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Stewie Griffin’ feature is a hilarious treat for fans

Betsy Simon | Wednesday, November 30, 2005

In the face of cancellations, censorships, and critical disapprovals, “Family Guy” has emerged with a DVD classic in “Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” – giggity, giggity.

Keeping to the standard and now-familiar “Family Guy” format, creator Seth MacFarlane parodies pop culture, such as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Lethal Weapon” and “The Sound of Music,” and ridicules current controversial issues such as politics, abortion and incest.

While the animated Griffin family satirizes religion, race and physical disability with the most unnecessarily inappropriate and politically incorrect humor, it is humor nonetheless and very funny humor at that. While it maybe offensive, it is also very funny, which helps overcome the inevitable criticism.

In classic Hollywood style, the Griffin family arrives at their own movie premiere via the red carpet. The laughter begins with the appearance of “Family Guy” favorites, including Mayor Adam West, Drew Barrymore, the Kool-Aid Man and, of course, Greased-up Naked Deaf Guy.

The appearance of these characters indicates the movie is directed specifically at fans of the series and not at those who aren’t well versed in the “Family Guy” world.

The movie itself does not hesitate to dive immediately into humor as the overweight son, Chris Griffin, executes a perfect triple somersault into the Quahog Public Swimming Pool and the infant son, Stewie Griffin, comes face to face with death.

Normally obsessed with killing his mother and dominating the world, Stewie’s attitude begins to change. After a glimpse into his future as a changed, 30-year old virgin, Stewie becomes the protagonist who attempts to change his past. This provides the crux of the film’s plot.

The movie’s unforgettable clips are linked together by Stewie’s desire to erase his near-death, life-changing experience.

From the graphic murder of Bugs Bunny to the blinding of Ray Charles, the family’s flashbacks reek of extremely clever postmodern satire. Although somewhat offensive, the provocation of the flashbacks pales in comparison to scenes such as Jesus’ miracles represented as mere magic shows or Walt Disney depicted as outwardly anti-Semitic.

The memorable jokes and passionate humor make up for the movie’s offensive material, especially since the makers seemed to be having so much fun.

The insulting and inappropriate material contained in the movie does not (totally) exceed what “Family Guy” enthusiasts are exposed to on a weekly basis. But for the easily offended viewer, a censored version is provided on the DVD.

The only other special feature included is a commentary by show creator Seth MacFarlane (who is also the voice Stewie, Peter and Brian) and other various cast members, show writers and crew. While more special features would have been welcome, the movie itself is funny enough that they aren’t really missed.

Like the weekly Fox show itself, “Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” only gets better with repeated viewings. The more the movie is seen, the more missed jokes and cleverly placed comedy is enjoyed by alert viewers.

While more inappropriate than breaking parietals, “Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” gets two thumbs up – a high-quality reward for “Family Guy” enthusiasts.