The Complete Third Season
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Film Length: 551 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: Full Screen encoded 1.33:1
Audio: DD 5.1 (English, Spanish, French)
Special features: Commentary on every episode by Creator Matt Groening,
joined by Executive Producer James L. Brooks, writers, actors, and directors on selected episodes - Pop-Up Bonus Trivia - 5 Language Audio Selections for "Treehouse of Horror II" episode (English, Spanish, French, Polish, and Czech) - Audio Outtakes from cast and guest stars - Butterfinger Commercials - Bart's Thanksgiving Day Parade Appearance - Matt Groening Storyboards - Scene Specific Interactive Sketches - Simpsons Jukebox (14 songs) and much more!
Release Date: August 26, 2003
Ahh... The Simpson's!* Everyone's favorite dysfunctional primetime cartoon family!* I mean, come on, who hasn't laughed at an episode or two of The Simpsons?*Even if you don't like the show or watch it only occasionally, chances are you have let a snicker or two get away .* I have always liked The Simpsons.* I remember when they first started out on one of my favorite TV shows (at the time), The Tracey Ullman show.* Sometimes I watched her show only to try and catch a snippet of the short cartoons.* If I remember correctly, they weren't on every episode, so it was kind of a hit or miss deal.* But alas, that show spawned one of the most successful franchises in TV history! This 3rd season boxed set really impressed me.* It feels as though a lot of time and effort went in to putting it together. Even the outer packaging is bold and makes a statement. Inside you will find 4 DVD's, each with 6 episodes and many extras on each disk.*
There is a medium sized letter from creator Matt Groening printed on the inside.*It's more of a rant on how the syndicated episodes are so hacked up.* Here is an excerpt: "As I watch their high jinks and snappy retorts and merry mix-ups, I find myself stifling a sob or two.* But don't get me wrong.* I'm not crying because I m sad, I'm crying because I'm filled with rage!* Do they really have to hack up the syndicated episodes of The Simpsons so poorly, butchering them to the point of near incomprehensibility? Just to squeeze in several more commercials for heavily salted snack-treats?* Is this how TV repays our years of slavish, unquestioning loyalty? There is a 10 page booklet that gives info about each episode. Its gives a brief synopsis of each episode, when it originally aired, who the writers and directors were, and the 6 scene elections and titles for each scene. It also gives the total runtime for the episode.
Since this boxed set is 551 minutes in total, it would take me a week to actually watch each episode and watch the commentaries and what not.* This boxed set is releasing on August 26th, 2003, so I really don't have the luxury of time on my hands.** I think the first disk should be enough to give you an idea of what the set is like.**So, what I have decided to do, is a review the first disk, and then give some info about the other 3 disks.
Episode 1, "Stark Raving Dad"
Writers: Al Jean & Mike Reiss Director: Rich Moore
Originally aired: 09-19-1991** Total Runtime: 23:01
Features guest voices of; John Jay Smith & Michael Jackson.
Since one of my favorite parts of The Simpson's is the beginning credits where at the end they always jump on the couch differently, I am going to include a small screen shot the beginning credits.*I thought it would be fun!
This episode starts out with Lisa worrying about her birthday present and that Bart always fall through and isn't going to remember to get her one. We also find out that Bart put his favorite red hat in the load of whites, and now all of Homers white T-Shirts are now pink . Marge assured Homer that its ok to wear a pink shirt and that no one will make fun of him.* Boy was she wrong!* Homer gets singled out from a security camera.* Burns is convinced of a conspiracy and calls Homer an anarchist for his pink shirt.*So they set Homer up with a mental evaluation test to see what they need to do with him. Of course, Homer lets Bart fill it out for him, and they promptly put Homer in an insane asylum. This is where he meets .... Michael Jackson?* Hmmm, a big fat white guy that sounds like Michael Jackson, and calls himself Michael Jackson. (actually, Michael Jackson was the guest voice for the character in this episode)
So, Homer and "Michael Jackson" bond and become good friends in the mental institution. "Michael Jackson" makes a phonecall fro someone to come and get Homer.* While Marge goes to get him out, our side plot develops of Lisa's sadness due to lack of B-day presents. Homer invites "Michael Jackson" back to the house, and tells Bart not to tell anyone. Of course by the time they get home, the whole town knows about it and has shown up to see the star.* Only to be totally disappointed when a big fat white guy gets out of the car. Michael ends up stays with the family. Lisa and Bart have a run in about the present Bart promised, and failed to deliver. Bart and Michael collaborate on a birthday song for Lisa. When they sing it for her, she thinks its the best birthday present ever!
The Itchy and Scratchy Show on this episode is entitled "Bang the Cat Slowly"
Itchy gives Scratchy a birthday present with a bomb in it.* He makes the bow with Scratchy's tongue and makes him swallow it.* Scratchy's head gets blown off and impaled by the birthday cone hat when his head lands. hehe
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Rich Moore, David Silverman.
*They all talk about what a great episode this was to do because Michael Jackson was a guest voice. They were saying how Michael had stipulations like that he couldn't sing, and they couldn't draw the character in his likeness.* They went into detail about how they had to keep it under wraps about Michael doing the show, and what a nuthouse the studio was when he was laying down his parts.* They got another guy to come in and do the singing parts.* Although some of the writers still think it might have been Michael on one or two songs.* However, you can tell that it clearly is not.* They also say how part of the story were inspired by "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".
Episode 2, "Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington"
Writer: George Meyer* Director: Wes Archer
Originally aired: 09-26-1991** Total Runtime: 22:59
This one stars out with Homer trying to cash his "Publishers Clearing House "million dollar" check that he got in the mail.* He gets no money, however he does get free copy of Readers Digest.* Curiously he really gets into reading it. He even gets to the point of despising the kids for wasting their time watching TV.* Homer finds an essay contest only open to kids in his Readers Digest.*Lisa enters and wins based on an essay praising democracy.* The whole family gets an all expenses paid trip to Washington for the essay finals. There they all get unlimited access VIP passes to go wherever they want. This leads them to the bathroom where Barbara Bush taking a bath in one scene. Talk about all access. *
Lisa gets to see the true nature of a crooked Congressman she met the day before. She witnesses a bribe taking place at the statue of Winifred Beecher Howe.*The Congressman accepts a briefcase full of money to issue a logging permit to wipe out Springfield National Forest.* This forces Lisa to change her essay for the contest, to a speech to call out of the Congressman.*The government then sets up a sting to catch him. The Congressmen eventually gets kicked out and they pass a bill to save the Springfield National Forest. Lisa's faith in the system is restored!
No Itchy and Scratchy on this one.
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening,* Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Julie Kavner,* Wes Archer,* David Silverman.
They talked about how the whole cast liked the idea of the entire family going on a vacation.* They said that it's such a perfect idea with so many endless ideas to write about.*They also say how it's funny that Lisa is always in some sort of contest, but never comes in first place.
Episode 3, "When Flanders Failed"
Writer: Jon Vitti* Director: Jim Reardon
Originally aired: 10-03-1991** Total Runtime: 23:54
Homer starts out this episode being envious of Ned Flanders.* Flanders has a BBQ to announce his opening of a new store in the Springfield Mall.*Its called the "Leftorium".* Its a store dedicated to left-handed merchandise for left-handed people.* Homer secretly wants Ned's store to fail.* Bart on the other hand sees a cool commercial for karate lessons for $10 in the Springfield Mall.* Homer uses this as a good opportunity to razz Ned at his store after he drops Bart off at his karate class.* However, Bart quickly grows tired of the slow pace of the class. He wants to break boards with his head and stuff, just like the commercial.* So he gets excused from class, only to go to the arcade.*This is where he plays the game, "Touch of Death".*When asked later, he tells his family that he learned, the "Touch of Death".* He uses the threat of the "Touch of Death" on Lisa to do his every bidding.*
Pretty soon we see Ned selling all of his furniture because of his failing business.* Homer manages to get Ned's entire living room set for $75. Eventually, Homer starts feeling guilty for his wishing of Ned's failure.* He has been holding off telling people of Ned's store, even tho he has had many opportunities.* Well, Homer finally gets the word out, and seemingly the entire town is soon at Leftorium, buying up all kinds of left handed goodies.* Ned's business is finally taking off.* Also, Bart's lying about karate class catches up with him when the 3 bullies (Jimbo, Dolph,and Kearney) take Lisa's saxophone.*When Lisa threatens them about Bart's new butt kicking karate moves, Bart gets beat up and hung up on the basketball
hoop by his underwear.
The Itchy and Scratchy Show in this episode is,*"O Solo Meow"
Itchy serves up a spaghetti dinner with bomb-meatballs.* When Scratchy realizes he has eaten a bomb, he runs around screaming.* He runs out a short door, and decapitates himself. His body then blows up outside, and a dog-waiter slips on his head and breaks a stack of dishes.
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening,* Al Jean,* Mike Reiss, Jon Vitti, and Jim Reardon.
In this commentary, they talked about how the title is a WWI parody of the title "In Flanders Field". They also go into how the Korean animators were churning out some really low end animation and how they had to have all kinds of retakes for this episode.* Also, one of the writers was saying how his mom called him up and was mad at him for making Homer so mean in this episode.* He says that every since then, he was always conscious of that when writing about Homer.*They were also saying how the body anatomy finally started being drawn a little more consistent with Season 3.* Basically, they needed a really quick story for this episode. So they told everyone that they had a day to write, to see who could come up with the best ideas. They also commented about how the ending has a reference to "Its A Wonderful Life"
Episode 4, "Bart The Murderer"
Writer: John Swartzwelder*Director: Rich Moore
Originally aired: 10-10-1991** Total Runtime: 22:58
Features guest voices of: Joe Mantegna, Phil Hartman, Neil Patrick Harris, and Marcia Wallace.
Bart is having the worst morning of his life.* Homer grabs the cereal box "freebie" that Bart wanted at breakfast, the dog actually does eat Bart's homework, Bart misses the school bus, then has to walk to school in the rain, he rips his shorts on recess, and worst yet... he forgets the permission slip for the field trip to the chocolate factory. Bart is forced to spend the day licking stacks of envelops for Principal Skinner.* On his way home, in the rain, Bart's skateboard wheel comes off and it sends him down the flight of stairs of The Legitimate Businessman's Social Club. All these mobsters come out with their guns drawn. Bart picks a winning race horse for Fat Tony and his mobsters, and so instead of killing him, they give him shot at bartending.* Turns out Bart makes quite the "Manhattan".* So now Bart is the new "Goodfella" go-fer. Bart's family finally grows suspicious of his new job, when FBI trucks end up staking out the house.
Principal Skinner holds Bart after school for trying to bribe him.* Bart is then late to a mobster meeting between Fat Tony and another head mobster boss. They were all there eagerly awaiting Bart's famous "Manhattan". Fat Tony pays Principal Skinner a visit and Skinner ends up missing.* Bart is fingered as the prime suspect, and Fat Tony and the mobsters finger him as the mob boss, Don Bartholomew.* At the last second when the court is about to sentence Bart, Principal skinner shows up and describes how he was actually trapped under an stack of newspapers for a week.*He explains how he kept himself alive with his mothers preserves.* He then explains how he pulled a series of "MacGyver" moves to get out. Right after the trial, Bart turns down Fat Tony to rejoin the gang.* A movie is then made about Bart's story, but they change it just enough not to have to pay royalties.
The Itchy and Scratchy Show in this episode is,* "The Sounds Of Silencers"
Itchy is a cop.* He rounds up a lineup of mobster type cats, and pulls out a Tommy gun and wastes them all.
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright, Rich Moore.
This was Nancy Cartwright's first commentary. She went into how it was so hard to keep a secret that she was the voice of Bart.* She also told of story of when she was pregnant, and some kids found out that the voice of Bart lived at her address.* They would come up to the door, and she would talk to them as Bart through he door.* Nancy was also asking questions to the animators about how much freedom they had when animating.* They were saying how they tried to only deviate from the model character a short while.* For instance, Bart's church hair should only be on screen for so long. Or if someone was drawn with patch on their eye, it couldn't stay there for very long. There was also talk about how this episode was Goodfellas inspired.
Episode 5 , "Homer Defined"
Writer: Howard Gewirtz** Director: Mark Kirkland
Originally aired: 10-17-1991** Total Runtime: 23:01
Featured guest voices of: Jon Lovitz, Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn.
Bart finds out that his best friend Millhouse didn't invite him to his birthday party over the past weekend.* Bart was told there was no party. Yet Bart find out that practically every other kid is school was invited.* This is due to Millhouses' mother thinking that Bart is a bad influence on her son.* Meanwhile Homer fails to notice the core temperature at the nuclear power plant reaching meltdown status due to some jelly donut he squished onto the gauge.*
The alarms go off and everyone proceeds to panic and await obliteration by a nuclear meltdown. Luckily, Homer saves the day at the last second with a "ini, mini, miny, moe" button push. Homer becomes the hero of the day, and the next Employee of the Month, and even gets a call from Magic Johnson. However he is constantly nagged at by his conscious because he knows he is no here, and that he just go lucky.
Bart is depressed and mad about Millhouse, and Lisa is now consumed with Homer because she thinks he's a hero.* Burns forces Homer to help th owner of another nuclear power plant.* They want Homer to give a pep talk to their employee's that have lost their "zest" for work. So wouldn't you know? While Homer is giving his pep talk, THAT nuclear plant goes into meltdown as well.* Homer is forced to save the day again! However, they all get to see Homers "ini, mini, miny, moe" technique.* He is laughed out of the plant, and word spreads about Homer's debacle. So now, anytime someone gets lucky (i.e.; Police Chief Wiggam accidentally stopping a bank robber, or Magic Johnson slipping on the basketball court, ball goes off the refs head, makes a basket to win the game) they say "Looks like I pulled a Homer!"* There you have it, Homer Defined.
The Itchy and Scratchy Show in this episode is,*"My Dinner With Itchy"
Itchy and Scratchy sit down to dinner.* Itchy pours Scratchy an acid martini and it eats the bottom half of Scratchy to his skeleton. Then Itchy splashes his acid martini into Scratchy's face.* Scratchy goes running outside into the street and gets hit by a bus.
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Dan Casterllaneta, Howard Gewirtz, Mark Kirkland
Howard was talking about how he came up with the idea for this story.* His main point being that if you looked up "stupid" in the dictionary, you'd find Homers picture. Also how he insisted that the picture of Homer was like the old vintage drawings. They do go into some details about Bart and Millhouses' relationship, and then start talking about bullies in their personal past. They also comment on getting a lot of "big breast" references in the episode. A couple of them describe about how most of the characters voices have changed over the seasons, yet Bart's pretty much has stayed the same.*They comment on how detailed the nuclear plant was drawn for this episode.*They say that its ever more detailed than in episodes in later seasons.* They also hint that Smithers is actually gay.* They made sure they put in some obvious references
Special Features for "Homer Defined" are Matt Groening Storyboards. These are usually about a 100 or so pages of Matt's original story boards for the episode.
Episode 6 , "Like Father, Like Clown"
Writer: Jay Kogen & Wallace Wolodarsky** Directors:Jeffery Lynch & Brad Bird
Originally aired: 10-24-1991 Total Runtime: 23:00
Features guest voices of:* Jackie Mason
This is a Krusty the Clown episode.*Bart wins a dinner with Krusty. After canceling about 5 times, he finally shows up.* We find out from the dinner that Krusty, real name "Herschel Krustoffsky", is estranged from his Jewish Rabbi Father (Jackie Mason).*The story goes back and reveals the struggle of a young Krusty and his love for being a clown.*However, being a clown is not a honorable profession to his Rabbi father, who wants Krusty to follow in his footsteps. Krusty starts secretly doing clown gigs, and his father happens to show up at one.* Krusty is exposed, and his father never talks to him again. Bart and Lisa are off to do research on Jewish traditions to come up with strong points to argue. They want to convince Krusty's father that clowning is actually an honorable profession.* Finally, Lisa finds an impressive quote about the plight of the Jewish people from Sammy Davis Jr. This finally changes the mind of the Rabbi to one of forgivness. Krusty and his dad make up on the air, in the middle of Krusty's show.
The Itchy and Scratchy Show in this episode is,* "Field Of Screams"
Scratchy and son and playing catch in a wheat field.* Along comes Itchy and son to mow them down with a giant thresher.* Then Itchy and son play catch with Scratchy's head.
Commentaries for this episode include: Matt Groening, Al Jean, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Jay Kogen, Wallace Wolodarsky, Brad Bird
This set of commentaries has them talking about how everyone is always clambering to get onto a Krusty the Clown episode. They say because they are so fun and easy to do.* They explain how the scenes with young Krusty were meant to have Godfather II feel to them.* Also about how Bozo the clown was an inspiration for the Krusty character.*They also made sure that they used real Biblical quotes.*They then went into more about hand drawn vs. digital.
Special Features for "Like Father, Like Clown" are "Scene Specific Sketches".*When you engage SSS while watching the episode, a big pencil will show up on a specific scene.* If you hit your enter button on your DVD remote, it will how you specific sketches that we drawn for that particular scene.
Episodes on Disk 2
Episode 7, Treehouse Of Horror II[/b]
Originally aired: 10-31-1991* Total Runtime: 22:57
Episode 8, Lisa's Pony
Originally aired: 11-07-1991* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episode 9, Saturdays Of Thunder
Originally aired: 11-14-1991* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episode 10, Flaming Moe's
Originally aired: 11-21-1991* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episode 11, Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk
Originally aired: 12-05-1991* Total Runtime: 22:57
Episode 12,I Married Marge
Originally aired: 12-026-1991* Total Runtime: 22:58
Episodes on Disk 3
Episode 13, Radio Bart
Originally aired: 01-09-1992* Total Runtime: 22:59
Episode 14, Lisa The Greek
Originally aired: 01-23-1992* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episode 15, Homer Alone
Originally aired: 02-06-1992* Total Runtime: 22:58
Episode 16, Bart The Lover
Originally aired: 02-13-1992* Total Runtime: 22:58
Episode 17, Homer At The Bat
Originally aired: 02-20-1992* Total Runtime: 22:59
Episode 18, Separate Vocations
Originally aired: 02-27-1992* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episodes on Disk 4
Episode 19, Dog Of Death
Originally aired:03-12-1992* Total Runtime: 22:45
Episode 20, Colonel Homer
Originally aired: 03-26-1992* Total Runtime: 22:57
Episode 21, Black Widower
Originally aired: 04-09-1992* Total Runtime: 22:57
Episode 22, The Otto Show
Originally aired: 04-23-1992* Total Runtime: 22:55
Episode 23, Bart's Friend Falls In Love
Originally aired: 05-07-1992* Total Runtime: 23:00
Episode 24, Brother, Can You Spare Two
Originally aired: 08-27-1992 Total Runtime: 22:43
Picture quality was actually very surprising to me.*It downright sucks at times.*Some episodes are better than others, however. There is really a consistency issue from episode to episode and scene to scene.*The directors and writers do go into detail on the commentaries about how the episodes were drawn in Korea, and they had issues with certain scenes coming back completely messed up and drawn wrong.*I'd say that the bigger, and better your display is, the more annoying these episodes are going to be.* I have never really noticed the problem because I always watched Simpsons on a smaller TV.* But, on my revealing 40" Sony Wega, and Denon 2900 DVD player, you see every speck of*non-perfection.
Especially on the first disk, some sequences are really terrible.* The picture jumps around allot, and blurs in and out pretty bad.* Plus, there is this intense, compressed look to the cartoons. An especially compressed look around the edges of the characters other items.*Have you ever seen a heavily compressed .jpg file?* Or have you ever taken and image into Photoshop and chose "Sharpen, or "Sharpen More" to sharpen up a blurry image? This is what these episodes look like.... BIG TIME!* However, I don't really know how much I can hold against this DVD set for this.* After all, we are still talking hand drawn animation.* This is definitely not Monsters Inc, and should obviously not be judged in that way. At least, this is how I see it. Colors for the most part are bold and vibrant. There is also some notice of grain from the cells.
Bottom line is, the problems seem to get better and less noticeable with each episode. However, the episodes were not drawn in chronological order. So you might have a good one, and then a kind of bad one. This is just really hard to judge, because I really don't know what scale to hold it too.*Besides, no "Simpsons" fan out there is going to care anyway. They are going to go out and get this boxed set regardless.
Here are some examples of very blurry or horrible looking frames.*This might not look like much here, but trust me, its bad on the big screen!
Picture: 3 / 5
Unfortunately, not really much to talk about with the sound.* But that is pretty much a given. TV sitcoms are not usually going to have an aggressive surround mix.* I'd say that 90% or better, the sound is kept to the center speaker.* The best mix, funny enough, is the opening credits for each episode.*However, there are a few instances where you really notice the left and right speakers, or surrounds kick in.* For example, the episode with Areosmith.* You really notice the extra sound, because it's not there the whole time, and then, "HELLO, surround sound!.
The dialog is for the most part clear, and always easy to understand. The commentaries are in Stereo.* They are very clear and the voices of everyone stand out well.* Since there are so many people talking on the commentaries, they turn the sound from the episodes down very low* At first I thought they turned if off completely.* You can just barely hear the sound. Then when no one is talking, they bring the episode sound back up to full.* It goes back and forth like this.
Because I feel that there is not supposed to be a fantastic or agressive sound mix, I cant really fault DVD's in the sound catergory for that.*After all, its not a movie.
Sound: 4 / 5
This DVD Boxed Set is chock full of extras/special features.
Disk 1's extra's are the Butterfinger Commercials
Commercial #1: Homer closes his eyes and opens his mouth and Bart sticks Maggie's pacifier in it
Commercial #2:*This is the grocery store one where Homer runs into the shopping cart and Bart catches the Butterfinger as Homer tackles him on the checkout line
Commercial #3:*This one is the martial arts class where the karate instructor beats up Bart to take his Butterfinger.*Then Bart does all those back flips and beats up the instructor
Commercial #4: Butterfinger BB's commercial where Bart has the Angel and Devil on this shoulders telling him to eat the BB's
Commercial #5:*Lisa is giving Bart a math lesson with the BB's, and Bart threatens her.
Disk 2's extra's is come file footage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a HUGE
Bart Simpson Float
Disk 3's extra's:
Weird thing is, the outside box says that there are audio outtakes from the cast and guest stars.* The audio outtakes are supposed to be on disk 3, but I have not been able to locate them. I forget what Disk 3's special features are independant of the episodes. I will throw it up on this review tomorrow. I forgot the the boxed set at work.
Disk 4's extra's are the song jukebox.* 14 short songs in all.*
1. Ben** 2. Happy Birthday Lisa*
3. Lotsa Fun* 4. Walk This Way* 5. Flaming Moe's*
6. Were Sending Our Love* 7. Down the well* 8.
Talking Softball* 9. Bagged Me A Homer** 10. Bunk
With Me Tonight* 11. Break Like The Wind* 12. Spanish
Fled* 13. Hail To The Bus Driver* 14. We Like Rockin
Also, I have not found the Easter eggs yet, but I have not looked, either. Basically, every disk has its own extras.* Most of the extras are imbedded in the menu's of the individual episodes.* There is a lot of menu navigation to get to them all. Here is just a couple of menu screen shots.
Extras: 5 / 5
This is just a great, great boxed set.* I am sure any hardcore fan of The Simpsons is just going to go berserk over this set.*It has so many extras. Its very well done, its very well put together.*Needless to say, I am very impressed.*I am definitely not a hard core Simpsons fan, but I think now that I will start collecting the boxed sets. I am sure that if this Season 3 set is so darn good, the next ones will be phenomenal. Especially when we start getting into the digitally drawn episodes, the quality is going to be so much better.
I am HIGHLY RECOMMENDING this boxed set of The Simpsons, The Complete Third Season.
*If there is any other info you want, just ask and I will add it to the review.
THIS HAS BEEN,