ANIMOTION MACHINE

Longest Daycare The Simpsons theatrical short shoved in front of Ice Age 4 last summer, Maggie Simpson in: “The Longest Daycare” (yes, that’s the full title), has been nominated for what’s known in the streets as an “Oscar” award.

Good for them, I suppose. It was definitely one of the better outputs emanating from the Simpsons Franchise Factory this decade. The fact no one had to recite terrible Modern Simpsons dialogue certainly helped. Even those haters at Dead Homers Society enjoyed it. And it was nice to see director and longtime Simpsons drawer-person David Silverman gobsmacked and thanking everybody on Twitter this morning (hey idiot, save the thanks for your acceptance speech!).

It’s the first Oscar nomination for The Simpsons. When The Simpsons Movie was announced, creator Matt Groening quipped “Come next Oscars, we think it’s going to be Milhouse’s night.” Now, I don’t know if they were intentionally gunning for an Oscar then; James L. Brooks just wanted a hit to rebound from Spanglish, and as far as I can tell they never put out one of those “For Your Consideration” advertisements in trade magazines (though voice actor Harry Shearer’s role in For Your Consideration really messes up the search results). But falling short of garnering a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category – deemed not good enough to compete with a movie about a surfing penguin – certainly had to sting. So perhaps this nomination provides some validation for bruised egos, and maybe a win could convince the producers to finally end the show since there’d be no more mountains for the franchise to climb (hahaha, just kidding, this show will go on forever). Win or lose, I’m betting there’ll be more of these shorts, which won’t have to rely on those pesky voice actors and their dumb mortality.

Other notable nominations this year include Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Simpsons alum Rich Moore and written by Simpsons alum Jim Reardon, for Best Animated Feature, and Simpsons arch enemy Seth MacFarlane for a song he wrote for Ted (he’s also hosting the ceremony, if you hadn’t heard). Yes, both The Simpsons and the Family Guy guy are nominated for Oscars this year. Will these Cartoon Wars never cease???

[The Oscars (part of the Go Network)]

KANCELLATION KOUNTDOWN, MY TWO CENTS

First things first: The Simpsons, after days of cancellation rumors amidst a fierce contract negotiation between the voice actors and Fox, has been renewed for not only Season 24 (2012 – 2013), but also Season 25 (2013 – 2014), despite those honest, upstanding Fox “anonymous sources” telling every news outlet within earshot they would only renew it for Season 24 “at most.” That’s right: Twenty-Five. Goddamn. Seasons. Five Hundred Fifty-Nine Episodes. Let’s assume everything after Season 8 is bad. That means by the end of Season 25, the good seasons will comprise slightly less than 32% of the entire series. And this season just started two weeks ago, so we have a guaranteed three seasons of atrocious episodes to look forward to. Excuse me while I go stick my head in the oven.

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VOICE BOX

harry shearerNow that Aflac has dumped Gilbert Gottfried as the voice (quack?) of its disyllabic duck character, who should replace him? timlowell, a commenter (commentator?) over at The Awl suggests Simpsons thespian Harry Shearer as a possible candidate:

Harry Shearer does a regular bit on Le Show where he mimics Gilbert Gottfried’s Aflac duck, except he changes it to “AF-PAK”, as in what the military calls the Afghanistan/Pakistan region. I e-mailed him, but he hasn’t responded.

Here’s the most recent “News of AFPAK” segment, so you can judge for yourself.

VOICE BOX

voiceworkUnlucky message boarder “JowTSJY” was forced to attend a table reading for an upcoming episode wherein Marge becomes a foodie, and he shared his horrifying ordeal with the good people at Simpsons Collector Sector with photographic evidence.

Some interesting observations:

Five of the six main voice actors were in attendance: Dan Castellaneta, Yeardley Smith, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner, and Hank Azaria. Tress MacNeille and Pamela Hayden were also providing their voice acting skills, while Harry Shearer was represented by a speaker phone in the middle of the table. I was informed that Harry Shearer rarely attended the table reads, instead “phoning it in” from home. In fact, I was also informed that Shearer rarely came in to record his lines in the studio. He does that from home over the phone, too!

To be fair, he’s in a different recording studio using ISDN, but it’s still funny to imagine Harry Shearer as Charlie from Charlie’s Angels.

At 10AM the table read began as a man (whose name I didn’t catch) announced that The Simpsons had been renewed for its 23rd season. During the table read, this man narrated the non-dialogue portions of the script

Presumably, this man is showrunner Al Jean, who mysteriously doesn’t appear in any of the photos. That guy is craftier than Arthur C. Korn.

On our way back across the Fox lot, we saw Nancy Cartwright driving away in her Lexus. Her license plate read “4EVER10,” a reference to the fact Bart never ages. Someone mentioned that her old license plate used to read “I DO BART.” If that’s true, I can understand why she changed it!

hahahaha lol [Simpsons Collector Sector via No Homers Club]

VOICE BOX

for your considerationHuffington Post blogger Harry Shearer was once again hosed by the TV gods, who failed to nominate him for a prestigious “Emmy” orange blimp award in the category of “Best Voice-Talkin’ Guy.” Shearer, voice of Mr. Burns, Smithers, Lenny, and Principal Skinner, among others, has only been nominated in that category once (in 2009) and is the only regular Simpsons cast member to have not won it (the others somehow all won in 1992, WTF?). Dan Castalleneta (Homer), Hank Azaria (Moe), and Anne Hathaway (the princess in that godawful 20th anniversary episode) are nominated this year along with Seth Green, Dave Foley, and Coach McGuirk. [Los Angeles Times]

VOICE BOX

The cast of The Simpsons finally got around to renegotiating their contracts, thus putting an end to the pay dispute that threatened to tear apart humanity and resulted in at least thirty artists losing their jobs while production was halted. Dan Castellenta (Homer), Julie Kavner (Marge), Nancy Cartwright (Bart), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Hank Azaria (Maggie), and Harry Shearer (Mr. Burns) will now each get $500,000 $400,000 per episode, an increase from $360,000, to donate to Scientology. Ironically, this pay increase comes at a time when viewership has dwindled by nearly fifty percent over the past five years. Aye carumba! [telegraph.co.uk]