Family Guy: Blue Harvest (2007)

(On DVD, May 2011) I’m not that familiar with the Family Guy series, so take my doubts about their Star Wars homage with a grain of salt.  Blue Harvest is a 45-minutes-long recreation of the original Star Wars, mixing in cultural references, commentary on the source film’s plotting and more usual comedy gags.  There’s some remarkable work in integrating CGI models with the Family Guy style of animation, and some of the resulting scenes almost look pretty.  Still, Star Wars fans are the primary audience here, as I’m not sure if the film can be equally appreciated by those without an encyclopaedic knowledge of the source film.  Blue Harvest is amiable enough to earn grins throughout… but it’s also far too loose to earn a recommendation.  It often seems content to recreate original scenes without making them funny, several gags are stretched far beyond their comic value, and the musical numbers outstay their welcome.  Part of the issue, we can learn from the commentary and DVD extras, is that this was a half-hour episode stretched to an hour: Some slackness can only be expected.  Other DVD extras include an interview with George Lucas (who approved of the production), and a clear sense that this way in many ways a labour of love for the creators.  (Trivial note: I end up watching this film 12 years, to the day, after The Phantom Menace’s release.)

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