Watching, making and reviewing movies is my passion. I've written and posted movie reviews on Flixster and Listal.

Ted is the feature film debut of writer/director/star Seth MacFarlane, who’s best known for his hit television show Family Guy. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the film bears a notable resemblance to long-running cartoon series, as MacFarlane retained his proclivity for toilet humour, non-sequiturs, one-liners, obscure movie references and pop culture shout-outs. Luckily, Ted is also sharper and wittier than most recent Family Guy episodes, resulting in a comedy that’s, for lack of better word, fucking hilarious. Furthermore, the film is based around an inventive central premise. Calling upon his incisive writing instincts, MacFarlane here deconstructs one of the most tiresome comedy plots of recent years - the “decent young guy held back from maturity by a churlish best friend or a cherished toy from his childhood” plot - by taking it to its logical symbolic extreme: the boorish best friend is actually the beloved childhood toy. By doing this, MacFarlane snarkily addresses the “What happens next” question of every “boy and his magical buddy” movie ranging from E.T. to Pete’s Dragon.

A shy 8-year-old social outcast, John Bennett (Wahlberg) makes a Christmas wish that his teddy bear would come alive so they can be real friends forever. Sure enough, the magic of the cosmos pulls through, and John awakens the following morning to find that his bear Ted (MacFarlane) has become a living, speaking being. The talking teddy bear becomes a short-lived celebrity, but, through it all, John and Ted vow to remain best friends forever. Fast forward to present-day, however, and the pair are going nowhere fast, spending their days smoking pot and watching TV. While Ted is scraping by just fine, John desperately needs to get his life in order and grow up, as his long-term girlfriend Lori (Kunis) is getting fed up with his crap. Faced with an ultimatum from Lori, John urges Ted to move out and start living his own life, but the friendship is hard to break and John is left choosing between his beloved teddy bear and the woman he loves.

Beneath Ted’s routine of lowbrow gags, there’s unexpected intelligence and thoughtfulness which places this above less skilful comedies. The story predominantly concerns John’s maturation, and the commentary on the realities of growing up are surprisingly poignant. Admittedly, though, Ted does contain a few narrative elements that feel too standard-order. The script is formulaic to extremes, and you will probably be able to guess everything that happens throughout the film. Yet, the film actually gels far better than it had any right to, because it’s so genuinely side-splitting. Likewise, the film has a tendency to be cheesy (especially the ending), and there’s a running subplot about a creepy fan who wants to kidnap Ted which seems to have been shoehorned into the script to allow for a big finale. But in MacFarlane’s hands, everything comes together beautifully. It’s the execution that matters when it comes to this type of film, and, thankfully, with the original device of an alive teddy bear combined the witty writing and energetic direction, Ted just plain works. Better yet, there’s genuine sweetness here to supplement the laughs.

Those who hate Family Guy, or Seth MacFarlane’s humour in general, will probably hate Ted just as much since the comedic styles are similar. But fans of MacFarlane’s humour will have an utter ball with this picture. And commendably, the laughs go beyond the one-note gag of seeing a foul-mouthed teddy bear doing things that he just shouldn’t be doing. As a matter of fact, the script (by MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild) is very witty, with obscure pop culture references, blue-collar bar-room humour, and even a party spotlighting a surprise cameo (from a laudably game actor) that should have viewers absolutely wetting their pants. It’s also important to note that the jokes work so well not just because they’re vulgar, but also because of the immaculate timing and delivery. There are a lot of lowbrow laughs here, sure, and thus your liking of Ted is definitely dependant on your taste for comedy, but the film undoubtedly worked for this reviewer.

It helps that Ted is such a terrific character. Seriously, he’s one of the greatest movie characters of 2012. Played by MacFarlane through motion capture, the special effects are solid here; not exactly photorealistic, but nevertheless expressionistic and believable. Ted also fully interacts with various environments in different types of lighting to amazing effect. Ted never looks cheap or phoney, nor does he ever stand out as anything other than part of this world. Like last year’s Paul, you soon accept and believe the character as real, rather than just a digital creation. Injecting personality into a CGI teddy bear is no mean feat, yet MacFarlane pulled it off. Furthermore, you can believe Ted’s friendship with John. Ted is a fantasy, but MacFarlane makes us believe this fantastical story, which makes the characters more relatable and the story more engaging.

At first glance it may seem like Seth MacFarlane just recycled his Peter Griffin voice for Ted, but the talented voice actor actually created a new voice with a Boston tinge (whereas Peter was distinctly New England). It’s an engaging vocal performance with spot-on comedic delivery, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing this role. Alongside him, Mark Wahlberg is extremely well-used as straight man John. He’s completely believable and likeable, and, crucially, whenever he shares scenes with Ted, it never seems like he’s interacting with something that’s not actually there. (A punch-up between Ted and John is a particular success in this respect.) Mila Kunis, meanwhile, was saddled with the clichéd role of a frustrated girlfriend, yet she transcends the material due to the level-headedness she displays, not to mention her inherent likeability as an actress. There are a range of colourful supporting performances here, not to mention several celebrity cameos that this reviewer simply cannot spoil, and suffice it to say everyone hit their marks beautifully. Patrick Stewart even narrates the whole thing, which lends a bit of gravitas to the proceedings.

While cynical filmgoers may mark Ted down for being predictable and generic, the fact is that this is a comedy which aspires to make you laugh, and it is funny as hell. That’s no small achievement. It won’t change your life, but it’s a wonderful, well-told comedy which wholly satisfied this reviewer, not to mention it’s more heartfelt than Family Guy has ever been. And, like all of the best comedies in history, it contains countless insanely quotable lines of dialogue. Ted is an instant classic, pure and simple.

Sort by
  • JoseHunt says
    This is a good one review. I like such type of reviewing. You can also check desert nights review and see how great it is! So thank you for providing the nice information.
  • Jonathan says
    I've proper selected to build a blog, which I hold been deficient to do for a during. Acknowledges for this inform, it's really serviceable! Svg Logo
  • Jonathan says
    So lot to occur over your amazing blog. Your blog procures me a fantastic transaction of enjoyable.. Salubrious lot beside the scene. детски съоръжения
  • Jonathan says
    It is rather very good, nevertheless glance at the data with this handle. Bulgarian lawyers
  • Jonathan says
    On this subject internet page, you'll see my best information, be sure to look over this level of detail. недвижими имоти варна
  • Jonathan says
    I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. hasta yatağı fiyatları
  • Jonathan says
    I should assert barely that its astounding! The blog is informational also always fabricate amazing entitys. 카지노사이트
  • Jonathan says
    In this case you will begin it is important, it again produces a web site a strong significant internet site: sun city auto glass
  • Jonathan says
    Usually when I search the internet I check out websites which provide reliable information so I found this site. I desired to state that I found the content in your web site has been really interesting and that I learned something new. I will be sure to look for your next write-up.. Thank you for the nice article I will revisit in the future. toll free conference call
  • Jonathan says
    I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people. BTC Price

Post your comment

Want to have your say?

It's quick, easy and 100% free.



Endorsed Events

  • SpringBreakFIJI SpringBreakFIJI

    Secure your motivation for the year by locking in SpringBreak in Fiji, your own exclusive island

  • The Fijian Cup The Fijian Cup

    The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...

  • Rock Island VANUATU Rock Island VANUATU

    From a fully chartered resort, an incredible line up of Kiwi musicians and Rock legends flown in you'll find nothing close to...

  • Summit FIJI Summit FIJI

    Summit FIJI aims to revolutionise how businesses can approach conferences, corporate retreats and team building weekends