FAMILY GUY PRESENTS
If you are a devoted fan of FAMILY GUY, then you are certain to find FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY (30) pretty freakin funny. Personally, I love FAMILY GUY and was really upset when Fox cancelled the show. Fortunately, DVD sales of the show went through the roof, forcing Fox to rethink their cancellation of Seth MacFarlane’s irreverent animated comedy series, and ordering the production of another thirty-five episodes. However, back before FAMILY GUY was un-cancelled by Fox, Seth MacFarlane had tried to get the studio interested in a feature length adventure, which eventually evolved into this direct-to-video release.
FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY is a three-part adventure, which will eventually be aired in separate installments (Stewie B. Goode, Bango Was His Name Oh! and Stu And Stewie’s Excellent Adventure), with a movie premiere wraparound that contains most of the unrated footage that will never air on broadcast television. The primary theme running through the three-part adventure involves young Stewie Griffin’s quest to find his real father, after seeing middle-aged man on television, who bares a uncanny resemblance to our infant protagonist. Other amusing themes running through the story involve Peter becoming a TV commentator, Peter and Lois giving Chris and Meg dating lessons, and a trip to the future, where we discover one potential fate for the Griffin clan. The primary vocal cast of FAMILY GUY includes Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY available on DVD in a transfer that frames the program in the 1.37:1 full screen aspect ratio. The image quality is really quite good for a direct-to-video animated production, and actually looks better than the series itself on DVD. Everything appears crisp and clean, plus the colors are completely stable. Blacks are inky, whites are clean and the contrast is fine for this type of animated production. Digital compression artifacts are always nicely contained.
FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY comes with a perfectly acceptable Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. There really isn’t too much going on sound effects-wise for the 5.1 encoding to take advantage of, only an occasional pan across the forward sound stage to remind one that there is some directional information in the mix. Of course, the soundtrack does create a nice sense of musical spaciousness and a bit of ambience, which is stronger than the standard surround mixes found on the season sets. Dialogue is cleanly reproduced and always easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the DVD, but English, French and Spanish subtitles are provided.
Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. The DVD features a running audio commentary with Seth MacFarlane, a few members of the writing staff, plus additional comments from cast members Alex Borstein, Seth Green and Mila Kunis. My screening copy DVD alluded to an Animatics Comparison, a preview of FAMILY GUY VOLUME 3, and an AMERICAN DAD preview, but it seems that these extras are only actually present on the final consumer versions of the release.
FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY delivers the laughs in typical FAMILY GUY fashion, plus it adds a little unrated material to spice up the hilarity. The presentation looks and sounds really nice and is certain to please fans. If you love FAMILY GUY, you’ll want to add FAMILY GUY PRESENTS STEWIE GRIFFIN: THE UNTOLD STORY to your collection.
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