Family Guy was cancelled, but during the three year hiatus series creator Seth MacFarlane kept the dream alive by proposing a Family Guy feature. Eventually Fox agreed and as the feature was being put into pre-production Fox also decided to pick the show back up for a third season. They now wanted the feature to be able to be broken down into separate segments so later they could also air them as individual episodes. The result is Family Guy Presents: Stewie Griffin – The Untold Story. As you might expect the change in the scope effected the finished product. So how does it work? The DVD is basically three new episodes of the show that contain a common thread put together with an added prologue and epilogue. That’s not much for a pricey $29.99 (list price though you can probably find it for about half that); still for fans of the show I think there’s enough here to enjoy despite the steep price.
Family Guy Presents: Stewie Griffin – The Untold Story
Aaron and I have this ongoing debate about Family Guy. He feels the show’s over-reliance on pop-culture references is a crutch while I argue it allows for 90% of the show’s best moments. Taking a page from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show takes movie, television, current events, and makes references or in Family Guy‘s case some extremely funny parodies. Yeah, maybe each show’s actual plot isn’t as good as individual moments but there is always something to enjoy.
The film starts out with the event of the Family Guy movie premiere. Everyone shows up in style on the red carpet including a very intoxicated Lois (voice by Alex Borstein), the mostly ignored Meg (voice by Mila Kunis) and the celeb of the night Stewie (voice by Seth MacFarlane). After opening credits the movie starts.
The first episode involves Stewie’s change of heart from his a short stint in hell (see how long it takes you to recognize the song) after an unsuccessful attempt to blow up another child. The second episode involves Stewie and Brian (voice also by Seth MacFarlane) traveling cross country to find a man Stewie believes might be his real father but who turns out to be Stewie from the future. The last episode involves Stewie’s horror at his future self and his attempts to stop the events that might lead him down a similar path.
The story arc itself is a little odd due to the demands of Fox in insisting it be able to be broken down into separate segments. Of the three I found the first two much better written than the third which includes long exposition scenes and a rather unsatisfying conclusion.
Of course fans of the show have come to expect some great pop-culture parodies and riffs and the DVD includes quite a few including at least three Star Wars moments, some Thundercats and Beverly Hills 90210 which both include voices from the real actors, a riff on the car chase in Bullit, a brutally funny Bugs Bunny cartoon, and a rather humorous view of the magic of Jesus.
Not a great collection (less than 90 minutes for $30?) but a good one that includes some classic Family Guy moments and the commentary is quite good. Fans of the show will no doubt want to add this to their collection but for the casual fan or someone interested in getting into the show I’d suggest checking out one of the season sets on DVD where you’ll get more bang for you buck.