The Simpsons was created by cartoonist Matt Groening and first appeared in 1987 as a series of 30-second quips produced for the Emmy Award-winning variety series The Tracey Ullman Show. The Simpsons premiered as a half-hour comedy series January 14, 1990. It was an instant hit said to be by both critics and fans one of the truest and most hilarious portrayals of the American family.
The Simpsons, who live in the city of Springfield, include Homer, a father who really is the typical American dad and works as the safety inspector at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant; Marge, a loving, nurturing mother and wife who attempts to keep peace in the family; Bart, a hell-raising 10-year-old; Lisa, a smart, philosophical 8-year-old, who loves to play the saxophone; and Maggie, the baby, who communicates by sucking her pacifier. These characters have become house hold names and can be recognized by both sight and sound by millions of people.
Though as many know animated characters depend upon voices to help bring them to life, and the Simpsons are no different. The voices behind these characters include Dan Castellaneta as Homer, Julie Kavner as Marge, Nancy Cartwright as Bart, and Yeardley Smith as Lisa. Throughout its first 100 episodes, The Simpsons has attracted many celebrity guest voices. These famous guest voices include people such as, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Carson, Bette Midler, Winona Ryder, Danny DeVito, Glenn Close, The Smashing Pumpkins and Bob Hope.
These are just a sample of the wide range of guest voice appearances that have been heard throughout The Simpsons running life. The Simpsons over there last 16 seasons have won many other things than just the hearts and minds of American viewers. The Simpson’s series has received Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program in 1990, 1991, 1995, and1997. The Simpsons is one of the longest running animated series running to date and has kept its fan base through a large number of producer and writer changes. The Simpsons is one of the most successful series cartoon ever created and it will continue to be one for as long as it is running.
The Simpsons carton was originally created by Matt Groening. The Simpsons was Groening’s first step into the world of animation. Before The Simpsons he was best known for his “Life in Hell” cartoon strip, a portrayal of broken life that started in 1977 and currently appears in more than 250 newspapers worldwide. In 1993 he formed the Bongo Comic Group, where he serves as a publisher over the following cartoon strips: “Simpsons Comics,” Itchy & Scratchy Comics, Bartman, Radioactive Man, Lisa Comics and Krusty Comics.
In addition to producing his weekly strip, keeping on top of the ongoing production of his weekly television series, and meeting regularly with the Bongo team, Groening oversees all aspects of the licensing and merchandising of The Simpsons. In addition to Groening there have been other producers and writers added to his team on The Simpsons. The current executive producers include James Brooks and Al Jean and other writers/producers include ___________________.
All of these people are involved in the creation of this series and the “messages” that it sends but also involved are the countless animators, artist, editors, managers, and directors and every one else needed to turn out and animated television program. The particular episode in which I analyzed was called “Two Cars in Every Garage and a Three Eyed Fish on Every Table” In this episode Homer’s place of the work, the nuclear power plant, has been dumping toxic waste and other chemicals into local rivers and streams.
One day Bart is fishing with Lisa when they catch a three eyed fish. It just do happens that a investigative reporter had just stopped on the road and meander down to the pond to see what the children where up to. He sees the three eyed fish and the truth hits the newspapers that Springfield clean energy source is not so clean. The plant is forced in to inspection by the current Governor, an old down home lady who every one loves and is in all truth a good governor. This send Mr.
Barnes, the filthy rich, malicious, and down right evil owner of the power plant, into a hysterical outburst because it will cost him $52 million to bring the plant up to code. Homer then unknowingly gives Mr. Burns the idea to run for governor of Springfield. Mr. Burns puts together the meanest, dirtiest political election group he can and starts his campaign maligning the current governor and trying to win over the people of Springfield. The only thing holding him back in the poles is the three eyed fish controversy.
So he fixes that by going on television and spinning the story of the three eyed fish, which he names “Lucky”, into a story of evolution and advancement and success. This works wonders and he is up 50% to 50% with the other candidate. His re-election committee decides that the thing that would push him ahead of his candidate is to have dinner with the typical American family, this just so happens to fall on the Simpsons. Now in the Simpson household the viewers have been watching an ongoing struggle between Marge and Homer.
Marge is steadfast in her decision to back the current governor and Homer wants to support his boss (for reasons of “butt kissing”). Homer agrees to the dinner with Mr. Burns and Marge is furious but Homer asks her to express self in other ways than taking a public stand against Mr. Burns at dinner like raising the kids or to express herself through her cooking and that is exactly what she does. Marge places in front of Mr. Burns on television the cooked three eyed fish Lucky. Mr. Burns is of course shocked for he said hat the fish is fine and tasty to Springfield on television earlier so he takes a bite.
He immediately spits it out and the election is lost for him but he vows to make sure none of Homer’s dreams every come true. Marge assuages Homer’s fears by telling him no man can take away a man’s dreams if they are as simple as Homers. This program is one big symbolic orgy. The Simpsons represent a typical American family and the episodes are written to symbolize real life struggles that families go through. Each character represents different emotional or social behavior that is in each person and the way they deal with things is true to their nature.
Every problem every introduced on The Simpsons is well thought out and the solutions reflect what must truly be done in real life to solve similar problems. This show does not promote or “normalize” deviant or anti-social behavior any more then the next show but TV in general can be seen as an agent of such deed. The reason his show has been so successful is because of the reality and truth it represents. It is not fake and made up to fit into peoples desires and fantasies but it turns every day real problems into comedy that help us deal with every day life.
The Simpson family is in fact good family, dysfunctional at times but they communicate well and resolve family problems quickly and cleverly and this can have a positive impact on typical American families because they are so impressionable. The Simpsons represents what we all want our lives to be and not to be. The show incorporates both side of the spectrum in family life and when a show can bring humor into a family or a person can I truly be that bad. The Simpsons provide good somewhat clean fun for many people of all ages and I believe it will continue to shape our society and be a successful series.