After a few false starts — Family Guy getting cancelled and then returning to Fox, several moderately successful spin-offs — Seth MacFarlane has finally made it to the big screen. We’ve been hearing about his dark comedy Ted for quite some time, and it’s no surprise that the red-band trailer appeared online on April Fool’s Day yesterday: MacFarlane himself voices the titular teddy bear, who comes to life after his childhood best friend Mark Wahlberg wishes for it. But because this is a Seth MacFarlane production, the seemingly innocuous toy is a weed-smoking, farting, swearing, horny-as-hell puppet.
And yet, you still can’t deny the similarities that Ted shares with 2011′s story of beloved non-human creatures, The Muppets. Here, Wahlberg takes on Jason Segel‘s role, except that where Segel was an adorably naive man-child, Marky Mark’s character John is more of an emotionally-stunted adolescent, his foul-mouthed, crude ways enabled by his beloved anthropomorphic teddy bear. They pee in public, are each other’s wingmen, and sing childhood songs like “Fuck you, thunder!”
Just like in The Muppets, neither John nor Ted has ever contemplated the idea of him moving out and letting his human companion actually mature. But whereas Amy Adams played the soppy fiance who would rather sigh longingly than actually suggest her guy cut ties, we’re hoping that Mila Kunis‘ Lori will smack John upside the head.
Impressively, this first trailer really hasn’t revealed too much of the movie. We know the central conflicts and a handful of jokes, but there’s a lot of room for us to find funny stuff in the movie without all the jokes being beaten to a pulp before the July 13th release date.
Speaking of jokes—Family Guy fans are likely wondering how MacFarlane will get on without the safety net of cutaway jokes that have defined his show’s humor, and had people accusing him of being unable to carry on even a 22-minute plotline. However, this “white trash” name gag was pretty hilarious even the second time I’m watching it; if the movie sticks to this kind of humor with the Peter Griffin-esque voice MacFarlane is doing for Ted, then I’m cautiously optimistic.