The one and only “Family Guy” is back on Fox and back in our hearts. The outrageous comedy series returns with a brand new DVD movie about Stewie Griffin, TV’s most famous matricidal infant.
The record-breaking success of the show’s DVD sales and its miraculous return from cancellation this spring inspired the creators to release their first movie which, according to Asian correspondent Trisha Takinawa, “will soon be in the $3.99 bin at your local car wash.”
The story begins with the Griffin clan going to the debut of the movie as if it were a big-budget, red-carpet affair. A boozed-up Lois drunkenly exiting the limo kicks off the laughs, which falter only sporadically. The movie’s main plot eventually begins when Stewie spots a man on the news who bears a striking resemblance to him, football head and all. Convinced that the man must be his real father, Stewie travels across the country with the Griffins’ dog, Brian, to find him.
Everything that fans love about “Family Guy” shows up in the movie. The pop-culture nonsequiturs that made the program a hit are all up to date and hilarious, including a cutaway in which Stewie takes a turn as Saddam Hussein being discovered in a spiderhole underground. Also appearing are the scathingly absurd racial stereotypes that verge on the edge of offensive – like Ollie, the weatherman portrayed as a “typical” angry black guy or the Blue Man Group being replaced by the Jew Man Group.
Although the primary storyline is great, a few side stories bomb. One about Peter becoming a news anchor slows down the pace, as does a downright pointless subplot involving Peter and Lois teaching their teenaged kids how to date.
The film runs like a three-part episode of the show that’s a little too hot for TV. The picture and sound of the movie are exactly like that which can be found Sunday nights on Fox, seeing as the animation isn’t any clearer nor the sound quality any crisper.
The special features section is, unfortunately, sorely lacking in content. All they have to offer is an uncensored audio track and a trailer of “American Dad.” However, the hysterical audio commentary by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, along with commentary from cast and crew members, stands out as the DVD’s crowing achievement. Listeners will learn, among other things, how the original plot of the movie involved Stewie coming out of the closet. While “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” has its obvious flaws, it’s a must-see for fans who don’t want to miss an episode.
Film: 3-1/2 stars
Picture/Sound: 3 stars
Special Features: 3 stars