Until three years ago, the phrase “Ted talks” referred to videos of smart people saying smart stuff at the Technology, Entertainment and Design events. Then came Ted, a film about a talking teddy bear, which on paper seemed like writer-director Seth MacFarlane doing rude animal jokes that he couldn’t get into his TV shows Family Guy and American Dad.
But Ted turned out to be hilarious and heartfelt, the funniest talking-animal film of all time. It was also a global success, one of an increasingly rare number of movies that makes more than 10 times its budget at the global box office ($50 million against $549 million). Ted worked so well because of three things: the foul-mouthed talking teddy, a ton of other good jokes and Mark Wahlberg as Ted’s best friend, John. The latter demonstrated he had a funny bone alongside Will Ferrell in The Other Guys in 2010, but with Ted he showed he had an entire skeleton of funny: comic timing, physical chops and wise-ass talk. He and Ted also had a genuine rapport, the sort of bromance that bros could empathize with and that women didn’t find annoying.
In the sequel, Ted is marrying his supermarket-checkout girlfriend Tami-Lynn. When they want to start a family (cue sperm donor jokes), Ted has to prove in court that he’s human.
Ted and John hire a lawyer, who, luckily for the now-single John, is played by Amanda Seyfried.
MacFarlane will be hoping for a better response, critically and commercially, than to his previous film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, which was chucklesome but not hilarious, and just a little bit too try-hard. With Ted 2, he is all but guaranteed to get it. Ted 2 hits theaters worldwide on June 26.