Live Action Comedy and CG Animation Come Together Well in Ted

By:Sarah Beackley

Staff Writer

July 23, 2012

At first glance, Hollywood’s newest computer animated star Ted looks like your average sweet and huggable teddy bear. Despite his cuddly appearance, his owner, John Bennet (Mark Wahlberg) has grown up, and this feisty little bear has grown up with him. The filming of Ted pushes boundaries, not only with the visual presentation—the live action combined with the animation expertise of Seth MacFarlane (creator of Family Guy)—but with its market—adult-themed animation.

Ted and John became “thunder buddies” when John was 8 after his wish for Ted to really be able to talk to him came true. Unpopular as a child, Ted became John’s first best friend and even as he gained confidence and matured, his miraculous real-life teddy bear stayed by his side. As one would expect, a talking teddy bear was seen as amazing by many, so for a while, Ted became famous. But as his fame wore off, so did his child-like persona. Ted was privileged to have what many adults wish was possible: all the mature capabilities of an adult with none of the responsibility. Needless to say, this unusual influence spells trouble for John and his long time girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis).

Filmed in Boston, MA, Ted features a real Nora Jones concert as one of its filming locations, along with Venu, one of the most popular nightclubs in Boston. Location finders for this movie did well by filming at Fenway Park, seen near the end of the film as Ted is being chased down by his creepy kidnapper, Donny (Giovanni Ribisi). Lori’s company party was filmed in Swampscott, Massachusetts, a seaside suburb of Boston.

Ted is now the highest-grossing R-rated animated feature of all time, proving that a massive audience for adult animation exists beyond the range of recent productions, which has been somewhat limited. The seamless blending of animation and live action contributes to the film’s overall success—it’s as if Ted is a real human being in a teddy bear’s body. With controversial jokes about everything from 9/11 to marijuana, this comedy will keep you laughing despite its crude humor.

This film creatively and effectively sends a gentle, but obvious message: you’ve got to grow up sometime. But if you can find a way to keep your childhood friends and be responsible, life can be pretty awesome. Fans of Family Guy will no doubt enjoy this film; however, the movie reached beyond the expectation that it would be very similar to the show. Ted combines iconic filming locations around Boston, a high-esteemed group of actors, and an ironic computer-generated combination of cute and inappropriate with a great take-away message. It’s no wonder that movie goers are flocking to watch this hilarious, yet still heartwarming story.

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