Seth MacFarlene releases his first feature on the world this weekend in the form of Ted, a transgressive raunchfest in which the writer/director voices the fuzzy, f-bomb-dropping title character. Longtime pal and enabler of Mark Wahlberg’s man-boy, Ted may be the screen’s most naughty plush companion, but he owes a certain debt to his cuddly, uh, forebears. Some of these characters (don’t call them props!) make only brief appearances, while others prove central to the story being told. Either way, they’ve leapt from the uncertainty of the toy-store shelf to the immortality of film, assuming the roles of confidant, booby trap, and even surveillance vessel. Next time you snuggle up with your childhood friend, remember these teddy bear stars, who strive to prove there’s more to them than mere fluff.
Lots-O’-Huggin’ Bear in Toy Story 3 (2010). Don’t be deceived by that welcoming gaze or pink, untainted appearance. Lots-O’-Huggin Bear, voiced with a growly twang by Ned Beatty, is one formidable, issue-laden villain, whose trauma of being jilted by a past owner feeds a hunger to make life miserable for good toys everywhere. Sporting a squeeze-your-cares-away smile but nevertheless two-faced, Lots-O’ puts a whale of damper on Buzz and company’s plans in this love-showered threequel, standing as a sad symbol of toy outgrowth gone awry.