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DVD Review

DVD cover

Ted & Ted 2
Thunder Buddies Collection

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane and Amanda Seyfried
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £29.99

Certificate: 15
Release Date: 09 November 2020

In 1985, friendless John Bennett is gifted a teddy bear for Christmas. The two bond immediately and in his loneliness John wishes that Ted was real. Unbeknownst to him, his wish happens at the same time as a shooting star and when John awakes Ted is alive...

Ted (2012. 1 hr, 41 min, 43 sec) is a comedy film directed by Seth MacFarlane, who co-wrote the script with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.

MacFarlane had originally found fame with Family Guy, which premiered in 1999 and which continues to be still going strong today (2020). If you have seen Family Guy, then you know that the comedy is pretty even-handed when taking shots at all and everything. If anything, the comedy in Ted is often milder than it is in the cartoon.

The other thing to be aware of is that the comedy is stupid, it is posited on stupid people making stupid choices. Personally, it ranks as my second most favourite comedy film, you have to go some way to beat Airplane (1980) and Ted nearly does.

Having introduced us to John (Mark Wahlberg) and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane), Ted gains an amount of notoriety, but as the film explains after a while, no matter how interesting you are, nobody gives a sh*t. The film's narration is provided by long-time collaborator Patrick Stewart, who has been a voice actor on MacFarlane's American Dad.

Scoot forward twenty-seven years and John, now thirty-seven is a low achieving stoner, living with his foul-mouthed bear. John has gained a love interest, Lori Collins (Mila Kunis). Half the film is made up of the tensions between the trio. Lori wants John to grow up and leave Ted behind, as he considers him a poor influence. Ted just wants to get stoned and party, oblivious to the damage he is doing to John and his relationship with Lori. John is torn between the two, unable to let go of his Thunder Buddy and his irresponsible child-like behaviour and the desire to settle down with Lori.

The tension comes to a head following John and Ted’s meeting with Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) and Ted is forced out of the apartment.

The story could have come to a halt at this point, but then we are introduced to Donni (Giovanni Ribisi), who is a little more than mentally unstable. At first, he tries to buy Ted and when that does not work, he kidnaps him.

As well as being genuinely funny, the film also works well when examining the relationships between the three main characters. While the actors are generally great in their roles, the real star of the show is the drug-taking, potty-mouthed, hooker chasing Ted.

It is another great non-PC character who makes you laugh along with him, even though you probably should not. Some of the best scenes are Ted trying not to get a job by being foul-mouthed – he gets the job – or when he gets caught banging a co-worker, following the over the top and tasteless Dirty Fozzie, which get him a promotion.

The character of Ted is full CGI, and it is a testament to the actors that there acting is such that you quickly forget this. A lot of this also comes down to MacFarlane’s vocal acting which provides Ted with nuanced layers of personality and character.

The DVD set comes with two discs, the theatrical version and the slightly longer unrated version (1 hr, 47 min, 39 sec) which for the most part just includes extended scenes, rather than any great chunks of missing material.


Following the financial and critical success of Ted, it made sense to make a sequel. Sequels usually do not do as well as the original, for several reasons, and this was to be true of Ted 2.

Ted 2 (2015) is once again directed by Seth MacFarlane, who co-wrote the script with Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild.

The film picks up a year after the first. John (Mark Wahlberg) is no longer married and is in a bit of an emotional funk. Ted (Seth MacFarlane), however, has married Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth), which goes great for about six months before they find themselves bickering all the time.

The second film was not as financially successful or critically acclaimed as the first, I think, for a number of reasons.

Firstly I felt that there were too many elements and too long a run time for most audiences.

Whereas Ted was based around the family, even Donny’s elements were there to bring the core family back together. Ted 2 doesn’t know what it wants to be.

There are elements of a stoner Cheech and Chong type road movie, as John, Ted and Samantha (Amanda Seyfried) tackle the legal issue of whether Ted has all the same rights as a human. This springs from the decision of Ted and Tami deciding to mend their relationship by having a baby. This leads to farce elements. Ted is unable to father his children, requires a sperm donor. This provides the film with one of its most hilarious and disgusting moments. When that does not work out they decide to adopt, which is the point that the government decides that he has no rights, he is not a person, but property.

The third element consists of the courtroom drama where Ted’s lawyers, eventually aided by Patrick Meighan (Morgan Freeman) try to argue that he is a person. This always struck me as odd as they don’t try to convince the jury that he is sentient, so much as contest that he is a person. Most of the audience would equate this with being human, which Ted is not.

Tack on to all of that, a subplot with Donny (Giovanni Ribisi) returning with another crazed plan to kidnap Ted and the film feels a little bloated.

Further add to this the numerous cameos. Sam J. Jones (Flash) returns, as does Patrick Warburton (Guy) and there was a nice inside joke with Guy wearing the Tick costume at a convention. The list goes on with Michael Dorn, Liam Neeson, David Hasselhoff, Patrick Stewart, Nana Visitor and a slew of late-night presenters.

That is not to say that I am accusing it of being unfunny, it’s not. Take any twenty-minute section or one particular plotline and the film works well. Each of the elements is funny and generally vulgar, even the elaborate kaleidoscopic Busby Berkeley numbers are interesting, but I am not convinced that they gel well together. The smacking together of the serious with the comedic eventually does not work.

For your delectation, Ted 2 is offered up in its theatrical print (1 hr, 50 min, 50 sec) and an extended version (2 hrs, 37 sec). Like the extended version for Ted, this extra time mostly consists of extended scenes, rather than an extensive collection of missing material.

So, its parts work well, but they do not come together to makes a greater whole.

The DVD comes with some extras, including a gag reel and Thunder Buddies 4 Lyfe (7 min, 11 sec) an extended promo for the film and some deleted scenes (4 min, 41 sec), looks like most of the material ended up in the extended version. Both discs come with subtitles for the hard of hearing.


Charles Packer

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