Since 1999 and the creation of hit sitcom Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane has become one of the leading names in prime time animation. The man seems to know no limits -- writing, directing and voicing his television shows (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show), webisodes for Burger King, producing other live-action shows (The Winner, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage), is currently working on his fifth series, and plans to revamp The Flintstones – and lend his voice over skills to the character of Barney.
If all those projects weren’t enough, MacFarlane, along with Family Guy scribes Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, has written his first full-length feature. Donning his usual hats (directing, producing, voice over), MacFarlane brings us Ted, a buddy comedy about a man and his teddy. Many moons ago, John (Mark Wahlberg) wished his stuffed pal to life, and, as grown man and bear, have become pretty much inseparable. In honor of MacFarlane’s particular brand of humor, here are five reasons to go see Ted.
5. Seth MarFarlane – Since MacFarlane voices Ted, it sounds as if Peter Griffin stepped into the brash bear’s fuzzy body – gyrating, humping the air, fist bumping, and generally being the guy you’re embarrassed to bring home to mom. In fact, Peter turning into a talking teddy bear could easily be an episode of Family Guy. This time, MacFarlane doesn't have the restrictions of television holding him back. Fans can expect him to push the limits with his first feature, hopefully with the foul-mouthed humor and cut-away non-sequitur scenes MacFarlane’s famous for.
4. Wilfred – Replace the teddy with a sassy Australian in a floppy dog suit and the two stories seem remarkable similar. The American adaptation on FX has its own crass animal friend, but that appears to be where the comparisons end. Ted and Wilfred’s human counterparts are Mark Wahlberg and Elijah Wood – two actors who couldn’t be more different. Wilfred also has its dry wit, rather than MacFarlane’s laugh-out-loud gags. If you enjoy watching unexpected disasters that come from having, essentially, an imaginary friend, Wilfred's and Ted's hijinks hold the same devious appeal.
3. Mila Kunis – The former That 70s Show star has more than proven her acting chops (Black Swan) since making the leap to film. From Forgetting Sarah Marshall to the surprisingly entertaining Friends With Benefits, Kunis has the rare ability to project “it-girl” and have impeccable comedic timing. Here genuine likeability makes audiences feel like they could chill out and have a beer with her – a quality that, if she’s not written into a “girlfriend” corner, can only help Ted reach its full potential.
2. Mark Wahlberg – Though he has his own action-drama niche (The Italian Job, Shooter) Wahlberg, when he ventures out of his usual genres, is utterly hilarious. The Fighter actor really shines in balls-to-the-wall comedy, most notably as an existentialist/nihilistic/absurdist firefighter in I Heart Huckabees. In The Other Guys, the Boston tough-guy poked fun at all the assumptions about his personality and gave us the line, "I'm a peacock, you gotta let me fly!" It’s about time Wahlberg sheds his machismo and gets silly again.
1. The Thunder Song – On Family Guy, The Cleveland Show, and American Dad, MacFarlane is a big fan of incorporating song into his stories. Not only is the writer/director a seasoned musician, but he seems to find away to consistently fuse comedy, pop culture references and song together in a perfect blend of hilarity. Check out the Ted Red-band trailer for a glimpse at Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, and of course, the thunder song.