Peter Shin, Pete Michels
Despite the "movie" seemingly being collated from three separate episodes, I didn't feel that at all, and especially enjoyed the additional intro and conclusion written in specifically for the DVD, with the characters from the show, showing up for their movie premiere, conducting interviews and the like. The film's first half hour is as solid as any "Family Guy" episode that I have ever seen, with jokes flying by the second, flashbacks galore and even a number of references to old shows for all the big fans, like yours nerdly ("Let's have a sexy party!"). The second half hour is when the show takes place more "on the road" and things still work pretty well, even though there is obviously a little more emphasis on the story, and not as many flashbacks and the like. That said, you gotta love it when someone notes that the sign on Quagmire's new cross-country Winnebago misspells the word "country" and he deadpans: "No, it doesn't" (think about it).
Before watching the movie, I honestly didn't think that the writers could pull off an entire movie focusing on Stewie alone (and I adore the kid!), but thankfully that wasn't the case at all, with an even mix with all of the characters throughout (although there is definitely more emphasis on Stewie and Brian in the film's latter half), although the neighbors (save Quagmire) are pretty much MIA. Unfortunately, the film's final 20 minutes or so didn't work all that much for me, and that had more to do with the fact that it went into "fantasy" somewhat (time-travel and the future) and that took away from all the well-known characters that I'd come to know and love (new characters like "Ron" weren't funny).
That said, overall, the story still worked, despite not really being the film's focus. The movie, just like the show, is best when it's lacing into people and situations at a click, and it does so here as well, with dozens upon dozens of new classic moments including some of my faves like the play on "Bugs Bunny" (finally!), the Vince Vaughn/Susan Sarandon movie (very funny!), the scene in which Stewie finds himself in hell for a few moments, the scene in which mother Griffin teaches her son Chris to "eat out" and plenty of other nasty jokes, as well as some newfound swearing (although the f*cks were bleeped out in my copy). Overall, I think this movie is an excellent way for new fans to get into the show (or to figure out whether or not it's their "type" of humor) and it certainly won't let old fans down, with plenty of more Stewie goodness and all-around "Family Guy" tomfoolery, wackiness and humor. Kudos to all involved. Note: The box claims the film to be only 80 minutes, when in actuality, it's closer to 90 minutes overall.
Animatic comparison: You get to compare a couple of scenes from the finished film, to the original drawings. Interesting for some.
You also get a "Family Guy: Volume 3" DVD preview (to be released: November 29, 2005), as well as the proverbial plug for McFarlane's other animated Fox adventure, "American Dad" (an okay show, but not as consistent as "Family Guy").