CHRISTMAS WITH THE SIMPSONS
Review by Chastity Campbell
Starring: Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson, Bart Simpson, Lisa
Simpson, and Little Maggie Simpson
Audio: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Surround
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 92 Minutes
Release Date: October 14, 2003
Bart: “There’s only one fat guy
who brings us presents, and his name ain’t Santa!”
Joy to the world…Christmas With The Simpsons has
come to DVD!
I have never been what you would consider a hard core
Simpsons fan. Over the years I’ve
watched the show off and on, without too much consideration as to whether I was
a fan or not. In more recent years,
I’ve tended to steer clear of cartoons in favor of my true television love,
When I received Christmas With The Simpsons, it was
a true pleasure to be able to watch not only some of the best cartoon comedy
around, it was an opportunity for me to once again check up on old Homer and
Bart so as to remind myself what I had been missing over the last few years.
This DVD will draw you in as soon as you push play!
Animated menus allow you to roam the disc easily to get from the
featurette to any of the five episodes included.
The first episode, Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire
is one of the earlier season episodes. The
animation is of a slightly lesser quality than what we are used to now, however
that just made me realize how long this show has been on the air.
This episode is heart wrenching as it shows you how Homer
tries to provide a nice Christmas for his family. After a bad day in a Santa suit and an even lousier day at
the track, it will take a miracle for the Simpsons to have any kind of Christmas
Mr. Plow is one of my favorite episodes of this show. Homer buys a snowplow and opens his own business. The town drunk Barney realizes how much money is at stake and buys his own plow to become the Plow King. Homer, through trickery, takes the Plow King out of the picture, but ends up saving Barney when an avalanche comes crashing down.
In Miracle On Evergreen Terrace, Bart accidentally
burns down the Christmas tree and tells everyone it was a burglar.
Before you know it, the news of their misfortune has spread through out
Springfield and the Simpsons find themselves on the receiving end of
everyone’s holiday spirit. But when the town finds out it was Bart who ruined Christmas,
will they be able to forgive and forget? Don’t
count on it!
Grift Of The Magi finds Homer at his wit’s end and
Bart in a butt cast. A mob boss
loans $200,000 to Principal Skinner in order to make the school handicap
accessible, but the deal falls through when the Principal can’t repay the loan
and the school is bought out by a huge corporation searching for just the right
combination of cuddly and cute to bring Tickle Me Elmo to his knees.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this episode.
It made me remember just how crazy people got when Tickle Me Elmo first
hit the shelves. I was working at
K-Mart while attending college and had to help throw people out of the stock
rooms, while they swore up and down that we had plenty of Elmos, we were just
hoarding them for ourselves! Umm, yeah, that’s it…I’m hoarding Elmos!
The final episode on this DVD is She Of Little Faith.
Okay, the Simpsons have done some crazy things over the years, but when
Bart and Homer build a rocket and accidentally (notice whenever Bart is used in
a sentence, most of the time the word accidentally will follow... hmmm) burn
down the First Church Of Springfield, they try to help raise money to rebuild by
selling advertising space. Lisa
is outraged, and with the help of a big Hollywood guest star, becomes a
You can’t really critique the animation for their
performance, except to say that the Simpsons have definitely improved with age.
The style of artwork and colors have lightened and brightened over the
years to produce the dysfunctional family we all love to make fun of.
This DVD did contain episodes that garnered a nice
Hollywood guest starring list. Linda
Ronstadt, Adam West, Alex Trebek, Clarence Clemons, Gary Coleman, Joe Mantegna,
Tim Robbins, and Richard Gere all lent their vocal talents to make these
episodes stand out as some of the very best.
I really do like the Simpsons, and though my attention may
have waned over the years, this DVD did remind me how much fun a cartoon can be.
If you have the chance, pick it up and give it a spin.
You don’t have to be a fan to follow this dysfunctional family’s
antics, you simply have to be willing to spend some of your time working your
The 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen transfer into the digital
realm had a few minor flaws associated with the original prints of this cartoon,
but nothing that would cause me not to purchase this disc.
There was quite a bit of dirt and grain visible in the
print for the first two episodes. The
disc over all had nice dynamic color schemes.
Bright vivid colors with seamless animation to most scenes make for a
good visual experience.
There was some visible haziness to scenes in the first
episode on the disc titled “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire”, but
the other episodes did not display this problem.
It’s a cartoon, and one that’s been around for quite a
while. The age shows in the prints,
but it is forgivable considering the characters are animated!
The 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround blend was a nice, but not
the best I’ve heard. There was
some white noise present, throughout most of the disc along with what might have
been digital clipping in some of the scenes where Homer is yelling for one
reason or another.
Overall though, the background sound effects were balanced
really well with the spoken dialogue. The
guest stars’ audio seemed to be mixed a bit better than the normal episodic
dialogue, but that’s the nature of having famous people guest star with
cartoons. They get all the extra
Mr. Burns finest moments are presented in a really fun to
watch featurette. Pull the slot
machine handle and watch Mr. Burns spin his wicked web of money grubbing
English, Spanish, and French language options are
available, and you can further enhance your viewing pleasure with subtitles in
English and Spanish.
Not a lot of extras, but the featurette is fun to watch,
and you will be entertained with the whole disc!