Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest (2007)

by | Jan 20, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest (2007)

Animated spoof of the first Star Wars feature, with second DVD containing a portable digital copy to transfer
Studio: Fox TV/20th Century Fox Video (2 discs)
Starring: The characters of Family Guy replacing George Lucas’ original characters
Video: 1.33:1 full frame color
Audio: English Dolby 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Extras: 2nd DVD for playing only in a PC or Mac; Audio commentary by Family Guy Creator Seth MacFarlane plus director, producers, writers and editors; Conversation with George Lucas; The Making of Blue Harvest featurette; Animatic version of Blue Harvest; Clip show from Blue Harvest; Uncensored audio track
Length: 48 minutes
Rating: ***(*)

Why another Star Wars parody this late in the game?  Well, it’s the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars, and the weekly Fox half-hour animated series Family Guy has frequently included references to Star Wars and even lines of dialog from it. Lucas and crew had always okayed these parody references when they were submitted, so creator MacFarlane asked Lucas if it would be all right to do an entire Family Guy episode – maybe even double length – with the usual animated characters in the roles of the original Star Wars?  The answer was yes, so here is that full-scale animated parody.

I’m thinking you have to be a fan of both Family Guy and Star Wars in order to really appreciate this spoof, and I’m not of either, so keep that in mind. I had never seen Family Guy before this week, for example. I do like Brian the talking family dog, who is treated as a regular member of the family just like one of the children. What Lucas character does he play? Chewbacca, naturally. Lois is Princess Leia, Chris is an overweight Luke and Peter is an overweight Han Solo. Herbert is Obi-Wan with unfunny pedophile suggestions. Stewie – the odd baby with the football-shaped head and English accent – plays a sawed-off Darth Vader with a strong reliance on scatological humor. Among the guest voice cameos a la The Simpsons are Rush Limbaugh as a futuristic talk radio conservative and Chevy Chase as the father of a tourist family driving by during the destruction of the Death Star.

There’s a lot of pop culture references and a lot of sophomoric humor. However I did like the tunnel effect and electronic music from Dr. Who when the Millennium Falcon went to light speed, and the Bush-Cheney bumper strip on its rear.  I was surprised the Special Episode wasn’t wide screen since that’s such a vital part of Star Wars. The extras go into how much fun everyone had working on the parody; seems like they had more fun than I had in watching it.

The second DVD is not playable on a standard player – only on the DVD drive of your PC or Mac, allowing you to make a digital copy using a unique copy code serial number which is included with the instructions. Then you can copy the video to your video iPod, iPhone or other portable video player, or just leave it on your computer to view there.  Perhaps that’s the reason the production is not wide screen (plus the fact that the Fox series is standard screen) – letterboxing a wide screen video on an iPod or iPhone would make the already tiny image even more infinitesimal! Would you like to watch Laurence of Arabia on one of those?

 – John Sunier

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