Seth MacFarlane‘s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy (Blu-ray)
Directed by Seth MacFarlane
Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:11080pAVC codec
Running Time: 54 minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Subtitles: SDH, Spanish, French
MSRP: $ 29.99
Release Date: May 12, 2009
Review Date: May 24, 2009
The comedy mastermind behind such Fox cartoon programs as American Dad and Family Guy lets his inspiration roam wildly and freely in Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. Comprised of fifty blackout sketches of varying lengths, tastes, and hilarity levels, this program of shorts runs a comfortable 54 minutes, not enough time to wear out its welcome but plenty of time to balance the delights with the duds. I found there to be about an equal number of both with all the rest of the skits falling somewhere between droll to mildly amusing. Often, the ingenuity behind the skit is more impressive than its ultimate execution, but there is no doubt that when a sketch works, it can be fall down funny.
I tended to favor the routines that were precious in nature: a Scotsman, for example, watching a series of movies unable to keep his thoughts to himself. I laughed out loud at a series of “Sex with” skits (including watching the act with Mr. Sulu or a tube of toothpaste or rednecks), and Fred Flintstone has a couple of embarrassing skits in the spotlight. Super Mario, Fat Jesus, and a sheep that enjoys his shearing just a bit too much were all very funny. And I just sat in amazement as actor Seth Green did a spot-on impersonation of Matthew McConaughey’s voice in a wicked sketch parodying that “pretty” actor‘s roles and films.
Sure, there are some misfires here. A bit about the Canadian flight attendant allegedly the spreader of the HIV virus didn’t work for me, and some cats in a board room meeting being bulldozed by a dog also didn’t provoke even a chuckle. Most of the skits involving projectile vomiting or defecation seemed more desperate than funny. Still, you can’t say that MacFarlane shies away from celebrity skewering: Magic Johnson, Ted Nugent, Quentin Tarantino, Jeff Goldblum, and Bob Dylan come in for a fair share of ridicule though none of it is really mean spirited. It’s probably a badge of honor for celebrities to have the MacFarlane touch applied somehow to them.
The program is formatted at 1.33:1 and is delivered in a 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. Though colors don’t pop off the screen, the artwork is certainly clean and sharp, and other than some slight banding in one or two of the sketches, there are no glaring compression artifacts on display to mar the picture. The film has been divided into 50 chapters.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track places the dialogue-laden soundtrack mostly in the center channel with the surrounds used for only the barest of ambiance. The recording is free from any audio problems, but the sound design is strictly rudimentary.
The Red Carpet Premiere of this program features the creator/director Seth MacFarlane and members of the voice cast and crew reveling in the adulation of fans of MacFarlane’s work. This 480p featurette of premiere night runs 4 ¼ minutes.
There are three step-through galleries of character artwork showing the character models for the sketches in three stages of development: rough draft sketches, cleaned-up designs, and the final colored model sheets. The photos are in 1080p.
The disc offers a 1080p trailer of Notorious.
A brief but fun excursion into the usually raunchy romps of the mind of artist Seth MacFarlane, the Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is recommended for fans of the director’s work, and all others may also find a chuckle or two here.