Treehouse of Horror XXV

"Treehouse of Horror XXV" is the fourth episode of the 26th season of The Simpsons, the 25th episode in the Treehouse of Horror series of Halloween specials, and the 556th episode overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 19, 2014.

The episode, like the other Treehouse of Horror episodes, comprises three self-contained segments. In "School Is Hell", Bart finds his ideal new school in Hell; in "A Clockwork Yellow", Moe leads a Clockwork Orange gang; and in "The Others", the Simpson family are visited by their former selves. A clip from the episode was first shown to the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2014, and showrunner Al Jean gave an interview about "The Others" in September. The final segment features a sequence in which the Simpson family is animated in the styles of several other media franchises, in which Pixar's John Ratzenberger provides the guest voice of a computer-generated Homer.

The episode was watched by an audience of 7.76 million. It received a positive reception from critics, although opinions were divided on which segments were the strongest, and there were differing views on the quality of the Stanley Kubrick references in "A Clockwork Yellow". "Treehouse of Horror XXV" was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.

"Treehouse of Horror XXV"
The Simpsons episode
Treehouse of Horror XXV
Promotional poster depicting the three segments of the episode. Top left: "A Clockwork Yellow"; Top right: "School is Hell"; Bottom: "The Others"
Episode no.Season 26
Episode 4
Directed byMatthew Faughnan
Written byStephanie Gillis
Production codeSABF21
Original air dateOctober 19, 2014
Guest appearance(s)

Plot

The episode opens with Kang and Kodos narrating a Johnny Carson-style opening (complete with clips from classic Treehouse episodes). All of the celebrity guests announced have been killed and displayed to spell the episode's title.

School is Hell

Principal Skinner has put Bart in detention. While dusting a desk, he finds an Aramaic inscription. Lisa uses an app to translate it which transports the pair to Hell, which is a school. Bart excels in all of his diabolical subjects (including torture, destruction, and making sure that Major League Baseball rules ensure the unending dominance of the New York Yankees) and asks his parents if he can study there permanently. For his final test, he must torture Homer; despite Bart's hesitation, Homer lets him. A disfigured Homer proudly watches Bart graduate from Hell school as valedictorian.

A Clockwork Yellow

Moe has a Clockwork Orange-style gang in London along with Lenny, Carl and Homer. Homer falls for a girl (Marge) who convinces him to quit and the gang falls apart. Years later, Moe is attacked at home in a style similar to his gang's former ways and asks Homer to bring the gang back together; Lenny and Carl (who have become police officers) join them. They attack an Eyes Wide Shut-style masked orgy and several other of Stanley Kubrick's films are parodied in a fight sequence. As Moe gets beaten by two party guests, he narrates that he was "Beaten, bruised" and "couldn't score at an orgy" but was happy to be back with his old gang. Kubrick is then shown in an editing room and asks for the entire film to be re-shot.

The Others

In a parody of The Others, the Simpson family find unexplained frosty chocolate milkshakes and that their TV only shows Married... with Children. After a ghost attacks him in his sleep, Homer summons the ghosts, who turn out to be the family's former selves from The Tracey Ullman Show. Homer is attracted to the ghost Marge who prefers him to the former grumpy Homer, so the jealous living Marge kills herself to become a ghost by putting her head in the oven. The ghost Homer becomes jealous and bludgeons the living Homer unconscious with a toaster while he is in the bathtub, causing him to drown and then reappear as a ghost. Bart leaps across to a tree to escape the ghosts, but when Lisa chases after him, she misses the tree and falls to the ground, unknowingly killing herself, her ghost then chokes Bart with his slingshot as revenge, causing him to also fall to the ground and die instantly, becoming a bitter ghost. Groundskeeper Willie takes the children's corpses to make stew and it is implied that he murdered Maggie. After encountering Dr. Marvin Monroe, who is in spiritual limbo and can't walk fully through walls, Marge settles her differences with her older counterpart and both women force Homer to choose between them. Homer chooses his modern-day wife over the older ghost after she wins him over with an emotional speech. The next morning at the breakfast table, Lisa asks if there could ever be any other incarnations of the Simpsons and a range of Simpson families based on other animations are then shown. The segment ends with the original version of Homer unsuccessfully trying to photograph a good portrait of the two families together.

Production

KubrickForLook (cropped)
"A Clockwork Yellow" references several of the films of Stanley Kubrick, most notably A Clockwork Orange.

A clip from "A Clockwork Yellow" was first shown at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2014.[1] Executive producer Al Jean spoke to Entertainment Weekly in September 2014 about the third segment of the episode, and the difference in voices between the older and newer versions of the characters. He said that although Dan Castellaneta’s portrayal of Homer is better remembered for its evolution over time, Nancy Cartwright’s voicing of Bart changed as well, because "it was lower-register, and you can see in the difference in this segment. It was really funny to get the interplay [between the two versions of the Simpsons] and for the actors to see the voice evolution. The great thing is we didn’t have to ask—we already had the cast hired for the Tracey Ullman Simpsons."[2] He also revealed that the segment expanded on an earlier episode which implied that the Ullman Simpsons were murdered and buried under the family home, stating "if people want a real Halloween bloodbath, they get it."[2]

In the first segment, Bart summons Hot Stuff the Little Devil, who has been sentenced to Hell for his "lame" comics.[3] The second segment in this episode titled "A Clockwork Yellow" parodies Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, and features references to his other films, including Eyes Wide Shut.[4] In the finale of the third segment, Lisa asks if there is a possibility that "an evil marketing entity" could produce millions of others. The family is then reproduced in the animation styles of numerous other series including Adventure Time, Archer and South Park, as well as Japanese anime, the Minions from Despicable Me and alternate versions from other episodes of The Simpsons. A computer-generated Homer is voiced by guest star, Pixar voice actor John Ratzenberger.[5]

Reception

The episode received an audience of 7.76 million, a rise of 0.31 million viewers from the previous week's episode, "Super Franchise Me". It was the second most watched show on Fox that night, after The OT; and in the 18-49 demographic, it was the highest rated scripted show of the night (3.5) on all four networks only beaten by NBC's Football Night in America.[6]

The episode received positive reviews. Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B, praising the cinematic quality of the first two segments while concluding that the third was the poorest. He was impressed by how the Kubrick references in the second segment used originality rather than being a "perfunctory checklist", and how the director's "ow" at the end had "comic aplomb".[7] Writing for the New York Daily News, Don Kaplan gave the episode four stars out of five, singling the third segment out as the best, and deeming the Kubrick homage "smart and silly".[4] A more mixed review came from Alex Strachan on Postmedia News' Canada.com, who found the second segment to be the best and the other two to be average, although he admitted that the Kubrick references were "occasionally a little too inside or self-indulgent for their own good". He concluded that "there’s something in Treehouse of Horror XXV for everyone. A little like a Halloween bag of candy".[8]

The episode was nominated for the Award for Outstanding Animated Program at the 67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards,[9] losing to the Cartoon Network miniseries Over the Garden Wall.[10]

References

  1. ^ Fowler, Matt (July 26, 2014). "SDCC 14: THE SIMPSONS' TREEHOUSE OF HORROR DOING CLOCKWORK ORANGE, WEIRD AL TO PERFORM SONGS FROM THE SHOW, MORE". IGN. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Sneirson, Dan (September 10, 2014). "A 'Simpsons' crossover with... 'The Simpsons'?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  3. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 17, 2014). "Sneak a peek at 'The Simpsons' Halloween episode 'Treehouse of Horror XXV'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Kaplan, Don (October 15, 2014). "'The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XXV': TV review". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Miller, Ross (October 20, 2014). "Watch this: The Simpsons recreates Adventure Time, South Park, Archer, Pokemon, and many more". The Verge. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "TV Ratings For 10/19/2014". Seat42F. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  7. ^ Perkins, Dennis (October 20, 2014). "The Simpsons: "Treehouse Of Horror XXV"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  8. ^ Strachan, Alex (October 15, 2014). "The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror takes on Stanley Kubrick (with video)". Canada.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  9. ^ Bright, Charles (August 26, 2015). "Emmy predictions: Will 'The Simpsons' finally win Best Animated Program for Halloween episode?". Gold Derby. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  10. ^ Woolfe, Jennifer (September 14, 2015). "'Over the Garden Wall,' 'Adventure Time' Win Creative Arts Emmys". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 16, 2015.

External links

67th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards

The 67th Annual Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony was held on September 12, 2015, at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles. The event was broadcast in the U.S. by FXX on September 19, 2015. The ceremony was in conjunction with the annual Primetime Emmy Awards and is presented in recognition of creative, technical, visual, and other similar achievements in American television programming, including voice-over and guest acting roles.For the first time, online voting was used to determine the winners. Online voting was also used to determine the nominees, which were announced on July 16, 2015. Juried award winners for animation, costumes for a variety series, motion design, and interactive awards were announced on September 10, 2015.

David Viscott

David Steven Viscott (May 24, 1938 – October 10, 1996) was an American psychiatrist, author, businessman, and media personality. He was a graduate of Dartmouth (1959), Tufts Medical School and taught at University Hospital in Boston. He started a private practice in psychiatry in 1968 and later moved to Los Angeles in 1979 where he was a professor of psychiatry at UCLA. He founded and managed the Viscott Center for Natural Therapy in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Pasadena, California.

Hell Is For Children

"Hell Is For Children" is a song by American rock singer Pat Benatar. It was written by guitarist Neil Giraldo, bass player Roger Capps and Benatar. The song is about child abuse and was recorded by Benatar in 1980 for her second studio album Crimes of Passion.Pat Benatar started writing the song after reading a series of articles on child abuse in the New York Times. She was shocked to learn such things happen and wanted to write about it.

Hot Stuff the Little Devil

Hot Stuff the Little Devil is a comic book character created by Warren Kremer who first appeared in Hot Stuff #1 (October 1957), published by Harvey Comics. Imbued with a mischievous personality and able to produce fire, Hot Stuff appears as a red child devil who wears a diaper (said to be made of asbestos) and carries a magical sentient pitchfork (referred to as his "trusty trident"), which is a character in its own right. Much to the consternation of his demonic brethren, Hot Stuff sometimes performs good deeds to irritate them.

John Ratzenberger

John Dezso Ratzenberger (born April 6, 1947) is an American actor, voice actor, and entrepreneur. He played Cliff Clavin on the TV show Cheers, for which he earned two Emmy nominations, and plays voice roles in every Pixar Animation Studios film, including Hamm in the Toy Story franchise, The Underminer in The Incredibles franchise, and Mack in the Cars franchise. He is the only actor to appear in all of Pixar's feature films, and with minor appearances in major films such as Superman and The Empire Strikes Back, he is one of the most successful actors of all time in terms of box-office receipts.Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Ratzenberger began his entertainment career while living in London in the 1970s. He had minor film and television roles throughout the late 70s and early 1980s before creating, and then landing, the role of the know-it-all mailman Cliff Clavin on Cheers (1982–1993), a role he portrayed throughout the show's eleven seasons. His first Pixar role was the voice of Hamm in Toy Story (1995), and he has voiced Pixar characters in films and video games ever since. From 2004 to 2008 he hosted the TV documentary series Made in America. Outside of acting, he has promoted American entrepreneurship and manufacturing, and campaigned for several Republican candidates.

List of The Simpsons episodes

The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 666 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019, on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 premiered on September 29, 2019.

List of awards and nominations received by Matt Groening

The following is a list of awards and nominations received by American cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, musician, and voice actor Matt Groening.

List of cultural references to A Clockwork Orange

Popular culture references to Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) and Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film adaptation have been wide-ranging, from popular music and television to movies and other media. Some references are based on themes central to the story, such as the use of Nadsat words or phrases, whilst others have incorporated visual elements from the film. The film made Kubrick one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and the film has become a cult classic.

List of fictional television stations

This is a list of notable fictional television stations, including fictional television networks.

Matthew Faughnan

Matthew Faughnan is an animation director with The Simpsons and has directed five episodes. Prior to that, he was an assistant director with the show and won an Emmy award in 2003 for "Three Gays of the Condo".

Minions (Despicable Me)

Minions are yellow creatures that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, which started with Despicable Me (2010), and are characterized by their childlike behavior and unique language, which is almost intelligible at times. They are also the official mascots of Illumination, a division of Universal Pictures, which produces the films. Following Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, they have been described as being a corporate icon for Universal and Comcast, on par with Disney's Mickey Mouse and WarnerMedia's Bugs Bunny.Kevin, Stuart, and Bob are three of the most familiar minions, who appear as stars in the film Minions. Many other Minions are mentioned by name in the films and other media in the franchise.

Opposites A-Frack

"Opposites A-Frack" is the fifth episode in the 26th season of the animated series The Simpsons, and the 557th episode of the series overall. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on November 2, 2014.

Shmoo

The shmoo (plural: shmoos, also shmoon) is a fictional cartoon creature created by Al Capp (1909–1979); the character first appeared in the comic strip Li'l Abner on August 31, 1948. The popular character has gone on to influence pop culture, language, and even science.

Stephanie Gillis

Stephanie Gillis is an American television writer. She writes for The Simpsons and has written 11 episodes.

Gillis lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband, fellow The Simpsons writer Al Jean. The two were wed in Enniskerry, Ireland, in 2002.

Super Franchise Me

"Super Franchise Me" is the third episode of the 26th season of the animated series The Simpsons, and the 555th episode of the series overall. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 12, 2014.

The episode sees Marge open a sandwich franchise after her sandwiches become popular, but begin to struggle when Cletus opens with the same franchise across the road. The episode was dedicated to the memory of Jan Hooks, who had died on October 9.

The Others (2001 film)

The Others (Spanish: Los Otros) is a 2001 English-language Spanish gothic supernatural psychological horror film. It was written, directed, and scored by Alejandro Amenábar. It stars Nicole Kidman and Fionnula Flanagan.

The film won seven Goya Awards, including awards for Best Film and Best Director. This was the first English-language film ever to receive the Best Film Award at the Goyas (Spain's national film awards), without a single word of Spanish spoken in it. The Others was nominated for six Saturn Awards including Best Director and Best Writing for Amenábar and Best Performance by a Younger Actor for Alakina Mann, and won three: Best Horror Film, Best Actress for Kidman and Best Supporting Actress for Fionnula Flanagan. Kidman was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in Drama and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, with Amenábar being nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay, a rare occurrence for a horror film.

The Simpsons (season 26)

The Simpsons' twenty-sixth season premiered on Fox in the United States on September 28, 2014, and concluded on May 17, 2015.

In this season, Krusty the Clown retires after his father dies ("Clown in the Dumps"); Homer and Bart attempt to solve some father/son conflicts ("The Wreck of the Relationship"); Marge opens a sandwich franchise ("Super Franchise Me"); the Simpsons meet their former (The Tracey Ullman Show) selves ("Treehouse of Horror XXV"); Mr. Burns finds a girlfriend in Democratic Assemblywoman Maxine Lombard ("Opposites A-Frack"); Bart schemes to bring down his new fourth grade teacher, Mr. Lassen (guest voice Willem Dafoe), who is a terrible bully ("Blazed and Confused"); Homer has a mid-life crisis ("Covercraft"); and the cast of Futurama make an appearance in Springfield in a crossover episode ("Simpsorama").

Additional guest voices for this season include Nick Offerman, David Hyde Pierce, Jeff Ross, and Matthew Sweet.

The Simpsons shorts

The Simpsons shorts are a series of animated shorts that aired as a recurring segment on Fox variety television series The Tracey Ullman Show for three seasons, before the characters spun off into The Simpsons, their own half-hour prime-time show. It features Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The series was created by Matt Groening, who designed the Simpson family and wrote many of the shorts. The shorts first aired on April 19, 1987 starting with "Good Night". The final short to air was "TV Simpsons", originally airing on May 14, 1989. The Simpsons later debuted on December 17, 1989, as an independent series with the Christmas special "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".One marketing study found that only 14 percent of Americans were familiar with the shorts, compared to 85 percent in November 1990 who were familiar with the Simpsons family, 11 months after the full-length show began airing.Only a few of these shorts have been released on DVD. "Good Night" was included on The Simpsons Season 1 DVD. Five of these shorts were later used in the clip-show episode "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular" on the half-hour show, which was released on the Season 7 DVD. These five shorts were "Good Night", which was featured in its entirety, and portions of "The Perfect Crime", "Space Patrol", "World War III", and "Bathtime". In "You Kent Always Say What You Want", the short "Family Portrait" replaces the entire opening sequence in celebration of the 400th episode. In June 2013, it was reported that FXX is trying to acquire the shorts for an October Simpsons app, "Simpsons World".The version of the Simpson family from the shorts was depicted as ghosts haunting the Simpsons house in the season twenty six episode "Treehouse of Horror XXV".

Treehouse of Horror

Treehouse of Horror, also known as The Simpsons Halloween specials, are a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the animated series The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show's normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic, being known for their far more violent and much darker nature than an average Simpsons episode. The first, entitled "Treehouse of Horror", aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. Since then, there have been 28 other Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year.

Episodes contain parodies of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films, as well as the alien characters Kang and Kodos, a special version of the opening sequence, and scary names in the credits. The show's staff regard the Treehouse of Horror as being particularly difficult to produce, as the scripts often go through many rewrites, and the animators typically have to design new characters and backgrounds.

Many of the episodes are popular among fans and critics of the show and have inspired a whole offshoot of Simpsons merchandise, including action figures, playsets, video games, books, DVDs, comic books, and a special version of Monopoly. Several of the episodes have won awards for animation and sound editing. In 1996, 2013, and 2015, "Treehouse of Horror VI", "Treehouse of Horror XXIII", and "Treehouse of Horror XXV" were respectively nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" category.

Season 26
Themed episodes
See also

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