Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy
Fox // Unrated // $24.99 // May 12, 2009
Review by Adam Tyner | posted May 24, 2009
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Graphical Version
Sex with a trapeze artist! Oh no!
of Cartoon Comedy
! Finally, with the shackles of network standards-'n-practices shrugged off, Family Guy high sheriff Seth MacFarlane can churn out all the monkey fuckin', animal penis, dick-and-cum-and-fart-and-poop-and-gay-panic gags he wants, and hey...! He doesn't even have to hammer out some of kind of a story to string 'em all together this time around either.

That's...yeah, really all Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is: a fifty-something minute barrage of uncensored dick jokes. No running story. No recurring characters. Just a surgical strike: swoop in, whip out a penis or squirt out a nugget of poop, and cut to the next one. Look, I'm not one of those stuffed shirt types with a Mr. Peanut monocle who scowls at dick-'n-fart jokes. Just make 'em good dick-'n-fart jokes, and that's where Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy trips up. It's. Not. Funny. The real joke is pretty much always in the title card that kicks off each vignettesegment: y'know, "Dog on The $25,000 Pyramid". "Quentin Tarantino performs a circumcision". "Two ducks watch Meet the Parents". It just...doesn't know where to go from there. The gags never live up to the setup, and not even all that many of the concepts rank up there as especially clever in the first place. I mean, one gag's rooted around a mountain climber who decides he needs to take a dump, kinda forgetting the fact that he's a couple thousand feet above a wedding party. There's a game show riff called "Name That Animal Penis". Dracula feeds off Magic Johnson at one point, and the settlers try to buy Manhattan with anal beads. There's a bit with a gay knight where the guy minces around with a lisp in a suit of armor. That's the entire joke. Um, picture me shaking my head as I scribble down all of this.

Some of 'em I kinda liked in concept -- Wile E. Coyote trudging through an empty, hollow life once he finally does dig his claws into the roadrunner, summing up four seasons of Entourage in ten seconds, and Princess Toadstool asking Mario what he expected to get out of the whole rescuing deal -- but they're...just...not...funny. I didn't crack a smile or laugh until 45 minutes in, and even then, it's more of a "oh, that was pretty good" and not so much a doubled-over-in-maniacal-laughter sorta thing. The "uncensored!" routine seems like it works against Seth MacFarlane and his gaggle of writers, really. It makes 'em feel obligated to churn out gags they couldn't get away with on TV, so there's agonizingly unfunny stuff like a tube of toothpaste having sex (guess what happens when he blows his load?!?!?!!?), a couple minutes straight of Fred Flintstone taking a wet, squishy dump, lotsa bestiality, two AIDS-centric bits... I mean, there's even a Gilbert Gottfried-Screwing joke, for Christ's sake, and you know you're rounding the seventh circle of Comedy Hell when you settle for something that lazy. A pretty hefty chunk of this is low-rent shock humor, and if you're not easily startled or offended, Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy is really just boring and laughless.

...and a twenty-five dollar sticker price? Really? For less than an hour of animation, borderline-zero extras, and maybe one or two laughs? Cavalcade of Comedy isn't really even in high definition, so what's the point? Family Guy completists might as well save a few bucks and pick up the DVD instead, but really...? Skip It.

Mario rescued the princess, but she won't even give him a thank you kiss. Oh no!

Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy ranks just behind Gulliver's Travels as the worst lookin' animation on Blu-ray and one of the worst titles on the format, period. It's not actually in high definition, so what's the point of jacking up the sticker price for Blu-ray? The 1.33:1 image isn't just upscaled to 1080p24 from standard-def -- it's upscaled poorly. Edges are fuzzy and heavily aliased, veering away from the smooth, clean linework a show like The Venture Brothers hammers out in HD. Its colors are pretty bland and lifeless, and some stretches like the Super Mario riff suffer from some nasty banding too.

Quentin Tarantino is performing a circumcision with a Hattori Hanzo sword. Oh no!

Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy does belt out a 24-bit, 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, not that there's all that much of a point. Pretty much everything's anchored front and center: even stereo effects like the roadrunner zipping across the screen are kinda sparse, the surround channels hardly ever creak to life, and there's no real low-end at all. But...hey! The voice acting's clean and clear, and I guess that's the point.

There aren't any dubs this time around, but subtitles are served up in English (SDH), French, and Spanish.

Look, it's Popeye, Tom Waits, and Bob Dylan! I can't understand what any of them are mumbling. Oh no!

The dazzling red carpet premiere for Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy (4 min.; SD) piles on celeb guests like that one guy from Heroes and the fat schlub from Borat. Amazing! Really bland still galleries -- divvied up into rough character models, cleaned-up character models, and...wait for it...colored character models -- round out the extras. I lost interest in counting around a hundred shots in.

The Final Word
Uh, no. Skip It.

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