Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green
Pete Michels, Peter Shin
With the fortunate revival of the Family Guy television
show, this straight-to-dvd release offers a nice side story
to a main series that succeeds in oddball and envelope-pushing
humor. For those not in the know, the Family Guy series
is about Peter Griffin, a moronic oaf of a father from Quahog,
Rhode Island, whose family and oddball friends always manage
to get into all sorts of trouble. His family consists of a
hot and promiscuous mother, dumb-witted son, pariah-like daughter,
talking dog (that acts as Peter's conscience) and Stewie,
the uber-smart world conqueror wannabe.
Bookended by a mock movie premier and rap party for the DVD
movie, the story focuses in on Stewie, who has a near-death
experience at the pool. After some other shenanigans by Peter,
including a stint as a televised ranter for the local news,
the story returns to Stewie, who sees an older man on the
television who looks suspiciously like Stewie. Two plus two
leads Stewie to believe this man is his real father, which
of course means he has to travel out to San Francisco, sans
parents, to confront this gentleman. I won't ruin the rest
of the story, but events manage to resolve themselves in the
twisted manner that's become a Family Guy standard.
Family Guy's humor benefits from a lot of shock humor
and oddball send-ups of pop culture. If the show isn't letter
Peter say something completely offensive, it's switching you
back to a flashback of something the storywriters are sure
to have grown up with. Indiana Jones, Kool-Aid and Bugs Bunny
are the least of their pop culture references. Also, they
like to throw insults at popular modern celebrities.
While the television show tends to have some real laugh-out-loud
moments, the movie feels far more reserved, as if pacing itself.
There are some sequences that are good for a laugh, like when
Stewie and Brian get drunk and play Pac-Man, but there weren't
any parts of the movie where I was rolling on the floor with
laughter. That's not to say the movie wasn't funny, but it's
obvious that more effort was put into telling the story this
time around. Because of this, I would say that some of the
subplots, like Lois and Peter's attempt at teaching their
children how to get a date, aren't as fleshed as as they could
I will have to say that the pacing is far better in this
feature than in some of the episodes. There's no filler jokes
that play out too long and the multiple storylines, while
somewhat segmented, are still integrated pretty well. Except
for a joke intermission, the whole movie flows along pretty
The voice cast features everyone from the series (as it should
as it was made at the same time as the newer episodes), but
also brings in a lot of voice acting veterans and a ton of
guest voices. Everyone from Jason Priestley and Tori Spelling
to Michael Clarke Duncan and Drew Barrymore make appearances.
With a comedy cartoon series like Family Guy, the cast
proves to be one of the strengths, especially when it comes
to delivering the lines well.
The DVD is referred to as the uncensored version, though
there was no censored version released initially. The default
setting is a censored version, but you can select the uncensored
audio track in the menu. Is that much of a big deal? Not really.
Except for one character that drops the f-word in excess,
the "uncensored" label is pretty much mediocre in comparison
to the likes of the South Park movie.
If you're a fan of the series, then you should definitely
catch this movie. If you own all the DVDs, go ahead and pick
this up as it will fit nicely with your collection. For those
who haven't caught the show yet might want to pass on this
one as some of the jokes are built on years of character development
in the series and don't make sense to the uninitiated. Yes,
this one is definitely a reward for the fans who helped bring
the series back.