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  Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story All In The Family
Year: 2005
Director: Pete Michels
Stars: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Mila Kunis, Seth Green, Lori Alan, Mike Henry, Phil LaMarr, Patrick Warburton, Adam West, Drew Barrymore, Rene Auberjonois, Jason Priestley, Michael Clarke Duncan, Tori Spelling
Genre: Comedy, Animated, TV SeriesBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Little Stewie Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) is sent to swimming lessons by his mother Lois (Alex Borstein), but there's one kid there who is far more talented than the megalomaniac Stewie. In a fit of revenge, the toddler plots his rival's demise by booby trapping a lifeguard's chair, but disaster strikes for the youngster when his plan goes wrong and the chair topples onto him. It is then Stewie has a life-changing experience: a terrifying vision of Hell, where he will end up if he doesn't change his ways...

Family Guy, the cartoon that wouldn't lie down, returned in 2005 after a three year break due to its huge popularity on DVD and with an eye on the home video market this straight to DVD spin-off was created. It isn't really a stand alone effort, but in fact a compilation of three episodes with possibly its most famed character, Stewie, at its centre. The advantage that the DVD version had over the television version was that they could add new scenes to render it more film-like, and make the material even more adult than it was originally.

What this means is more swearing, which is somewhat awkwardly inserted, and jokes they couldn't get away with on TV, which considering what they do get away with makes this of great interest to the fans of the show. There is an opening sequence which sees the cast arriving at the film's premiere, complete with a drunken Lois embarrassing herself and such celebrities as Drew Barrymore (voicing herself) and the scary monkey appearing to have their photographs taken on the red carpet.

But once it settles down you can't help but notice this is simply three episodes stuck together, which is fine if you watch your Family Guy DVDs in marathon bursts, but as a film it won't fool many. Fortunately the series' absence didn't harm the quality of the writing and performing any, and in the main this is consistently funny with more than a few hilarious gags and spoofs - the Thundercats parody is particularly good. The story has Stewie catching sight of someone who might be his real father on TV, and travelling to San Francisco to track him down as he doesn't believe the moronic Peter (also voiced by creator MacFarlane) could possibly be his parent. But is he right? You'll have to watch and see. Music by Ron Jones.

[The DVD also includes trailers, animatics and a revealing commentary from the cast and crew.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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