Monday, October 11, 2010

Banksy Simpsons

Banksy, the British graffiti artist, has story boarded and directed an opening credits sequence for the Simpsons and it's the best thing I've seen the Simpsons do since before the movie.

Considering how much money the Simpsons must make from merchandising it's a pretty interesting thing for a studio executive to approve. Though who knows, maybe by the time the episode is shown internationally the sequence may have mysteriously vanished or be censored like the EyePhone clip from Futurama.

Update: Well it appears that the new opening has taken off and is now being reported on lots of media outlets so it's not likely that the intro will just be dropped. It is causing a bit of a storm and funnily enough it is the animators that are reported by the BBC to have been most annoyed:
According to the street artist, his storyboard led to delays, disputes over broadcast standards and a threatened walk out by the animation department.

It appears to have touched a nerve and the sequence was inspired by a report that the shows animation was being outsourced to South Korea. What it doesnt mention is any other inspiration. I watched it a couple of times to see if there was any reference to Apple and the Foxconn stories I couldnt spot any but maybe someone with lots of time and a large screen will go through the clip in detail looking for a hidden logo or piece of graffiti.

The Irish Times also discussed the intro, claiming that
It ends with the familiar logo of the show's parent company, 20th Century Fox, imprisoned behind a fence with barbed wired and prison spotlights.

To me it looked more like the logo was the prison as opposed to being imprisoned, but maybe the Irish Times is in a "the glass is half full" kinda mood. The idea of the network as a prison is a strange thing for the company to approve. The show might get away with poking fun at Murdoch or FoxNews because everyone does but poking fun at the network itself seems a little Family Guyish. That show has been cancelled and revived on Fox a few times as has Futurama and they have tended to push the networks limits far more than the Simpsons. In fact if the clip hadnt contained Bart Simpson dolls and Lisa Simpshon t-shirts it could be dropped straight into a Futurama episode with Slurm or some other show product being parodied.

Another interesting point is the fact that the BBC and The Guardian both mention a scene in the intro where Bart wears a mask while writing on the blackboard. They both have screen captures showing Bart with the mask yet the mask doesnt appear in the intro on YouTube that is linked to in the Guardian story or here. It would appear that the version online is different from the version the BBC and the Guardian have seen. I cannot play the BBC story here in Ireland so they might mention the change there?

Perhaps someone in the Simpsons is tired of hearing "The Simpsons was a great show but have you seen the new episode of..." and has decided to spice things up? Just a little?

Update 2: As pointed out by Sylvin the video has been taken down. It violated 20th Century Foxes copyright. It must have been getting the Simpsons too much free publicity.

1 comment:

Sylvin said...

And.....its been taken down by the network :)