CHICAGO – Before 1998’s “The Big Lebowski” there was 1996’s “Kingpin”, the Farrelly brothers bowling comedy that didn’t have the narrative intricacies of the Coen brothers’ classic, but had plenty of jokes about middle-aged men playing the sport. Today finds the release of “Kingpin” to Blu-ray for the first time, coming with only one new special feature.
Blu-Ray Review: ‘Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy’
CHICAGO – Fans of “American Dad!” and “Family Guy” should definitely take a look at “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy,” a Blu-Ray release of short animated films in the same style as the random, tangential asides that helped make Stewie Griffin a household name.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
“Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” is one of the first home releases to be spawned by the internet viral video revolution. The shorts originally aired on YouTube as a part of the “SethComedy” channel on the site. They were even originally sponsored by Burger King and, according to Wikipedia, reached 3 million video views after only two days in release.
Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Comedy was released on Blu-Ray on May 12th, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox
The short films now uncensored and assembled in HD all feel like the asides from “Family Guy” but with even less concern about censorship or network approval. Almost every short runs under a minute - some even just a few seconds - and they almost all contain an f-bomb or something else that would get censored by FOX. They could have called it “Family Guy Writers Unleashed”. Every random aside Seth MacFarlane, Mike Henry, or the rest of the team ever thought of is now brought to animated life.
Of course, as with any series of shorts, some hit and some miss. The ratio of hits in “Cavalcade of Comedy”” is actually much higher than I expected, especially given the so-so season of “Family Guy” that just ended. Some of the shorts fall flat, but every few minutes you will come across one that works.
Going from YouTube to HD seems like an unecessary upgrade, but “Cavalcade of Comedy” looks good in full-frame HD and sounds fine with an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track.
The special features were clearly an afterthought at best. I don’t see why MacFarlane, Seth Green, or anyone else involved the production couldn’t have taken a day to film something about the process or the history of the shorts. All fans will find is a five-minute bit about the red carpet premiere and some still galleries.