RDRR REPORT

An image of characters from Star Trek: Prodigy admiring floor pie.

In the opening moments of the latest episode of Star Trek: Prodigy, the characters experiment with transporting a piece of pie throughout the USS Protostar, leading Jason Mantzoukas’s character Jankom Pog to remark “Mmm, floor pie,” a clear reference to a classic Simpsons moment (also, a clear ADR line). The Simpsons, of course, has made hundreds if not thousands of references to Star Trek over the decades, but as far as I know (which is admittedly very little, as I’m not a big Trek fan and am mostly just cribbing from Memory Alpha) this is the first time the latter franchise has reciprocated. Which made me start to wonder: does The Simpsons exist in the Star Trek universe?

Just to be clear, there is zero possibility Jankom Pog was consciously quoting an Earth TV show that theoretically would’ve premiered nearly four centuries prior to his birth, especially considering the first human he’s ever seen is a hologram of Captain Janeway. That doesn’t necessarily mean the show didn’t exist. If it did, though, it raises all sorts of questions:

Was the team at Gracie Films still cranking out classics like “Kamp Krusty” as the Eugenics Wars ravaged the globe? Did The Simpsons serve as a form of escapism for audiences in the relatively unaffected United States? Would vacation episodes still be as common with much of the world controlled by genetically engineered despots? Were people quoting their favorite Homer lines as they attempted to flee The Augments? Would it still be possible for Bill Oakley to write the “Steamed Hams” segment, knowing full well that 35 million people were being killed in a massive international conflict? Was production halted at the South Korean animation studio Akom when Khan Noonien Singh conquered Asia, or did he allow them to continue? Was he, perhaps, a fan of the show? What about Marla McGivers, the Enterprise’s historian from the 1967 episode “Space Seed” – does her 1990s expertise include Bartmania? If the show did exist, would it still be considered an exemplary work of art by surviving TV critics? Would it still be revered as such in the age of the Federation? Could the Holodeck feature a Simpsons program alongside programs based on Sherlock Holmes and Jane Eyre?

Given that Star Trek and The Simpsons are owned by separate media conglomerates, it is unlikely that we will ever receive an official, canonical answer. But’s it’s certainly something to think about.

BUZZFAD

An image of Harry Potter wearing The Sorting Hat in front of a Simpsons timing sheet.

Being an animation timer is a skilled job that requires a lot of technical wizardry. What if they actually were wizards??? Just for fun, we decided to sort various Simpsons animation timers from past and present into their appropriate houses of Hogwarts, the wizarding school from the Harry Potter series.

Milton Gray is extremely knowledgeable about the animation medium. Check out this post he wrote on the art of timing, or this essay about Bob Clampett. Also, his last name is Gray and the ghost of Hogwarts co-founder Helena Ravenclaw was known as The Grey Lady. Clearly, he’d be right at home in Ravenclaw.

Neil Affleck starred in the cult slasher flick My Bloody Valentine and without getting into spoilers let’s just say he’s capable of getting into a Slytherin mindset.

Cyndi Tang directed multiple episodes of King of the Hill. King of the Hill takes place in Texas. Texas is considered a red state. Red is one of the house colors of Gryffindor.

Chuck Sheetz made a guide on how to use exposure sheets to help his fellow timers. Such helpfulness is characteristic of a Hufflepuff.

Tim Bailey has worn many hats in the animation department. He can fearlessly take on any task you throw at him, exhibiting the bravery of a Gryffindor.

Carlton Batten is a Florida Gators fan. Alligators are reptiles. Serpents are also reptiles. Serpents are strongly associated with Slytherin.

Dean Bauer is credited as the animation timer on “A Tale of Two Springfields,” which features Homer dealing with a badger. Badgers are a symbol of Hufflepuff.

Andi Klein-Roane is a practitioner of Equine-Facilitated Learning, an experiential and hands-on approach to learning that utilizes the wisdom of horses. Dedication to the pursuit of wisdom is prized amongst those in Ravenclaw.

Richard Gasparian had to wait 30 years to release his horror film, Housesitter: The Night They Saved Siegfried’s Brain. Patience is valued by those in Hufflepuff.

Karen Carnegie Johnson is the former president of The Animation Guild and a member of the executive board. Standing up to the animation studios in support of labor rights exhibits the courage and determination that characterizes a Gryffindor.

Acacia Caputo‘s name anagrams to “Accio UTA cap,” a summoning charm for a University of Texas at Arlington baseball cap. Anagrams are strongly associated with Lord Voldemort, a descendent of Salazar Slytherin.

Hunilla Fodor has a “vast knowledge of the animation pipeline” according to producer Anthony Lioi, making her a suitable candidate for Ravenclaw.

SMARTLINE

An image of Comic Book Guy writing an angry screed on his computer.

The failing Democratic Party mouthpiece Jacobin has published a hit piece on The Simpsons in what could only be described as a pathetic attempt to stay relevant. Like the rest of its contemporaries in the liberal media, it’s clear that Jacobin has no idea what to talk about now that ol’ Donnie Trump is temporarily out of office, so now they’re just throwing stuff at the wall. Hating Modern Simpsons is praxis now? Sure, why not.
Continue Reading →

DIS INFORMATION, MY TWO CENTS

An image of Lisa Simpson holding up a phone from the short Plusaversary.

As Disney+ Day turns into Disney+ Night, I thought I’d toss off some thoughts about The Big D’s lackluster non-event.

Why wasn’t there a livestream? A few weeks ago DC Comics had their second annual “FanDome,” a multi-hour livestream that touched on all the company’s upcoming projects and culminated in a new trailer for The Batman. Disney couldn’t have done the same? Instead they just dripped out new announcements in a Twitter thread, and then there were a couple short presentations from Pixar and Marvel added to Disney+. Oh, and they mentioned the wrong Will Smith, who continued to be tagged in every subsequent tweet. Weirdly amateurish for something that was supposedly a big deal for the company. Apparently they went all out at the theme parks and had giant balloons in major cities to promote this???

As for the new Simpsons short… eh, whatever. Seems like maybe it could’ve been a decent series of commercials back when Disney+ launched. “Look, all your favorite characters are together in one place.” Why wasn’t that their marketing campaign? Ah well. Also, I suspect they were using a fake mockup of the service as reference and nobody ever bothered to correct them.

In general, I feel David Silverman’s talents are being squandered on these shorts. Disney+ should just give him a huge budget and let him go hog wild.

Speaking of Simpsons shorts, where are the original shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show? I know it’s a long shot but I was kind of hoping for an announcement. Back when FXX launched Simpsons World, they tried and failed to get them. Disney+ should do what Simpsons Worldn’t: figure out what’s going on with the rights, fire their giant money bazooka at the problem, and get them out there. Now that would be a Disney+ Day miracle.

MY TWO CENTS

An image of a Simpsons NFT next to Bill Cipher and Lisa planting a tree.

In honor of Disney+ Day on November 12, the NFT collectible platform VeVe has announced an NFT collection featuring golden digital statues “inspired by” Disney properties. The first two, featuring Homer and Bart choking each other and Bart’s skateboard, will drop tomorrow.

My limited understanding is that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are digital artworks that people spend lots of cryptocurrency (pretend computer money) on just so it says on a website somewhere that they are the “owner” of said artwork. Of course, since they’re digital artwork, anyone can just right click and save them, which to a normal person would make “ownership” seem pointless and the whole enterprise seem scammy. They also have the added bonus of being incredibly harmful to the environment. “Hey, don’t have a cow, man, these ones are actually carbon neutral!,” you might say. First, that’s greenwashing. Second, most NFTs look like absolute shit. A massive corporation like Disney getting involved with their giant portfolio of iconic characters helps legitimize the entire cryptoart marketplace.

Are these NFT statues the most immoral pieces of Simpsons merchandise to exist? Probably not. Nevertheless, The Simpsons has been awarded 9 Environmental Media Awards over the years. They should return them if they’re going to choke the planet with this garbage.

MEANINGLESS MILESTONES, SPRINGFIELD SHOPPER

An image of the Simpsons Season 1 DVD cover.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of The Simpsons: The Complete First Season DVD boxset in North America (tip of the hat to illustrator Bill Mudron for mentioning this). It was, for a time, the best selling TV show on DVD until it was eclipsed by Chappelle’s Show a few years later. Now that physical media has been rendered a relic by streaming services, let’s take this opportunity to look back at what’s been lost.
Continue Reading →

FOX NEWS

An image of Lisa Simpsons carrying her seemingly-dead brother into their parents' bedroom.

¡Ay, caramba! Three years after its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney is pulling the plug on the Fox channel on September 30, to the dismay of Simpsons fans continentwide.

Channel24:

In response to a media query from Channel24, The Walt Disney Company Africa confirms that its FOX channel (DStv 125/StarSat 131) is ending on pay-TV services like MultiChoice’s DStv, StarTimes and StarSat, as well as Zuku across sub-Saharan Africa at the end of September.

Some loyal Fox viewers expressed dismay at the announcement on Facebook. The Simpsons had been a fixture on the channel since its launch in 2010, and with the streaming service Disney+ not scheduled to launch in the region until mid-2022, it is unclear where Simpsons devotees will get their fix.

Fox is among a hundred channels Disney plans to close this year.

NEWS BRIEFS

A collage of random Simpsons-related pictures.

Here’s a roundup of Simpsons news tidbits from the past month.

  • Wes Archer shared part of a script from the Tracey Ullman short “Burp Contest.” Interesting to note Marge and Homer were just “Mom” and “Dad” back then. [Wes Archer]
  • Showrunner-turned-fast-food-reviewer Bill Oakley appeared in a Burger King commercial. [Bill Oakley]
  • The Star Wars-themed Disney+ commercial short Maggie Simpson in “The Force Awakens from Its Nap” is nominated for an Emmy. [Cartoon Brew]
  • Kid Leaves Stoop did a video about the much-maligned Homer-head-shaped Season 6 DVD set (I’m pro-head for the record), and made a startling discovery about the security of the site you had to visit to get a replacement box. [Kid Leaves Stoop]
  • The Simpsons held a Comic-Con panel over Zoom. There’s no Homer hologram this time, but the part where they play Pictionary is pretty fun. Also, the ever-punctual Matt Groening shows up late towards the end. [Comic-Con International]
  • New Simpsons writer Broti Gupta is promoting an Amazon wishlist to help unhoused people in Los Angeles. [Broti Gupta]
  • The great Simpsons blog Dead Homer Society appears to have let the domain name lapse, but luckily it’s still on WordPress.
  • The Department of Energy is redacting documents relating to a BuzzFeed-style Simpsons blog post they did. What are they hiding?!? [Vice]
LISTICLE PARADISO

An image of The Good, The Bad, and the Loki featuring Marge Simpson and Captain America.

The God of Mischief living with the Simpsons?! It happened, in the epic new short “The Good, The Bart, and the Loki,” streaming now on Disney+. Naturally, this crossover between the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and the MGU (Matt Groening Universe) is chock full of clever Easter eggs that should bring a smile to any True Believer. Here’s a list of 17 references, callbacks, and homages to The Simpsons.
Continue Reading →