Seth “Family Guy” MacFarlane is making the move to the silver screen, but not with one of this hit TV shows, but an actual buddy flick, Ted. Now, it’s true, Ted is about a guy and his not-so-imaginary friend, a talking teddy-bear, but it’s still a big step away from the anything-goes cartoons he’s used to. How did he plot the line between real and absurd? He watched Ghostbusters;
What made you want a CGI talking teddy bear in your first film?
All of my experience has been in animation, so I felt it would be good to include an animated element. But making Ted was also about finding a balance between that sort of sledgehammer-realism of modern comedy, at least in that Judd Apatow style, and capturing the style of comedy that I loved in the ’80s, movies like Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. Those movies were funny for adults, but they also had an element of showmanship to them; there was an element of un-realism. It was always very well-balanced.
Ghostbusters is a movie that we looked to often during Ted’s production process, because it’s a movie that essentially takes place in the real world; New York City is presented as New York City and the characters are all very realistic, but there’s this one element that’s completely unrealistic. By keeping everything else very grounded, they earned that. You don’t have wacky characters in a wacky situation—you have grounded and real characters and one wacky situation for them to deal with.
I hope Ted establishes the modern version of what those ’80s movies accomplished: combining real characters with a fun, outrageous, summer comedy premise.