Seth MacFarlane, the man behind Family Guy, in my opinion the best adult animation series ever to grace your TV screen, now turns his creative mind to pure live-action feature films – save one animated teddybear named Ted. The plot is as puerile as they come: a young bullied boy gets one wish from a fairy, and wishes for his new teddybear to come to life and become his friend. He does, saves the boy's childhood, and becomes a national sensation. Then we fast-forward some 25 years, and the boy is now a 31-year-old man-child with a live, weed-smoking slacker of a teddybear – plus an ambitious girlfriend who's not too crazy about their hedonistic lifestyle.
Ted appeals to our childhood fantasy, and combines this with one of the main fantasies of many young (male) adults today: ditch responsibility, kick back, and watch movies, TV and play video games all day long. Add Seth MacFarlane's take on an adult, horny teddybear to the equation, and you'd think you'd be in for a real treat. And to be fair, there are numerous laughs in here, which will all definitely work for anyone who likes Family Guy. Most of these are either in the dialogue or realized by some absurd situations related to having a live teddybear with the mind of a teenager. But once the novelty of the setup wears off, and MacFarlane must trust his plot and characters to carry the weight of a full-length feature film, it becomes apparent that much of what makes Family Guy work so well isn't quite transferable to live-action cinema. Yes, we get the pop-culture references (which are fun enough), and yes, the Ted character, which is more or less the spitting image of Brian Griffin, is a fun concoction, but the romantic portion and the plot twist towards the end are far too conventional and uninspired to elevate Ted very far above the mediocre Hollywood comedy level.