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Family Guy - The Freakin' Sweet Collection



DVD Release Date: December 14, 2004 (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $19.98
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 5
Running Time: 112 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 30 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Spanish, and French Audio; English and Spanish Subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features: Commentaries for all episodes (except for the "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode), American Dad preview, Seth MacFarlane talks about American Dad, Seth MacFarlane talks about Family Guy Season 4


Just when you thought that Family Guy was history, you discover that it has a brand new life--on DVD at least! And the success of the DVDs that have been released, combined with the amazing success of reruns on Cartoon Network, have prompted the Fox Broadcast Network to bring the show back for a fourth season beginning sometime in 2005! But for now, we must settle for the first three seasons... and even though every episode has been released, there is finally a "best-of" disc available for those that may not be willing to commit to purchasing the season box sets.

Basically, Family Guy is an animated sitcom about a very unusual family with a father (Peter) that is an idiot, a talking dog (Brian) that is an alcoholic, and an angry one year old baby (Stewie) that is determined to dominate the world. Also, there is Peter's wife (Lois) and his other two children (Meg and Chris). Many of the plots are just too hilarious to describe, so it is best to watch the show to get an idea of what it is about. The episodes that are included on this set are the five favorites of show creator Seth MacFarlane, and they include "Road to Rhode Island," "To Love and Die in Dixie," "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar," "Lethal Weapons," and the episode that was initially banned from airing on Fox, "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein." All of these episodes are great, even though they are not necessarily my personal favorites.


The set comes in a basic snap case, and the packaging isn't too fancy. There are no episode descriptions included anywhere on the set, although it should be clear that every episode can be found on the one (and only) disc in the set.

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are arranged in the exact same way as the Family Guy box sets that were released last year. You can choose from the five episodes on the main menu, and you can also choose Play All or Special Features. When you select an episode, a submenu comes up with the options of Play Episode, Scene Selection, Language Selection, and Commentary. The Special Features Menu has simple links to all of the Special Features.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality and audio quality are exactly the same as the audio and video quality on the box sets... simply put, just fine. There doesn't really seem to be any difference between the quality of the episodes on DVD and the episodes on Cartoon Network. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. Each episode runs 22 minutes, the same length as the episodes were originally.

Special Features:

As far as special features are concerned, every episode (except for the "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" episode) has an audio commentary. Three of these appear to have been done when the other commentaries were done for the box sets, but the fourth one (the commentary for Road to Rhode Island") is very different and interesting! It is a commentary by Brian and Stewie talking about the episode as if they are real people, and they are talking about the roles they played. It is very interesting to listen to!

In addition, the "Road to Rhode Island" episode includes a special bonus--the episode is the uncut edition! The episode originally had a (very short) scene with Osama bin Laden sneaking explosives onto an airplane, and of course, with the events of September 11th, this scene was deleted, never to be seen again on TV or DVD, until now that is. The scene isn't particularly great or anything, but it is interesting to see what WAS there, and was placed in the episode at a time BEFORE September 11th.

Additional special features include a preview of Seth MacFarlane's new cartoon (American Dad), a discuss by Seth MacFarlane of American Dad, and Seth MacFarlane discussing the 4th season of Family Guy which will air on Fox next year.

Final Comments:

So if you are just a slight fan of Family Guy, I would recommend that you pick up this DVD so that you can have a small collection of the best episodes. If you are a huge fan of Family Guy, this set is worth picking up just for the additional special features that are provided. But to be honest, if you fall somewhere in between, you should probably consider purchasing the two Family Guy box sets and skip this DVD. It isn't that this is a bad DVD, it is just that the best stuff (the episodes) are all provided on the other sets and the only difference with this set is the special features. And if you purchase the two box sets and just can't get enough of Family Guy, just remember, there will be new ones in 2005! It'll be freakin' sweet!

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 12/18/04

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