"Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy" Blu-ray Review
May 28, 2009 by Zach Demeter
When it comes to modern adult animated comedies, the name Seth MacFarlane should ring a bell to anyone who tunes into Fox. If not, you’ll know his works from Family Guy and American Dad!, as well as the man with the funny voices in that Hulu commercial. In any case, it doesn’t matter if you’re familiar with the man himself, all that matters is you know his cartoons and his style of humor that has made the cast of Family Guy a household name. With a ton of cartoon shorts available in this new Cavalcade release, fans are sure to be entertained.
Prepare for non-stop, raw and brazen laughs with the bleeping hilarious series from the creator of “Family Guy” and “American Dad” when Seth MacFarlane’s CAVALCADE OF CARTOON COMEDY debuts on unrated Blu-ray and DVD May 12 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Featuring exclusive new episodes too outrageous for television or the internet, the DVD is packed with 50 shorts in total and highlights all-new classic characters, “Family Guy” voice talent and hilarious pop culture parodies of Jesus Christ, Bob Dylan, Ted Nugent, Quentin Tarantino, Super Mario, Jeff Goldbum and more. The irreverent animated shorts that originally aired on YouTube and SethComedy.com are also included but now completely unedited and uncensored.
No doubt you’ve seen a few of these shorts floating around online already, but as the synopsis states, you can see them all uncensored and full of naughty language this time around, so those who are intrigued…well the set has that going for it. Between the fifty shorts here, you’re sure to laugh your butt off as there are some genuinely hilarious sketches embedded within this set of fifty and anyone who is a fan of MacFarlane will likely enjoy the ride. Unfortunately for me….I’m not a fan of MacFarlane, so I have more than a few issues with this…well…”film,” or whatever you want to call it.
For starts, I’ve never been a fan of his comedy outings. I’ll gladly admit that I’ve laughed wholeheartedly at Family Guy before, but my issues with that show are simple: I’ve found that, very often, for every great joke in an episode you have to sit through a whole myriad of dull, repetitious, or genuinely unfunny ones before you reach the next. I stuck with the show for a few seasons, but after awhile it just got too much and ever since the series returned it seems to have only gotten worse. I fully respect those out there who continue to love and enjoy the series, but I’m simply not one of them.
So what hope did I have for this release then, right? Well, on one hand…yeah, I could be a bit biased. On the other, when MacFarlane and crew write something that is genuinely funny? I’ll laugh. I’ll laugh hard. As evidenced here by quite a few of these sketches, but sadly when it comes to watching fifty of these buggars in a row (which play out as nothing more than Family Guy style cutaways 90% of the time), ones patience wears thin. While the set starts out strong with the prince frog bit (which immediately sets you up for how vulgar and brash this set can be), it quickly spirals into an uncontrolled torrent of stupid, with quite a few “____ having sex” bits, as well as a highly annoying bit where a Scottish dude yells at the TV. Like a lot of jokes from MacFarlane, the Scottish joke was funny at first, but when stretched into five or six different segments it just became too much. I actually threw up my hands in disgust when the skits “returned” later in the mixture of fifty, as I was fully prepared to just completely ignore them. I also laughed when they misspelled Wrath of Khan for one of those skits (they had it as “Kahn”). Maybe it was intentional or something, I don’t know…but it stuck out to me because I immediately thought of hot dogs.
Really, the whole set is just a mixed back. 20% of the time I was laughing, but the remaining 80% I was either lightly smiling or becoming frustrated with what was going on screen. For me, this Cavalcade was exactly how I’d describe MacFarlane’s shows: hilarious for a bit, then it quickly gets old and tiresome. The set didn’t even end on a high note, though I don’t know how you can really top Seth Green’s Matthew McConaughey parody (granted it ran a bit long, but the impression was just hilarious).
Overall there are some brilliant moments in this Cavalcade, but for the most part it’s something you can safely Skip. All the best ones you can find online for free anyway and, as I’ll point out in a bit, the “extras” on this release are hardly worth owning.
Fox has released Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy on Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case, complete with Eco-Friendly holes. No inserts are included, although a peel off sticker (affixed directly to the package, rather than the shrink wrap…kind of annoying there, Fox) that includes free iTunes downloads of the first episodes of Family Guy, American Dad! and Futurama (finally, some quality animation from this set!). Menus are barren and easy to navigate, although I’ve had woodpeckers outside my window at 6am that were less annoying sounding than the chirping sound effects that play while you switch around options on the menu.
The set is encoded with the AVC codec (@35mbps) and it looks just about as amazing as you would expect pure digital animation to. Clean, flawless and…well, that’s it, really. It’s in 1.33:1 so it’s not widescreen, but it does the job satisfactorily, with beautiful and bright colors that pop.
Extras include a Red Carpet Premiere (4:21, SD) that interviews some people who went to watch this at some kind of strange gathering, where they all laughed at the best segments. Here we learn a bit of behind the scenes information about the voice actors and how the whole thing came about, but really…it’s not terribly exciting. A set of Character Models - Rough, Cleaned Up, Colored are included as well, but…really? Do we care about the various stages of these cookie cutter characters?
Overall Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy just isn’t worth it. If there was at least a commentary I may have cut it some slack but…alas, none of that either. A wasted effort and an entirely pointless release that feels like it would have been better served as a set of extras stuffed on (or split between) some Family Guy and American Dad volume releases (which they probably will be at some point). Skip It.
Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.