The opening 9 minutes of "Ted" are the funniest opening moments since "Tropic Thunder". In fact, it works on the same principle as "Tropic Thunder", that is... it starts you off laughing and once a body is in laughing mode, it's nearly impossible to stop laughing.


I call it Dr. Giggles Law of Inertial Laughter. Director Seth MacFarlane understands this principle well as he is the brains behind the animated television show Family Guy. You know the toon with the homicidal kid Stewie and his dimwit parents Peter and Lois.


MacFarlane has channeled his animated experience into Ted, which has the feel of a toon, instead with animatronics and live people. The concept is as farcical as Brain the talking dog from Family Guy.

John Bennet is a little boy (played by Bretton Manley) with no friends; in fact even the little Jewish boy who gets beaten up by the rest of the neighborhood boys - doesn't want to be his friend.


On Christmas he receives a big Teddy bear and wishes the bear (named Ted) could really talk. Of course, as the case of anything Hollywood, when the boy wakes up, Ted can talk.


Initially, this shocks the crap out of his parents but eventually everyone got accustomed to Ted. Ted even managed to be invited on a press tour that includes the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson. But eventually, as in Adam Sandler's recent "That's My Boy", the novelty and fame die down and Ted is just another being.


The film fast forwards to present day Boston with John (now played by Mark Walhberg)and Ted still as roommates. John works as a car rental agent and now has hot girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) as a roomie/lover. She has, for the most part accepted Ted and life seems happy.

However, on the couples fourth anniversary together it is suggested to John that Lori might be looking for an engagement ring instead of just dinner.


But, with the help of his old pal Ted, he soon dimisses that probability though he realizes that her boss Rex (Joel McHale) is hot-to-trot for her.


Obviously John has a maturity problem and Ted doesn't help.


Situations arise that require maturity and John, with his ever present Thunder Buddy (both are scared of thunder) manage to evade responsibilty and maturity. But not in an innocent way. No, Ted is a pot smoking, hard drinking, hooker soliciting plush toy - which makes the story even funnier.


MacFarlane manages to transfer the edge and humor of Family Guy to the live action persona of "Ted". Walhberg is the perfect foil and Kunis comes across well as the perfect little miss goody-goody. Patrick Stewart, as the narrator, even delivers megalaughs!


"Ted" is this years "The Hangover" with an almost nonstop rift of gags and jokes. It is bound to be a sleeper summer hit to offset the super heroes!   -- GEOFF BURTON