Why ‘Rick and Morty’ Wouldn’t Exist If Not for ‘Back to the Future’

Rick and Morty includes many references to popular movies but it draws particular inspiration from a certain beloved 1980s film. Interestingly, one of the stars of this 1980s film has opened up about his feelings on Rick and Morty.

A DeLorean | John Lamparski/WireImage

The parody short film which led to ‘Back to the Future’

Rick and Morty is about a brilliant older man with an odd haircut and a teen who go on oddball adventures with the help of their hi-tech vehicle. Does that sound vaguely familiar? It’s not so different from the Back to the Future trilogy. Although Doc Brown and Marty McFly have personalities which are very different from those of Rick and Morty, there is a bit of a similarity between them. Here’s how a Back to the Future parody helped bring the show to life.

Mental Floss reports the show’s co-creator, Justin Roiland, wanted to troll lawyers by making a cartoon that would lead to lawyers coming after him. The short was a parody of Back to the Future called The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. The short features some pretty risque and disturbing humor that would feel perfectly at home in Rick and Morty. It’s probably not the sort of stuff Universal Studios would want to be associated with the family-friendly Back to the Future franchise. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roiland explained how the voices he did for the short impacted Rick and Morty.

The Back to the Future trailer

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How ‘The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti’ influenced ‘Rick and Morty’

“In 2006, or something, I was recording the voices for this short The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti,” Roiland explained. “I was having fun doing these really crappy Doc Brown and Marty McFly impressions. During the middle of a line a burp came out naturally….  Then, with Rick and Morty, Dan (Harmon, the show’s co-creator) was like, ‘Hey, Adult Swim wants to do a show, do you have any ideas?’ I said, ‘Well, what about these two voices?’”

One of Rick Sanchez’s trademarks is that he burps quite a bit. Roiland said this is because he burped during the creation of The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti. Subsequently, he made burping part of his impression of Doc as well as his portrayal of Rick. Afterward, Christopher Lloyd, the actor who played Doc, commented on Rick and Morty.

A scene from Rick and Morty

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How a ‘Back to the Future’ actor feels about ‘Rick and Morty’

“I don’t follow it closely, but I’ve seen a few episodes and I gotta tell you, I think it’s a lot of fun,” Lloyd told the Phoenix New Times. “I know it’s some kind of parody of Doc and Marty.” In addition, Loyd said he’d like to guest star on the show, perhaps playing Rick’s father. Such a role would be a fascinating way to highlight the connection between Back to the Future and Rick and Morty.