Any fan of The Simpsons – hardcore or not – is aware of the efforts the creators go to, to create another world for their audience. Now in its 25th season – with a 26th on the way – Matt Groening and the gang have gone beyond their measures to produce an elaborate homage to a work of entertainment.
Not just a work of entertainment may I say, a work of art. (Written as I glance adoringly at Totoro on my arm)
Last October, the creators called upon Guillermo del Toro to produce a lengthy Halloween-themed intro sequence that paid tribute to classic horror films as well as the director’s own work.
Now The Simpsons has created a similar tribute to Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki.
Miyazaki, the legend behind the likes of Laputa: Castle in the Sky, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and of course Spirited Away, bid farewell to film-making last September after the Japanese release of Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises.
“I feel that my days in feature film are done,” he said.
In a new clip uploaded by Fox’s Animation Domination channel from this week’s episode on Fox, fans can watch an inebriated Homer and the father of the bride-to-be stumble through a Hayao Miyazaki-esque wonderland, inspired by the films of Studio Ghibli.
The short Simpsons video below is part of an upcoming episode “Married to the Blob” and takes us all on a whirlwind tour through Studio Ghibli’s legacy with a Springfieldian twist. I have tears in my eyes.
Believe me, there’s everything a Studio Ghibli-and-Simpsons fan could want in the episode. Packed with references to 11 movies from the esteemed director and his influential animation studio, the episode brings them all together, from Howl’s Moving Kwik-e-Mart to Otto as the Catbus to Patty, Selma riding broomsticks on Kiki’s Delivery Service, the scarecrow Turnip-Head Moe, the tree spirits from Princess Mononoke (Martin Prince and his fellow nerds, hiding in a bonsai), even to the sweet melody of the Joe Hisaishi-esque music.
There’s even the frog workers (Smithers), the dragon Haku (Jimbo Jones and his buddies), the giant baby (played by Maggie’s monobrowed frenemy, Gerald Samson), and a few characters from the film who haven’t changed, one of my favourites – the spirit No-Face.
Long live the legacy of Miyazaki.
What do you think? Which is your favorite Ghibli reference? Favourite Ghibli film?
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