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How The Simpsons Remade Marge vs. The Monorail Animation For 2022 Episode-TGN

Summary

  • Animation director Rob Oliver and producer David Silverman recreated scenes from the classic episode “Marge vs. The Monorail” in faithful detail for The Simpsons‘ “Treehouse of Horror” episode.
  • They traced the original footage, matched the colors, and applied filters to achieve the pre-digital, cel-based animation style of the early seasons.
  • The recreation of classic moments in “Simpsons World” pays tribute to the show’s iconic past while acknowledging and incorporating modern audience favorites.


Animation director Rob Oliver and producer David Silverman break down how The Simpsons approached remaking “Marge vs. The Monorail” animation for 2022’s seasonal “Treehouse of Horror” episode. Continuing the long-held tradition of Evergreen Terrace’s infamous family offering their own takes on classic spooky tales and popular media, season 34’s “Treehouse of Horror XXXIII” poked fun at WestWorld, Death Note, and The Babadook. In “Simpsons World,” a Homer (Dan Castellaneta) android becomes self-aware and learns that he is a part of a theme park dedicated to letting audiences experience their favorite The Simpsons moments.

With “Simpsons World” giving The Simpsons creative team a unique opportunity to revisit classic moments, Oliver and Silverman revealed to Variety how they recreated moments from the classic season 4 episode “Marge vs. The Monorail” in a faithful manner through the show’s current animation techniques. After singling out Homer’s tour of the Monorail cockpit as the scene they wanted to use, Oliver explained that not only did they trace the original footage for the new episode, but they chose matching colors and applied various filters to make it seem that it had been animated through the early season’s pre-digital, cel-based techniques. Check out Silverman and Oliver’s full explanation below:

Silverman: “There are so many iconically great scenes, but A. It’s an iconically great scene, so most people know what you’re referring to. And B, It’s one of the more hilarious scenes of that iconically great- It’s a great scene. I call the big one Bitey.”

Oliver: “We purposely made the monorail scenes look like the original footage, we traced all the original footage.”

Silverman: “This of course was done in the pre-digitally composited style. Right now we’re in the 16:9 frame size, back then it was called 4:3 aspect ratio, so we had to sort of take those images and basically trace it to try to maintain that look.”

Oliver: “And then we deviated within scene and added new poses, and then went from there. So then we had to match all the old color, and then transition into the new color. We chose colors to match the original colors, and then added filters to give a little haze over the line, and then add a little cel shadow behind to make it look like it was still actually cels being used instead of colored on computer.”

“And then really once the two guys come in, the two frat guys, who then force Homer to chug a beer, once that happens then that’s the new animation that we added, and so we then had nothing to trace over.”


“Simpsons World” Is A Detailed Love Letter To Iconic Classic & Modern The Simpsons Moments

With its catchy monorail pitch song performed by Phil Hartman and a memorable guest appearance by Star Trek‘s Leonard Nimoy, it is understandable why “Marge vs. The Monorail” was selected as the opening for “Simpsons World.” Written by Conan O’Brien, the episode is a standout story celebrated among The Simpsons‘ earliest offerings and that helped develop many of the show’s comedic styling. As such, with the episode being so recognizable and celebrated, it was a perfect example to not only indicate that something was amiss in “Simpsons World’sopening through its deviations but also to effectively introduce the premise behind the entire park.

RELATED: The Simpsons’ Original Marge vs. The Monorail Plan Had A Different Star Trek Cameo

“Marge vs. The Monorail” was not the only moment from The Simpsons‘ history that was recreated and then twisted for the “Treehouse of Horror” segment. Smaller moments dating all the way back to Bart’s victory over Nelson (Both voiced by Nancy Cartwright) in season 1’s “Bart the General” were recreated in blink-and-you-miss-it nods. Furthermore, even moments that achieved viral fame online, including the “Homer emerging from the bushes” meme, were acknowledged, as parkgoers tried to get the sentient Homer bot to recreate the image. As such, “Simpsons World” not only pays tribute to the classic seasons, but moments modern audiences have grown fond of.

Between its numerous call-backs and surprising last-minute Bob’s Burgers crossover, “Simpsons World” has become a much-loved segment from an already standout modern episode of The Simpsons. While the moment itself is a fun nod to the classic episode, the lengths that Oliver, Silverman, and the rest of the crew dedicated to replicate the style of classic episodes represent the lengths taken to pay tribute to the era. As such, there is a new appreciation for the segment’s surprisingly detailed animation recreation.

Source: Variety

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