Simpsons Devotees’ Dreams Dashed by Disappointing Disney D23 Disaster

A photo of the Simpsons panel at the 2022 D23 Expo featuring Yeardley Smith, David Silverman, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Matt Selman, Tim Long, and Rob LaZebnik.
(The Walt Disney Company)

On Friday, The Simpsons held its second-ever panel at Disney’s D23 Expo, moderated by voice actress Yeardley Smith. A press release for the panel touted “a surprise so shocking it can’t even be announced in press release form!” Simpsons simps hoping for a big announcement of some kind – a new movie? A spin-off? A new game? The Ullman shorts? Cancellation??? – unfortunately had their dreams denied. Here’s a recap of the event.

  • Matt Groening, who skipped Comic-Con, arrived wearing a Marge wig.
  • The panel kicked off with a screening of their latest dismal Disney+ short, “Welcome to the Club,” which was released the previous day as part of Disney+ Day.
  • A nice bit of trivia: director David Silverman mentioned that series animator Kathy Zielinski, who animated Ursula in 1989’s The Little Mermaid, got to animate her again for the short. (h/t Henry Gilbert)
  • Season 34 begins on FOX on September 25, while Season 33 is being added to Disney+ more than a week later on October 5. Previously, seasons were released the same week.
  • Groening mentioned that he’s “kept busy” with new episodes of Futurama and Disenchantment. The latter’s a bit of a surprise, as Netflix hasn’t officially announced a renewal. D’oh!
  • There doesn’t seem to have been much news on upcoming episodes that wasn’t already announced at Comic-Con or previously known, such as there being two Treehouse of Horror episodes this season, one of which is an episode-length parody of It where Krusty’s the clown, and episodes focused on Kirk Van Houten and Carl. One new bit of information: an episode that “takes place entirely in Homer’ss mind during a split-second when he is thrown through the windshield of his car” with Lizzo guest starring as a singing Happy Little Elf doll. OK then!
  • Also, Albert Brooks is returning.
  • As with their 2019 E3 presentation, there were no new game announcements. Add the Simpsons to Disney Dreamlight Valley or Disney Speedstorm, you cowards! Put ๐Ÿ‘ Homer ๐Ÿ‘ Simpson ๐Ÿ‘ in ๐Ÿ‘ Fortnite
  • During the panel, Silverman drew sketches of Mr. Burns and Spider-Pig: mentions a third sketch, a caricature of Yeardley Smith that looks like Lisa, but I haven’t found a picture online.

  • They did a bit where Homer unveils Phase 5 of the Simpsons Cinematic Universe, a callback to Marvel’s Comic-Con announcements, only for it to be cancelled by Marvel head Kevin Feige.

  • Another bit featured Krusty unveiling classic animation with a “Disney budget”: Ullman-era Bart’s head transposed over Steamboat Itchy (it’s not Willie, note the overbite). I don’t quite understand what the larger context was.

  • Not mentioned during the panel: Super7 has a series of Troy McClure action figures coming out:

And that’s it, I guess! The D23 Expo continues through the weekend, so there’s a chance there might be more Simpsons-related announcements, but I doubt it.