Seth MacFarlane is notorious for his writing credits as well as voice performances on “Family Guy“, “American Dad” and “The Cleveland Show“. He is so well known for creating so many memorable characters. He has even had writing credits on the popular 90s cartoon “Johnny Bravo.” Now MacFarlane has created an all-new character we can have the guilty pleasure of watching, and that is “Ted“.
Young Johnny Bennett (Bretton Manley) was a lonely child in the mid 80s, neither the bullies nor the geeks wanted anything to do with him. All that John ever wanted was that one true friend, so on one fateful Christmas morning, John was given a teddy bear, which he adored. After little Johnny named his bear the appropriate “Teddy”, he made a wish, a most powerful wish as it was made by a young boy while a shooting star swept across the sky. The wish was for Teddy to be able to really talk so they could be best friends forever. Clearly, the wish came true, and soon everybody knew about Teddy’s liveliness.
Their promise to remain close friends stuck for twenty-seven years, after John (Mark Wahlberg) began dating Lori Collins (Mila Kunis). Teddy is now Ted, and is a wise-cracking bear, but when Lori wants their relationship to move further along, she asks John to kick Ted out. Parting ways with Ted, however, becomes more difficult than initially imagined, which continues to pull John’s relationship further into the risk phase.
For films like this, you will notice that there is a lack of any solid plot. That is because this is a coming-of-age film. Typically, you find those films about children learning an important life lesson while growing up, but obviously age is just a number, and doesn’t affect mentality. So the same applies to this film as if Mark Wahlberg acted as a man child, which he did, seeing he couldn’t grow out of his own teddy bear phase. It makes sense to a degree, but when there are better plots seen in an episode of “Family Guy“, you may find an issue here.
The comedy was all Seth MacFarlane, and you could very well tell. MacFarlane has a unique sense of humor that while isn’t politically correct, goes by the method of having the “I don’t care, everyone’s thinking it anyway” attitude. It’s bold, it’s different, if you come to resect it for what it is, you will love it. The pacing and formula of the film was very similar to any episode of “Family Guy“, “American Dad“, or “The Cleveland Show“. The repetition and other little things that happen here and there are all Seth, the off-the-wall ridiculous and random humor could have only been written by him. Someone would have to be very uneducated about MacFarlane’s work in order to not catch his signature humor.
Teddy’s voice gives the impression that Seth MacFarlane is running out of character voices. If you are familiar with his work on “Family Guy“, it was as if he was trying to have Brian the dog imitate Peter. Also, what’s a movie full of Seth MacFarlane’s voice without a hint of “Stewie”? Yes, you can find his voice in this film, spoken of course by Ted as well of a mention of Peter Griffin by name, all a part of MacFarlane’s classic sense of humor.
The acting faltered only when the actors needed to perform more seriously. There is, however, plenty of comedy in this film to dim those faults out. Of course, Seth will bring back nearly the whole voice cast of “Family Guy” for this film including Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton, and Alex Borstein.
The CGI for the bear was okay and definitely tolerable, but it wasn’t all it could be. It’s pretty noticeable of a change from when the bear first started out, to when he became living. There was a change in texture and quality, and anyone who watches the movie would be able to tell that they could have done it better overall. To be fair, the placement of Teddy over actual footage from the Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show was actually very entertaining.
If you like “Family Guy” and the like, this film is definitely not a film to miss out on. It’s hysterical, it showcases some of MacFarlane’s best jokes (and maybe not so great ones too). It follows the same routine that many of his television shows often follow, so you will either see this as repetitious or hilarious. Then again, part of MacFarlane’s humor is repetition. Check out “Ted” when it comes to Blu-Ray and DVD on Dec. 11!