It’s a strange career that Seth MacFarlane has had; he wrote for Cow and Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo; he’s appeared in Gilmore Girls and FlashForward, but it is his more adult animation that he is known for: Family Guy, American Dad and The Cleveland Show. Now Seth MacFarlane has released his first feature film to be written and directed by himself and he also voices the main character: Ted.

Ted is the story of a young boy’s teddy bear coming to life after a special Christmas wish is made. And if the storyline sounds right out of a children’s book the humour is completely grown up, grown up in the sense that it is for adults, not that it is mature. The boy who makes this wish is John Bennett, played by Mark Wahlberg who I had my doubts about when the film was released because he doesn’t seem like the usual go to guy for a comedy but he turns out to be a brilliant choice along with his co-star Mila Kunis who’s relationship with John originally gets in the way of John and Ted’s friendship. The supporting cast is full of people who made their names on sitcoms: Patrick Warburton, Joel McHale, Giovanni Ribisi and a cameo appearance from Ryan Reynolds. There is also a voice over in the wonderful tone of Seth MacFarlane’s unlikely friend Patrick Stewart.

The humour comes in all shapes and sizes; the verbal humour and the physical humour are equally as funny and Ted seems to find the right balance between the two. The conversations between Ted and the supermarket boss are comedy gold, although you might not know if you’re laughing because it’s funny or whether you’re laughing because what Ted is saying is completely outrageous…but as long as you’re laughing, does it really matter?

Basically, watching Ted is a bit like watching a 100 minute long episode of Family Guy. The jokes seem to always be in that vein and you wouldn’t be surprised if they had been used in the television show, there are a lot of references to popular culture figures and there are even a couple of cutaway scenes that Family Guy is famous for. All this is great… if you are a fan of Family Guy, but it isn’t very original if you just take your television show, change a couple of characters and put it on the big screen which is what watching Ted felt like. Luckily though, I really like Family Guy so I didn’t mind at all. Again, I love pop culture references but I think if you insist on making pop culture references then keep them limited or else you are at risk of alienating your audience if they don’t know what you’re on about and Ted had everything from Justin Bieber, Van Wilder, Brandon Routh, Aliens and a hell of a lot of Flash Gordon. There were a lot of jokes that fell dud because of the audience’s lack of knowledge about aspects of popular culture but there was just enough brilliant lines throughout the rest of the film to keep everyone laughing.

I am a big fan of Giovanni Ribisi and I’ve seen a lot of his work and I think he is very funny but I thought the whole storyline with him trying to kidnap Ted seemed a little bit thin and it wouldn’t have really mattered if that never took place. The storyline just existed to give a very cliche ending bringing John and his girlfriend back together and so Seth MacFarlane could make jokes at the expense of an overweight child (not complaining about the last bit, it was really funny!)

Ted is not for the faint hearted but if you like cure, close to the bone humour, then you’ll love it.

My Rating: 7/10.

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