VFX Artists React to The Mandalorian

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, the VFX artists react to the amazing, innovative visual effects used in the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Plus, Patrick (H) Willems analyzes a perfect episode of The Simpsons to see what makes the series work when it’s at its best, and Harrison Ford breaks down his long, decorated career in film, from American Graffiti to Call of the Wild. Read More »

The Simpsons Avengers Parody

Kevin Feige is already the master of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but soon he’ll be the star of a major comic book movie franchise within the animated world of The Simpsons.

An upcoming episode of the 31st season of FOX’s animated family sitcom will lean into superhero movies in a big way when Bart Simpson ends up seeing an early screening of the latest sequel in the Vindicator comic book movie franchise. Instead of playing the shepherd behind the scenes of this superhero franchise, Kevin Feige will be playing the Vindicator’s villain Chinnos, a riff on the Avengers villain Thanos and his massive, bulbous chin. Before the episode premieres this weekend, you can get a tease of Kevin Feige voicing Chinnos in The Simpsons Avengers parody clip below. Read More »

simpsons short film

Disney has made a habit of showing Pixar short films in theaters before a new Pixar feature begins, but they’re changing things up a bit for Onward. Instead of showing a Pixar-created short, a new The Simpsons short film is going to screen instead. Titled Playdate with Destiny, it features the youngest member of the Simpson family, Maggie.

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the simpsons apu

A month after Hank Azaria announced that he was stepping down from voicing Apu Nahasapeemapetilon in The Simpsons, the actor is opening on his reasons for leaving. Azaria had voiced the character of the Springfield convenience store owner (in addition to numerous other characters) for 30 years, even winning three Emmy Awards for his voice acting performance.

But the character has come under fire in recent years for being a broad, outdated South Asian stereotype, with Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu in particular bringing attention to the character. It was the outcry, and The Simpsons‘ botched attempt to address the issue in the episode “No Good Read Goes Unpunished” that led to Azaria quitting the gig, the actor revealed.

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It’s time for our twice annual interview with Al Jean, showrunner on The Simpsons. Jean is such a reliable attendee to Fox’s Television Critics Association that I now think of questions every week while I watch the show and unleash them when we have a chance to talk.

This batch of questions covers The Simpsons’ inclusion on Disney+, the new Disney ownership, Aquaman Jason Momoa’s voice cameo, and recent episodes, like the return of Artie Ziff and “Thanksgiving of Horror.” The Simpsons airs Sunday nights on Fox. 

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The Simpsons Executive Producer Interview

Every Television Critics Association press tour, we catch up with The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean. January’s TCA was no exception, and we’ll bring you that interview soon enough. But this time, Jean brought executive producer Matt Selman with him. 

Disney acquired The Simpsons in its acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Since November 12, every Simpsons episode is available on Disney+. Streaming gave Selman some more ideas to maximize content and he has some ideas about enhanced Simpsons content for Disney+. He also talked about the upcoming Marvel-centric episode featuring voice cameos from major Marvel filmmakers.

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the simpsons apu

/Film has been covering the issue of Apu on The Simpsons since Hank Azaria addressed Hari Kondabolu’s documentary The Problem with Apu two years ago. The issue gained more attention when The Simpsons produced an episode, “No Good Read Goes Unpunished”, that specifically addressed it. 

Voice actor Hank Azaria told Stephen Colbert he would be willing to step aside as the voice, but subsequent to that, Al Jean and Matt Groening have preferred not to talk about Apu in interviews with /Film. After a panel for the final season of his IFC series Brockmire, Azaria himself answered /Film’s question about Apu.

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Thanksgiving of Horror

Even after three decades, The Simpsons is still finding ways to keep things fresh. The latest example takes the long-running “Treehouse of Horror” and repeats it just a month after this year’s proper “Treehouse” episode, but with a Thanksgiving setting.

The episode begins with Marge introducing three spooky tales of horror and warning the audiences not to let their kids watch – just like in the good old days. The thing is, as gimmicky as the episode seems to be, it is also one of the best horror episodes the show has done in years. “Thanksgiving of Horror” is also full of references to movies and TV shows, so we asked to the episode’s writer, Dan Vebber, to guide us through all the easter eggs and reference in this scary holiday episode.

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The Simpsons Aspect Ratio Problem Fixed

Disney+ arrived this week to much excitement and glee from fans anxious to stream everything from the new live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian to Disney classics The Lion King and everything in between. However, one of the more enticing library titles from Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox immediately disappointed fans. But thankfully, it’s about to be fixed.

Every single season of The Simpsons is available on Disney+ right now, but when it comes to the first 19 seasons of the show, there was an issue. The aspect ratio for those episodes was presented in the widescreen 16:9 ratio, the shape of your average television today. But those episodes from the first 19 seasons aired when the full screen 4:3 ratio was the standard for television. The result was episodes that lost visual quality and some hilarious sight gags. But Disney+ will have The Simpsons aspect ratio problem fixed in the near future. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

the simpsons on disney+ aspect ratio

You might not want to get rid of your The Simpsons Blu-rays and DVDs just yet. The long-running animated series is now streaming on Disney+, but here’s the problem: it’s in the wrong aspect ratio. The earlier – and best – seasons of the show have been stretched to a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, which inadvertently ends up cutting off chunks of the screen. This is a particularly irksome problem for The Simpsons because the show is chock-full of visual gags, and many of those gags are now being cropped out of the frame.

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