Talkback: Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted”

Ted, the live-action/CG combo by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane opens today. If you’ve seen the film, please share your thoughts. I’ll be seeing the film soon because I’m a serious animation critic and it’s my duty to see everything animated, and…oh, who am I kidding, it’s got Mila Kunis in it.

Everybody should know the drill by now. This talkback is only for those who have seen the film. If you haven’t seen the film, your comment goes bye-bye.


  • John

    I thought it was good. It wasn’t as funny as I had hoped, but there were some moments were I laughed pretty hard. However, I just didn’t find the whole “teddy bear doing bad things” situation funny. Most of the humor, for me, came out of the more original, wackier stuff–like the fart reaching the businessmen and the Lou Gehrig’s Disease joke. However, the movie kept me really invested throughout the entire thing, and I really cared for Mark Wahlberg’s character. So, by no means a perfect film, but something to watch if you want to be entertained.

    • Jen

      You found the jokes about ALS funny? Do you know anything about “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”? It tears families apart. It’s the worst disease I’ve ever seen and I am watching a family member go down hill with it everyday. That was hands-down the sickest joke in the movie. No offense, but you sound like a complete douchebag saying that was your favorite part of the movie. It’s such an awful disease I couldn’t even wish it on someone as awful as you.

      • Karen

        One of the best friends I had died of ALS/Lou Gehrig’s and Jen wrote just what I feel! What the heck was Seth MacFarlan thinking? He was NOT thinking and with all the technology out there – get that line out of that movie or people do NOT waste your time nor money on it. You could spend your movie and popcorn $ on a donation to the Les Turner ALS Foundation in Chicago!

      • Karen

        I agree with Jen. I lost one of my best friends to ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease. What the heck was Seth MacFarlane thinking?! He was NOT thinking. With modern technology, how ’bout getting that line out of there or just DO NOT waste your $ on going to see this movie. You could, however, take your movie and popecorn $ and make a donation to the Les Turner ALS Foundation in Chicago!

      • Seth

        Whoa. Censorship advocates are loud.

      • http://www.animatordave.com dave

        What about all the gay jokes? Are you guys just pissed about the Lou Gehrig’s jokes because those are the ones that affect you? Have you ever seen Family Guy? I think you have to go into this movie with an open mind. That aside, this movie is worth the watch just to watch Mark Wahlberg do some comedy. His deadpan deliveries were 100% on point. Funniest line was about him getting raped for what he’s wearing… but of course, I’ve never been raped. Yet.

      • Jen

        I have seen Family Guy I knew what to expect but I never would have went if I knew a line like that would be in there. There’s just a line…and I sincerely hope you never have to experience of witness it but it is the worst disease ever. You lose all control of your muscles and everything has to be done for you. You can’t even talk and it is slow! Some say it’s fast and they’re the luckier ones. Your mind is completely unaffected and all you can do is watch it happen. And there’s no cure.

        As for the gay jokes, I’m sure most gay people who are offended by gay jokes know to avoid anything with Seth MacgFarlanes’ name on it. As I said ALS is not something I would wish on anyone. I hope my explanation has helped you understand why something like that is a little too morbid to be taken so lightly.

  • Mark

    It felt like the live action equivalent of Family Guy with Season 1 writing. Where the story stays consistent on a linear path and its cut away segments enhances the story and not thrown in for humors sake. Plants, pay offs and homages to the glory that was the 80s. It was a funny at point and I highly reccomend watching it. But I kept thinking half way through the film, will Seth Macfarlane ever get away from this brand of humor or style of story telling? It just felt like watching a Macfarlane thing. whether it be American Dad, Cleavand Show, or Family Guy. I am more interested in seeing what he does next live action wise and seeing if he continues doing the same thing over and over or will he finally expand and move into a different direction. Also brush up on your Flash Gordon, it helps making the movie a lot more enjoyable.

  • A Writer

    Classic movie in my opinion. Seth is like Walt Disney when he was drunk. Thunder Song is legendary.

    could have did without mark wahlberg tho.

  • Mike Johnson

    Just got back from seeing TED. As touching as it was funny, and it was *very* funny. I am a big Family Guy fan, so I suppose you could say that I was the target audience for Ted, but I really think that the target audience is anyone who loves to laugh so hard they cry, and I did that in spades. Nice performance from Mark Wahlberg as well…he really is funny! Everyone else was good too. As for Ted, I didn’t really spend a second seeing him as CGI…the CG work is that good…and I also never felt I was listening to Peter Griffin’s voice coming out of his mouth, even though it really was. Seth’s vocal performance was just as perfect as could be for the character. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think overall Ted is hands down the funniest movie so far this year, and may well be the funniest movie of the entire year. For every joke that falls flat (and there are a few) there are about fifty more that hit the bullseye and that is not a bad ratio if you ask me. I am definitely going back for more of Ted…

  • D

    Honestly I did not care for it that much.I found that the humour was very similar to typical current Family Guy humour, a bunch of jokes that try too hard to be edgy, one liners that are more miss than hit and a large portion of jokes that seem to overindulge an revel in their own juvenility.

    The attempt to weave sentiment into the relationship and dynamic between Ted and John fell flat because I couldn’t really buy into it, I believe this to be the cause of very one dimensional characters and poor pacing.

    I found Ted himself to be as tiresome a gimmick as the talking dog and the talking bear that have plagued Macfarlanes other shows. It’s funny and cute at the beginning a Teddy bear doing depraved incredibly juvenile things but it grows tiresome, it becomes like those jokes in Family Guy that go on for way too long only in this case it is extended to a full movie length.

    I will give it to Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg though, they brought a lot to their characters and the material as one dimensional and weak as their material was. That scene where they name off white trash names was pretty impressive and the first time I’ve laughed at something MacFarlane has written since he was working on Johnny Bravo.

    In the end though a handful of good jokes and a decent supporting cast doesn’t save this thing, it is still an elongated Family Guy episode that feels as though it was written by a bunch of brain dead twelve year olds.

    • feep

      23 Likes with none of them commenting on what they thought after having “seen it”, interesting. The haters need to really give this comedy a chance and just loosen the hell up and laugh. But of course it’s the cool thing to hate on Mcfarlane at any chance they get. Not to downplay this review, it was very well written and I find myself agreeing with many of the points, but just found it funnier I suppose.

      I thought the film was a loud, fun, getaway that had big and small laughs all throughout. A couple would fall flat, but not before there was another gag there to steal your attention. Go see the film and sit down to relax and have fun. Go see the film with a snobbish, ready-to-hate attitude and you’ve already missed the point.

  • Marvin

    It was like “The Beaver” without Mel Gibson or the chronic depression.

  • MrAscii

    I thought it was pretty funny. My wife and I laughed through the whole thing and the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it as well.

    It was similar to the “Family Guy” template, but was enough different that I didn’t feel like I was watching another episode of the show. The humor was good and tended to the raunchy side a few times but not overwhelmingly so. The nods to 80′s culture were funny and are something I enjoy about Seth’s writing.

    Ted himself was a typical CGI character. Realistic enough to fit in with the world. The movie used his teddy bear properties a few times for good effect.

    Overall, I would (and am) recommending it, but it’s certainly not for everyone. If you don’t like Seth’s other work, I wouldn’t bother. But, that can be said about almost any writer/director. It’s unusual for them to completely change direction.

  • http://www.benjaminchirlin.com Ben C

    I enjoyed the film. It had some great funny moments but the story didn’t suffer. I feel like Family Guy often loses a solid through-line due to all the non-sequiter moments but MacFarlane maintained a good balance throughout the film. I’m not a huge Family Guy fan anymore but I enjoyed the film quite a bit.

  • FilmBuffRich

    I think many MacFarlane haters will be surprised by the undercurrent of sweetness in the film. Except that they probably won’t even give it a chance. Their loss.

  • Jon H

    I really enjoyed it and so did most of the audience. It probably helps that the audience enjoyed it, to be honest. It’s definitely nothing ground-breaking and it has enough MacFarlane crassness that people who hate him already won’t be converted, but still I found myself laughing and honestly I got more emotionally involved than I thought I would. I went in with sort of an upturned nose but I was pleasantly surprised.

    I’d recommend it to any modern comedy fan.

  • Anthrocoon

    Just saw it and thought it hilarious, yet with some sweet moments–most of the jokes on target, some rudeness but he pulls it off. Great special effects and I got a kick out of the Boston locations, coming from the area (yes we do speak like that even if it does sound retahhhhhhhhhhhded). The choice Jon has to make–the girl or the bear? Maturity or an extended childhood, or is that goofy adolescence…

  • Richard

    SOOOO FUNNY.
    Loved the madness of Ted’s party and the “retarded” Ted from near the end.

  • OtherDan

    I thought it was funny. People need to lighten up! If you were writing a movie where the hero hated his beloved girlfriend’s boss because he gropes her and wants to steal her from him, I think that character might wish a terrible disease on him like Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Do you really want to take texture out of our world and kill every cutting joke? Give me a break. My favorite part was Wahlberg’s recollection of his dancing abilities. That was a pretty great re-creation.

    • Jen

      If only you knew what you were saying…it cuts too deep. It is the worst disease out there and wishing that on someone else means they probably have more problems than hating their girlfriends boss.

      • Chris

        Jen,

        These were fictional characters in a make believe story. No actual person wished ALS on anyone.

        Mentioning Lou Gehrig’s disease in a comedy does not diminish how awful the disease is. If anything, it might even remind the audience that some people have ALS. And that we must cure this disease right now.

        When you say “it cuts too deep,” don’t you just mean “it cuts ME too deep?” If so, that is understandable. Perhaps you have personal experience with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

        While I am sorry the use of ALS in this movie bothered you, it seems as though you feel Lou Gehrig’s disease is taboo for comedy.

        It’s my opinion that no subject should be taboo for comedy. And I would imagine that’s opinion is shared by a majority of people.

      • Jen

        It’s not so much the line in the movie. People are quoting it on twitter…that’s just ignorance. But if anyone says anything to them, they proceed to make further jokes about ALS. The line itself wasn’t about the living condition and survival rate of ALS. The fact is, it sends the message that it is something to be made fun of. When some are defending this line they take it farther and make fun of the actual disease and people who have it. I’m sure that wasn’t Seth Macfarlanes’ intention but he’s served it up to the public giving them a green light. And I can tell you, my uncle and his wife/caretaker and his two children are definitely not laughing.

      • http://deleted OtherDan

        Jen, you’re right: it’s terrible to make light of something so painful. And, yet that’s what comedy tends to do on many levels, make you think about or picture extremes to get a reaction-hopefully a laugh. My point is the character hated his girlfriend’s boss so much that he wished cancer upon him. Okay, it wasn’t cancer. But, if that were in the line wouldn’t that be equally disturbing to you? I understand that you are personalizing it because of your experience with it. And, I’m sorry to know that. I think for the broader audience the joke in the movie came and went. I’m sure if he had wished herpes upon him, someone out there would be outraged because of a terrible case of herpes.

  • Jen

    I may be personalizing it, I can admit that, but cancer is a broad term and it’s not a disease with a 0% survival rate. There is no chemo, no radiation, no pills for ALS.

  • OtherDan

    Got it. You prompted me to do a little “youtubing” about ALS, and it is indeed tragic. Maybe Seth should also take the time looking at it from your angle, and defend his own jokes. From what I’ve heard the characters in the movie joked in an authentic Bostonian manner.

    • Jen

      I’m hoping that others at least look it up and maybe it brings awareness. Thanks!