The Simpsons (cartoon)



The Simpsons opening 1989
The Simpsons
series opening 1989
Title: "The Simpsons"

Category: Cartoon

Genres: Comedy, Humor, Satire, Sitcom

Creator: Matt Groening

Developers:
--- James L. Brooks
--- Matt Groening
--- Sam Simon

Country of origin: USA

Background: The series is a satirical depiction of a working class lifestyle epitomized by the Simpson family. The Simpsons are a family who live in a fictional "Middle American" town of Springfield: a typical couple husband and wife, with three children, a dog and a cat. The show includes an array of quirky supporting characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople and local celebrities.

Main characters (Simpsons family):
--- Homer Simpson, first appearance in the first short "Good Night", aired on April 19, 1987, during "The Tracey Ullman Show" Season 1, Episode 3. Husband of Marge, Homer works as a safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, a position at odds with his careless, buffoonish personality.
--- Marge Simpson, first appearance in "Good Night" (see above). Wife of Homer, Marge is a stereotypical American housewife and mother.
--- Bart Simpson, first appearance in "Good Night" (see Homer above). Oldest child and only son of Homer and Marge, Bart is a ten-year-old troublemaker. 
--- Lisa Simpson, first appearance in "Good Night" (see Homer above). Middle child and eldest daughter of Homer and Marge, Lisa is a precocious eight-year-old activist.
--- Maggie Simpson, first appearance in "Good Night" (see Homer above). Youngest child and daughter of Homer and Marge, Maggie is the baby of the family who rarely speaks, but communicates by sucking on a pacifier.
--- Santa's Little Helper, first appearance in the first full-lenght episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special", aired on December 17, 1989. Santa's Little Helper is the Simpson family's pet dog.
--- Snowball V (later renamed Snowball II), first appearance in "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" (see above). Snowball V is the Simpson family's pet cat.

Features: "The Simpsons" is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The Simpsons first appeared as shorts in The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime time show. The Simpsons is the longest-running American sitcom, and the longest-running American animated program.

Interesting facts: Matt Groening named the main Simpson characters after members of his own family: his parents, Homer and Margaret (Marge or Marjorie in full), and his younger sisters, Lisa and Margaret (Maggie). Claiming that it was a bit too obvious to name a character after himself, he chose the name "Bart," an anagram of brat.

Producers: Gracie Films, 20th Century Fox Television

Distributor: 20th Century Fox Television

Original language: English

Music: "The Simpsons Theme" by Danny Elfman (1989)

Running time: One-minute shorts, half-hour series episodes

Quote (Matt Groening): «Families are about love overcoming emotional torture»

Property: © Fox Broadcasting Company

Official website: http://www.simpsonsworld.com



THE SIMPSONS - SHORTS

The Simpson family in 1987
The Simpsons family, as they originally appeared in early shorts. Matt Groening submitted only basic sketches to the animators and assumed that the figures would be cleaned up in production. However, the animators merely re-traced his drawings, which led to the crude appearance of the characters in the initial shorts. From left: Maggie, Lisa, Marge, Homer and Bart.

SHORTS - Release: April 19, 1987

SHORTS - Seasons / No. of Episodes:
--- S01 / E07 (Apr. 19, 1987 - July 12, 1987)
--- S02 / E22 (Sept. 22, 1987 - May 8, 1988)
--- S03 / E19 (Nov. 6, 1988 - May 14, 1989)
--- Total Seasons 3 / Episodes 48 (1987-1989)

First short title: "Good Night"

Release: April 19, 1987, during "The Tracey Ullman Show" Season 1, Episode 3

Writer: Matt Groening

Directors:  Wesley Archer, David Silverman, Bill Kopp

Animation: Klasky Csupo, Inc.

Running time: 1 min. 48 sec.

Plot: Marge and Homer say goodnight to their children. As they do, Bart ponders the nature of the mind, Lisa develops a fear of bedbugs, and Maggie has a nightmare about "Rock-a-bye Baby". All three of the kids end up crowding parents' bed.

The Simpsons, first appearance in the short "Good Night", aired as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show (April 19, 1987)



THE SIMPSONS - SERIES

Simpson family 1987 vs. 1989
The Simpson family in 1989
The Simpsons family, as they appeared since the first full-length episode (1989). Top: comparison with the 1987 original version.

First full-length episode title: "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special". The title is an allusion to "The Christmas Song", also known as "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire".

Release: December 17, 1989

Writer: Mimi Pond

Director: David Silverman

Animation: Klasky Csupo, Inc.

Music: Richard Gibbs (theme by Danny Elfman)

Running time: 22 min.

Plot: The Simpsons prepare for the holidays, but it's rough sledding for household-head Homer, who's forced to resort to desperate measures when his Christmas bonus is canceled and Marge's family money goes to erase the tattoo son Bart thought would be a perfect gift.

The Simpsons first episode 1989 - 1
The Simpsons first episode 1989 - 2
The Simpsons first episode 1989 - 3
The Simpsons first episode 1989 - 4
The Simpsons first episode 1989 - 5
The Simpsons, screenshots from the first full-length episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also known as "The Simpsons Christmas Special" (December 17, 1989)

The Simpsons, sketch for the opening sequence
The Simpsons, early sketch for the opening sequence by David Silverman (c. 1987), animator of all the original shorts with Wes Archer and Bill Kopp at Klasky Csupo Inc.

The Simpsons, first series opening sequence created by David Silverman, music by Danny Elfman. This title sequence was aired the first time at the opening of the second episode "Bart the Genius" (January 14, 1990).

The Simpsons 500th episode logo
The Simpsons 500th episode celebration
Matt Groening (Portland, February 15, 1954 - cartoonist, writer, producer, animator, and voice actor), creator of The Simpsons, celebrates the 500th episode of the series: "At Long Last Leave", aired on February 19, 2012