Friday, December 19, 2014


Alright, on the 7th Day of Christmas Reviews, I'm going to give you two reviews, instead of one, and both of these reviews tie into "The Simpsons". I really don't usually do this, but the Christmas Simpson short I'm reviewing, is so short, like all shorts that were featured on "The Tracey Ullman Show", that putting it as a separate review would be a waste. So I'm going to add a review of the pilot episode for "The Simpsons" which is indeed a Christmas Special. So sit back and enjoy reading a double review of Simpson's Christmas Specials.


Bart recites his version of "The Night Before Christmas", by describing how he and his Family celebrates the Holiday Season. The jokes in this less than 3 minute short are endless, the visuals are very Christmassy, and the rhyming is great! This is possibly my favorite out of the shorts, and if I had to pick one short for a person to see, it'd be this one! So check it out!



Now here's a little piece of trivia for you. This was NOT going to be the pilot episode. Originally the episode "Some Enchanted Evening" was going to be the pilot episode. However, their plan to launch the show in October has been delayed, until December, and with this episode being the 8th one that the creators produced, they decided to make this, the pilot for the show. The plot in this Christmas Special is, The Simpsons are broke, and Homer didn't receive his Christmas Bonus. Desperate to give his family a Merry Christmas, he does many things, including dress up as a Mall Santa for money.

The plot and style of the episode, while being funny, it does manage to bring the warmth and joy of Christmas, as well as seeing a side to Homer that we don't get to see too often. Rather than forcing it, and make it sound corny, I actually did feel Homer wanting to give his Wife and kids a Merry Christmas. That scene when he tries to tell Marge about the Christmas Bonus that he never received, is actually really effecting, and shows how much Homer cares for his family. He even gets to bond with Bart midway through the episode, and rather than seeing them go after each other and fight, they actually settle their differences, work together, and have a very nice Father and son relationship which is one of the many things that make this pilot episode special.

While, the animation does look awkward, weird, rubbery, and lifeless at times, its still colorful; brings great imagery with the jokes and Christmas look; and you can defiantly see how better the animation has gotten, since their last appearance on "The Tracey Ullman Show". This pilot episode also expands on "The Simpsons" world, when the shorts from "The Tracey Ullman Show", showed very little of The Simpsons world. This pilot episode also marks the first appearances of Principal Skinner, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Moe, Barney, Patty and Selma, Milhouse, Snowball 2 (Which, I am slightly disappointed that we never meet Snowball), and Santa's Little Helper. Sure, half the actors don't sound or act like the characters we're familiar with now, but this of course is these characters first appearance, and without connecting them to how we know these characters now, I think they're funny, not as funny as the characters will be developed later on the show, but still funny. Also Homer, despite having a bit of that Walter Matthau voice, is starting to get closer and closer to the character we all are familiar with. As for the jokes, they're funny, but its the Christmas jokes that make the episode so great. I just love seeing how The Simpsons spend the Holidays, with putting up the lights; singing Christmas Carols; writing to Santa; and so on. Of course, the best jokes are with Homer, especially when he has to learn to be like Santa. The jokes of course, haven't reached the humorous style of the show that we're all familiar with, but I still think they're funny and entertaining enough to make them good.

This Christmas special not only started the series on a good note, and shows how much the characters and idea have evolved since "The Tracey Ullman Show", but it's also a great Christmas Special as well, even if it wasn't intended to be the shows pilot. The characters are fun and likable; the story of a lame Father figure trying to bring happiness to his family is done really effectively; the Christmas jokes and gags are funny; the animation, while clunky at times, is still nice; and the Christmas Spirit is indeed there.


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