Our Score: 5 out 5 stars
We’ve all had a favorite toy at some time in our lives. For 8 year old John Bennett (Bretton Manley) that toy arrived on Christmas Day. A large stuff teddy bear that he, naturally, named Ted. The two were inseparable. One night John wished that Ted was real so they could be best friends forever. Thanks to a high passing shooting star his wish is granted. Of course a walking and talking teddy bear won’t go unnoticed and for some time John and Ted enjoy a little notoriety. But soon the hubbub dies down and the two remain best buds forever. Or do they?
Outrageously funny from beginning to end, “TED” could only come from the mind of “Family Guy” creator MacFarlane. Now 35, John (Wahlberg) is in a long term relationship with Lori (Kunis), who has learned to accept that Ted will always be part of John’s life. That the life in question is based on early morning pot smoking and continual viewings of “Flash Gordon” does not sit as well with Lori and she continues to drop hints that maybe it’s time for Ted to find a place of his own. But that is easier said than done.
Featuring funny performances and, along with Johnny Depp showing up in “21 Jump Street,” the greatest film cameo of the year, “TED” features some very familiar faces (voices) from the “Family Guy” world, including Patrick Stewart, Patrick Warburton and Alex Borstein. Wahlberg is very funny as man/child John while Kunis is strong in what is basically the “straight” role in the film. MacFarlane voices Ted as a miniature stuffed Eddie Haskell, relying on his infinite charm to stay out of trouble. As a director, MacFarlane shows great promise. There are a few great tracking shots he utilizes that may be easy to achieve in animation but are a pain when working in live action. The visual effect that IS Ted is also well rendered, making at least one person in the audience wish aloud that he could go home with them!