If an entire generation of American adults suffers from Cinematic Chicken Vs. Egg Syndrome, it’s The Simpsons’ fault.
Editor Celia Gómez’ side-by-side shot comparison above makes plain how a 30-year-old Citizen Kane virgin could experience a sense of deja vu on his or her inaugural viewing. The Simpsons pulled from it for “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish” when said viewer was but a little tot. Three years later, they did it again wit 1993’s “Rosebud.”
Parents who would never have allowed their sensitive little darlings in the room while screening Full Metal Jacket or Requiem for a Dream relaxed their vigilance where the family from Springfield was concerned.
When The Simpsons’ kilted Groundskeeper Willie chastely recrosses his legs in an interrogation room, no kid is going to fixate on what lies beneath. (FYI, it’s a notoriously commando Sharon Stone in 1992’s NSFW thriller, Basic Instinct.)
What makes these homages so great is the attention to detail. Be it Itchy and Scratchy or Michael Madsen and Kirk Baltz as his cop victim in Reservoir Dogs, count on the camera to drift to an empty doorway when the action gets too intense.
Spoilers abound. Those who’ve not yet seen Thelma and Louise, Psycho, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest can consider themselves forewarned.
Want a crash course in The Godfather? Watch the Simpsons.
No offense to the human actors who originated the roles, but it’s incredible how the animators can imbue their characters with all the relevant emotions. Their eyes are little more than dots on pingpong balls! (Check out Homer’s dead expression on 1994’s Terminator 2 parody, “Homer Loves Flanders.”)
The complete list of films featured above:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Requiem for a dream (2000)
The Gold Rush (1925)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
The Fugitive (1993)
Terminator 2 (1991)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
The Birds (1963)
Risky Business (1983)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The silence of the lambs (1991)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Basic Instinct (1992)
Official and Gentleman (1982)
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest (1975)
2001: A space Odissey (1968)
Thelma and Louise (1991)
The Godfather (1972)
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Shining (1980)
ET the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Dr. Strange Love (1964)
The Simpsons Present Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and Teachers Now Use It to Teach Kids the Joys of Literature
The Simpsons Pay Wonderful Tribute to the Anime of Hayao Miyazaki
Thomas Pynchon Edits His Lines on The Simpsons: “Homer is my role model and I can’t speak ill of him.”
Ayun Halliday is an author, illustrator, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday
Its always a pleasure to understand the references made on Sinpsons. I rewatch the old season from the 90s and now i get every joke that went over my head when i was a kid.
Still no recognition of “The Boy with Green Hair”