• OVERALL
    3.5
    GREAT
  • Feature
  • Extras
  • Replay Value
THE FEATURE
Let me begin by saying I am a die hard fan of Family Guy. I am sure that a lot of young viewers can say the same. The show that was once dumped by Fox for weak ratings made a comeback thanks to the popularity of its episodes on DVD. Since then new episodes have sprung up as well as little side projects to appease the fans. One example of these projects is a straight-to-video DVD.

Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story is the latest of immediate responses to Family Guy fever. One minute the show could barely survive. Now it is so big that it gets its own movie promotion. So how good is this long anticipated film? Well, it certainly does not reach a level of cinematic brilliance that the South Park movie managed to do so brilliantly. However, we do get the same Family Guy jokes that we love in an extended cut of 88 minutes.

I will admit that even someone like me that lives and breathes the show found it to be a little excessive. The show is a chain of unrelated jokes, and that can be like watching the same comedian for a given amount of time. Though how can I complain? Every episode of Guy keeps me in stitches and begging for more funny. In a feature-length runtime, creator Seth MacFarlene and his writing team dish out the goods. This movie is wrong, politically incorrect, and crude. And that is just the way the viewers like it!

The movie is divided into different parts that make it feel like watching one episode after another. Despite the title, Stewie Griffin does not dominate the show. Like most other episode, every quirky character gets their time to shine.

Without giving too much away, here is a brief rundown. Peter gets his own segment on the evening news. Chris and Meg are encouraged by their parents to start dating. Stewie goes on a hunt to find his real father, and ends up traveling through time. As for the lampooning, Thundercats, Ferris Buehler, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Who's The Boss are just a few examples.

Stewie Griffin is a great dose of Family Guy, and I am proud to add it to my collection, though I felt a sense of pressure on the writers while watching it. In the rare instances that I have felt a problem with particular episodes of the show, I have observed the same thing. From time to time, the writers will provide a setup that references pop culture. While flashbacks to specific shows and movies are priceless enough, sometimes there is a void where a joke should be. Even though particular odes to other shows are clever, some jokes are not fully developed.

Now that I am finished throwing that point onto the table, I will say this: forget it. Every brilliant comic has jokes that fall flat. It is a fact of life. Filling 88 minutes full of the humor fans crave is quite a challenge, and the Family Guy crew does a sufficient job.
THE EXTRAS
Unfortunately, this milestone DVD does not come packed with much in the extras.

A commentary track with MacFarlene and various writers, producers, directors, and actors is quite insightful. Like the episode commentaries, this group goes into detail on creating the show and the inspiration for their jokes. A definite worthwhile listen for fans of the show.

As well, there is an uncensored audio track. I understand this feature being beneficial if the movie were filled with constant, annoying profanity blockers. Though the fact of the matter is that one particular character goes on a profane rant for a couple of minutes, and this track lets us hear it. The option for this track is a good concept, but really. It's not like we haven't heard the word "f**k" before.

There is an animatic comparison, though I was not able to view it thanks to restrictions on the critic screener disc (tsk tsk). Though in my past years of viewing animatic comparisons I am sure it is a beneficial viewing for animation fans.
THE VIDEO
The picture is presented in fullscreen just like the television show. I would complain, but I can't. I've enjoyed every episode in full frame, and the show wouldn't be the same trying to look like a theatrical masterpiece. I am sure the movie will no doubt be shown in the fullscreen format on TV before too long.
THE AUDIO
The movie is presented in 5.1 Dolby, which is a change from the way television shows are usually presented on DVD. While the option of super sound is available, it is still just a long episode of Family Guy. I can't say I notice a huge difference.
THE PACKAGE
Standard DVD keep case. The front of Stewie's head takes up most of the front cover of the case.
THE FINAL WORD
Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story will undoubtedly delight fans of the show. My review of the DVD may not be as shining as I want it to be, but this is due to a lack of special features and the humor being somewhat exhausting at times.

My Recommendation: If you are a fan of the show, you know you are going to buy this. When the end of September rolls around, have your wallets ready!

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