Family Guy Compendium

DVD Rating: ***

Reviewed by: Keith Dudhnath

Read Keith Dudhnath's film review of Family Guy Compendium

The picture quality can be a little ropey at times. Ghosting, pixellation, and other DVD artifacts are all evident, particularly when the motion on screen is quick. I've been led to believe it was a problem in the production process, which was addressed between the first and second seasons, but whilst there are fewer problems in later episodes, some problems do still crop up. It's never so bad that anything on screen is remotely unclear, or even excessively distracting. Anyway, you will be laughing too hard to care.

Thankfully there are no similar problems with the sound. Everything as is crystal clear as you would expect. The subtitling, for the most part, is accurate, except for a couple of lazy mistakes on some of the extras.

It's a shame that the extras weren't included when the three seasons were previously released separately, as they were with the Region One versions. For first-time buyers, the extras are a fabulous accompaniment to the episodes. For people who've bought Family Guy seasons before, they aren't quite worth shelling out so much money to buy the episodes again, but are sufficiently tantalising that it will grate if you don't see them.

The promos, as with all trailers, are little more than a one-time watch. The featurettes are equally disappointing, as they're tempting you to watch something you've already bought. They contain no insight or interest, they're just promotional guff.

Although the pilot episode is almost identical to the first episode, it's interesting to watch the progression between the two. Inexplicably, an innocuous and hilarious punchline to a scene where Peter is competing with the Von Trapp Family Singers was cut from the final version, although it exists within the pilot.

Whilst on the subject of deleted scenes, I'm unable to say whether the most famous of Family Guy deleted scenes (where Osama Bin Laden sneaks through Customs) has been restored to its rightful place within Road To Rhode Island, as my review sample DVDs didn't include that disc. It certainly doesn't feature within the deleted scenes on the bonus discs. These are a strange mix of somewhere between a story board and the completed animation. Some are hilarious, some less so.

Fourteen of the 50 episodes have commentaries from Seth MacFarlane and a revolving group of cast and crew members. You won't learn anything about how an episode of Family Guy is produced, but did you really expect to? You will hear a lot of funny people chatting, laughing, swearing and making jokes in character. The commentaries are great fun and far and away the highlight of the bonus features.

Extras aside, you'll be buying the DVDs for the 50 episodes of some of the greatest comedy ever, won't you?

Reviewed on: 13 Mar 2004
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Family Guy Compendium packshot
A surreal and downright hilarious look at the life of a cartoon family.
Amazon link

Product Code: 26044DVD

Region: 2

Ratio: 4:3 Full Frame

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Extras: Fourteen audio commentaries, 28 deleted scenes, three featurettes, pilot episode, seven promos.

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