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Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy (2008)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 5/12/2009

All Ratings out of
Video: 1/2
Audio: 1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 5/20/2009

As we get into this review, let's get one thing straight: I am a Seth MacFarlane fan. I have all of the Family Guy and American Dad DVDs and I watch both shows regularly. With Family Guy, I like both the main story and the often bizarre cutaways, which have become a defining part of the series. While both Family Guy and American Dad can try too hard to be "edgy" at times, both have their clever moments and I typically have one big laugh per episode. I tell you this so that we you learn that I despised Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, you won't think of me as a hater. (By the way, I never use the term hater.)

Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is a series of some 50 short animated segments which runs about 54-minutes in total. I'm not sure if the pieces were available anywhere before they were collected here. The segments are all brief, with some lasting just a few seconds, while others go for over a minute. The best way to describe them is to say that they are like the cutaways on Family Guy, but each one is meant to work independently. There's no real theme or rhyme-or-reason here, as the pieces mock everyday life, the world of entertainment, and politics. While no characters from Family Guy or American Dad appear here, all of the character designs clearly come from the animated world of Seth MacFarlane. Unlike MacFarlane's TV shows, the segments here are uncensored and clearly aimed at an adult audience.

Here's a question; Why would someone who is spread as thin as Seth MacFarlane, with Family Guy, American Dad, and the upcoming The Cleveland Show, want to embark on another project? I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that I wish that he hadn't, as Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is incredibly unfunny. I kept waiting for the segment which was going to knock me off of the couch with laughter, but it never came.

What happened? How can a group of people who make not one, but two TV shows which are consistently funny create something as bad as this? I'm not sure where to start. One of the most disappointing things here is that some of the ideas are actually funny, but the execution is off. Actually, some of the titles made me giggle (not like a schoolgirl though), but the piece which followed wouldn't be funny at all. I mean, "Two Duck watch 'Meet the Parents'" is an intriguing title, but all we get is two animated ducks who didn't like that movie. Is that funny? It's like someone said, "Come up with a funny idea for a 30 second animated short. OK, got that? Now write it!" Hatching that idea and turning it into something funny are two different things. The only segment which made me laugh was the Scotsman who couldn't help but yell at movies, and that was only because he called Kermit the Frog a "poopet". To make matters worse, while watching Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, I came up with some ideas based on the titles which I thought were funnier than what was executed.

I think the other thing which tripped them up here is the fact that this is uncensored. No longer bound by TV censors, MacFarlane and his team load Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy with nearly non-stop profanity, one scene of nudity, and sex & scatological jokes. They seem to be reveling in this new-found freedom so much that they forgot to be funny. For years, South Park has proven that bleeping profanity can be just as humorous as hearing it, and the overuse of it here gets old very fast.

So, again, I donít know where or why this was made, but a rental is the most that I can recommend. This is the sort of thing that you will watch once and then forget. No, I take that back, youíll remember how stymied you were that something this bad made it onto Blu-ray Disc.

Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy robs the world of laughter on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The show has been letterboxed at 1.33:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which run at an average of 36 Mbps. The image is sharp and clear, showing no grain and no defects from the source material. The colors look fantastic and the picture is never overly dark or bright. The only thing of note were a few jagged lines, otherwise it looked fine. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 3.2 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The dialogue is always clear and audible and there are a handful of nicely detailed stereo effects. Other than that, there is no discernible surround or subwoofer effects.

The Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy Blu-ray Disc contains just a few extras. "Red Carpet Premiere" (4 minutes) shows the party where the piece was first shown. We get comments from MacFarlane, Seth Green, and others who are in attendance. "Rough Character Models", "Cleaned Up Character Models" and "Colored Character Models" are merely still galleries which show us the evolution of the characters from nearly every segment.

Review Copyright 2009 by Mike Long