Seth MacFarlane is one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities in the world of comedy at the moment. He has three concurrently running animated comedy shows: Family Guy; American Dad and the Cleveland Show. He’s a talented voice actor. He is set to host the Academy Awards in 2013. Aside from the tragic birth defect of having a supremely punchable face the guy looks to have it all. And with Ted, we have his feature film debut, in which he directs, writes, edits and provides the voice of the titular character; showing that if nothing else, this movie is truly his more than anyone else.
In 1985 Boston; at Christmas time; young John Bennett wishes for a true friend. He awakens the next morning to find that his stuffed bear, Teddy, has come alive. For the next little while Ted (as he comes to be known) enjoys a period of celebrity which eventually comes to an end. Flash forward to the modern-day, and John (Wahlberg) and Ted (MacFarlane) are still best friends; lazy around living the life of slacker bachelors. Ted is however a source of constant annoyance to John’s girlfriend Lori (Kunis) and after a series of misfortunes she convinces John to have Ted move out; and attempt to live in the real adult world for once.
The presence of Ted is surprisingly well handled; and the interaction between living actors and CGI bear is very smooth indeed. The humor goes up and down throughout the film, with several very good jokes hitting hard within the first 30 minutes, and then tapering down a bit. Ted feels like a comedy best enjoyed with a large group of friends, it has that tone about it. Both Wahlberg and Kunis play their parts well; and the Boston accented Ted sounds perfect for what he is as well.
Sadly, it often feels that many jokes never go beyond the stage of: “A children’s bear is doing very adult things;” and this damages the film to some extent. Definitely worth a watch once though, especially so that you don’t feel left out when everyone knows the thunder buddies song except you.