Comedy Movies, by Mike Richardson, 24 August 2012

Director: Seth MacFarlane

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Seth MacFarlane

Country: USA

Runtime: 106 min

Release Date:

Language: English

Ted the movie, from the guy behind Family Guy, American Dad and the Cleveland Show takes a very simple idea and slams it headlong into a comedic stack of canned goods which makes it perfect for its target demographic (easily pleased overgrown, underdeveloped manchilds). Ted has a lonely little boy wish that he is cuddly toy Ted the teddy bear would come to life. Surprise surprise he gets his wish and Ted becomes a walking, talking, singing, joking bestest buddy. Would this were a Disney film we’d get several chuckles from the fact that there is a walking talking teddy bear dealing with life in the real world, however because this is Seth (Family Guy) McFarlane who also voices Ted the bear we get a walking talking teddy bear that grows up, discovers booze, whores, drugs, swearing and general anti-social behaviour.

Ted

Ted

In case you haven’t gathered this this is no cute Pinocchio-esque story about childhood and commitment this is a crude and brash com (no room for rom) and the silky voice of Patrick Stewart as the narrator sets the tone early on, “Now if there’s one thing you can be sure of, it’s that nothing is more powerful than a young boy’s wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns AND missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine”.

The mega rich, mega successful McFarlane is the “Yes, we can” poster boy for the fart gag generation Y, and it’s simple to see where the “hilariously” immature character of Ted comes from. Ted is quite simply the “giggity” riposte to Disney’s Toy Story. There are plenty of other similar stories where a human is taught about life by inanimate objects given the gift of life like Short Circuit. There are also obvious echoes to ET and Bigfoot and the Hendersons, not to mention numerous talking dog and cat movies. However in a stroke of possible genius McFarlane gives the genre a spin at an unusual angle of making the talking toy a permanent fixture in his owner’s life, and fast forwards 30 years, to arrested development adulthood and the “little boy” facing commitment issues.

That’s it for story, but with Ted being as politically correct as Republican Senator Todd (not actually a doctor) Akin there’s plenty to lap up, if you like this sort of thing. Ted talking to a fat kid, “Back off, Susan Boyle!”, “I look like something you give to your kid when you tell ’em Grandma died”and “Garfield’s eye look like a pair of tits”. MacFarlane’s “charm” has always been his puppy-eyed shock tactic and Ted doesn’t disappoint, my pick of the bunch is Ted’s reaction to learning Nora Jones (played by Nora Jones) is half Indian half American, “Thanks for 9/11!”

The biggest problem with Ted is that the story takes second billing to the idea, all the time and energy and enthusiasm seems to have gone into scenes with Ted and his consistently outlandish misbehaviour . Still, if you like that sort of thing (or set your brain to beer mark 7 before settling down to watch the movie) Ted hits a big cuddly bullseye.

Ted Trailer

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