help but feel that this was his first and rather tame foray into live action movies and the next will push boundaries, maybe too far even for the creator of Family Guy.