[55] Several video games based on The Simpsons include levels with a Halloween theme, including The Simpsons: Hit & Run and The Simpsons Game. While cut from the aired version, the line does appear in the "review" version sent to newspapers and magazines. He is an obese German exchange student obsessed with candy and is voiced by Russi Taylor. The script originally called for Kodos and Kang to look over the smoking ruins of Springfield and say "This sure is a lot like Iraq will be." The show's staff regard the Treehouse of Horror as being particularly difficult to produce, as the scripts often go through many rewrites, and the animators typically have to design new characters and backgrounds. The words used in it and the deep voice of’ James Earl Jones together create the gothic atmosphere to a higher level. [11], Every Treehouse of Horror episode opens with a special introductory segment. [12] The entire segment was a parody of the opening of the 1931 film Frankenstein. [14] The segment returned in the season 31 episode Thanksgiving of Horror. The episode was inspired by 1950s horror comics, and begins with a disclaimer that it may be too scary for children. "[74] "King Homer" of "Treehouse of Horror III" is one of Matt Groening's favorite segments. The first segment, "Bad Dream House", was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Wes Archer. [38] In "Treehouse of Horror", Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" is read by James Earl Jones, while the parts are acted by various characters. [8] Harry Shearer voices Kang, and Dan Castellaneta voices Kodos. In this adaptation, Bart is depicted as the raven, Homer finds himself in the role of the poem's lead character, The Narrator, while Lisa and Maggie are seraphim. Earlier episodes did not feature the scream. ", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Treehouse_of_Horror&oldid=997581377, Articles with dead external links from June 2017, Articles with permanently dead external links, Short description is different from Wikidata, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The Fox network did not have any objection to the line, but it was rejected by some of the writers as too obvious and was cut from broadcast. The Raven Read by James Earl Jones. James Earl Jones narrating"The Raven""? [12] The finished design was based on the cover of an EC Comics issue. [14] There were no wraparounds for "Treehouse of Horror V" because they had been cut to make more time for the segments. [65] In its first airing, "Treehouse of Horror" finished with a 15.7 Nielsen rating and a 25% audience share and would lose to The Cosby Show. A clip from the "Hungry are the Damned" segment is shown on a TV in a hotel room in Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho. The sets are: After the Playmates Toys sets were finished, McFarlane Toys produced four Treehouse of Horror themed playsets including the "Ironic Punishment Box Set" released in 2004,[61] the "In the Belly of the Boss — Homer & Marge Action Figures" released in 2005,[62] "The Island of Dr. Hibbert Box Set" released in 2006,[63] and a "Lard Lad Box Set" released in 2007. Lisa reads "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. The 32nd season however pushed Treehouse of Horror XXXI to November 1, 2020 because the National League Championship Series went into Game 7, with the World Series that followed stretching to Game 6, resulting in Fox airing Treehouse after Halloween for the first time since 2010. [4], In 2011, staff writer Al Jean commented on the episode: "The idea of it to parody EC Comics was really original and kind of shocking for a cartoon on network television. Jean revealed that 2019's Treehouse of Horror will be the 666th episode of the series. [sic]"[46] In Treehouse of Horror XVII, a segment called "The Day the Earth Looked Stupid" ends with Kang and Kodos taking over Springfield as part of a mission called "Operation: Enduring occupation". [5][6][7][8][9], On occasion, the episodes will be used to showcase special animation, such as the "Treehouse of Horror VI" segment "Homer3", in which a computer-animated Homer is shown in a non-animated setting. [42] The episodes often go through many last minute changes, with rewrites requiring new lines to be recorded. [79] The twenty-third and twenty-fifth Treehouse of Horror episodes were nominated for the same award in 2013 and 2015 respectively. While the early Treehouse of Horror episodes featured a Halloween themed opening sequence, the later ones only included the title and the "created by" and "developed by" credits. [15] The Guardian named it one of the five greatest episodes in Simpsons history. James Earl Jones has appeared in several episodes of the show, and voiced several characters [5] In the first segment, several haunted house films are parodied,[2] including House of Usher, The Haunting, The Amityville Horror and The Shining. "[73] It is also one of Groening's favorite lines. Although Treehouse of Horror episodes are Halloween-themed, for several years new episodes premiered in November following the holiday, due to Fox's coverage of Major League Baseball's World Series. He voiced a removalist, the Raven narrator, and Serak the Preparer in the season 2 episode " Treehouse of Horror ", Maggie Simpson in the season 6 episode " Treehouse of Horror V ", and narrated the season 9 episode " Das Bus ". WhenAbraham Simpson IIwas giving awayBea Simmons' money (after she passed away and left him a sizeable bequest), Darth Vader was one of the people in line requesting to receive some of it.Vader later appeared toLisain the clouds along withMufasa,James Earl Jones, andBleeding Gums Murphy, just after he died. He is driven insane by the memory of his deceased wife, Lenoreand a demon, The Raven. The word’ nevermore’ has been used for a significant amount of times. [53] Although every Treehouse of Horror episode until "Treehouse of Horror XIX" has been released along with its season in a boxset, in 2003, The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror DVD was released. [8] Of the series, "Treehouse of Horror" was the only one that included a treehouse as a setting. [24], References to films, novels, plays, television shows, and other media are commonly featured, and many segments have been parodies of a specific work in the horror, science fiction, or fantasy genre. Several of the episodes have won awards for animation and sound editing. En route they present the family with enormous amounts of food and watch eagerly as they gorge themselves, then check their weights, being particularly delighted at Homer's mass. It also came with an "Evil Krusty Doll" and Gremlin as accessories. [3] After a few years, the amount of broadcast time for an episode was shortened, allowing less time to tell a proper story. Treehouse of Horror, also known as The Simpsons Halloween Specials, is a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. Listen online to Simpsons (James Earl Jones) - The Raven and find out more about its history, critical reception, and meaning. [5] Jay Kogen and Wallace Wolodarsky wrote the second segment, "Hungry are the Damned", and Rich Moore directed it. [21] Koenigsberger uses "The Raven" as one example in support of the statement "The Simpsons is steeped in the American literary context into which Arnold Bennett made such a splash on his tour in 1911."[21]. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. [34] Robert Englund, who portrays Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm street franchise, had a cameo appearance in "Treehouse of Horror IX" as the character. [17] In 2008, Canwest News Service chose "Treehouse of Horror" as one of the top five scariest episodes from television's past. [23], Part of the attraction for the writers is that they are able to break the rules and include violence that would not make a regular episode. wave, including King Homer (, This page was last edited on 1 January 2021, at 06:36. As he notices a raven outside the window similar to the one from the poem, Homer exclaims that he hates Halloween and hides under the sheets. Tim Surette, TV.com: Maybe it’s Bart as a mischievous raven, Homer’s slobbery voice echoing Edgar Allen Poe, or James Earl Jones’ narration, but “The Raven” is the best homage The Simpsons ever did and gave this lunkhead a more fundamental understanding of one of the great horror poems ever written. [3] Kang and Kodos's names are derived from two Star Trek characters. The opening disclaimer and a panning shot through a cemetery with humorous tombstones were features that were used sporadically in the Treehouse of Horror series and eventually dropped. Although they are sometimes connected by "wraparounds", the three segments rarely have any kind of continuing connection within the episode. James Earl Jones narrates. [13] Marge's warnings quickly became a burden to write, particularly because - as she herself noted - they were mostly ignored, so after "Treehouse of Horror V", they were dropped. Homer Simpson is a bumbling, lazy cartoon character. Kang and Kodos have since appeared in every Treehouse of Horror episode, sometimes as important parts of a story, but often just for brief cameos. Home Latest Popular Trending Categories. Marge unlike the others however, is instead using her knife to spread mayonnaise on a sandwich and intervenes, breaking the trance. The third, fourth, and fifth episodes were each represented by two segments. Critics singled out The Raven for praise, although Simpsons creator Matt Groening was concerned that it would be seen as pretentious. [14], Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. These episodes do not obey the show's rule of realism and are not treated as canon. The 31st season included a Thanksgiving-themed spinoff, "Thanksgiving of Horror". [26] Recent parodies have included films and television specials in more varied genres, including Mr. & Mrs. Smith,[37] It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Transformers,[39] Sweeney Todd,[40] the Twilight film series,[41] and Jumanji.[34]. [Executive producer] Jim Brooks said, 'We better have a disclaimer at the beginning of this Halloween show,' so Marge came out and warned people that they were going to see something scary. [9] In the opening segment of the episode, and the four subsequent episodes, the camera zooms through a cemetery where tombstones with humorous epitaphs can be seen. The Simpsons are in their backyard having a barbecue when they are abducted by extraterrestrial life forms (specifically Kang and Kodos). Read about The Raven by Simpsons (James Earl Jones) and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. The aliens explain that they are taking the Simpsons to their home planet on Rigel IV, "a world of infinite delights", for a feast. [20] DVD reviewer Doug Pratt described "The Raven" as a "perfect adaptation". This version is read by the amazing James Earl Jones. [2][4] "Treehouse of Horror II" presented all of the segments as being nightmares of Lisa, Bart and Homer;[17] "Treehouse of Horror III" had Lisa, Bart and Grampa telling stories at a Halloween party;[15] and "Treehouse of Horror IV" is presented by Bart in a parody of Rod Serling's Night Gallery. These messages include the names of canceled shows from the previous television season and celebrities such as Walt Disney and Jim Morrison. [10] "Treehouse of Horror XX" included the segment "There's No Business Like Moe Business", which was the first to be musically-themed. The shushing sound is replaced by a scream (for the most part), and the jingle is played in a minor key on a pipe organ, followed by (in most shows) a minor-key version of the 20th Century Fox Fanfare. [3] A third alien named Serak the Preparer also made its first and only appearance in the series. Darth Vaderis a character fromStar Wars. His debut episode was "Treehouse of Horror IV" in the segment "Terror at ​5.mw-parser-output .sr-only{border:0;clip:rect(0,0,0,0);height:1px;margin:-1px;overflow:hidden;padding:0;position:absolute;width:1px;white-space:nowrap} 1⁄2 Feet". They climb down from the treehouse and sleep peacefully the whole night. The contrasting of voices helps to emphasize that a classic poem about grief is being transformed into a cartoon sitcom by transforming the protagonist from a grieving man Homer, on the other hand, lies in his bed terrified, despite Marge's reassurance that they are just children's stories and cannot bring him any harm. Treehouse of Horror episodes typically consist of four parts: an opening and Halloween-themed version of the credits, followed by three segments. There is also a portal to another dimension in the kitchen. The story is a play on words and was molded from The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man", which itself was a teleplay of a short story by Damon Knight. In 1996, 2013, and 2015, "Treehouse of Horror VI", "Treehouse of Horror XXIII", and "Treehouse of Horror XXV" were respectively nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour)" category. [5] The second segment's cookbook is a reference to the 1962 The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man". Jean stated that this was planned ever since the beginning in 1989.[48]. Originally it was supposed to use a theremin (an early electronic musical instrument), but one could not be found that could hit all the necessary notes. The episode was received positively, being included on several critics' "best of" lists. These messages include the names of canceled shows from the previous season, deceased celebrities such as Walt Disney and Jim Morrison,[17] and a tombstone with an inscription that read "TV violence" that was riddled with bullets as the camera panned on it. [4] The third segment reimagines Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". [1] Earlier installments began with Marge issuing a disclaimer that "if you have sensitive children, maybe you should tuck them into bed early tonight instead of writing us angry letters tomorrow. The Raven Narrator is the unnamed narrator of Edgar Allan Poe'sThe Raven. [2] In that episode, Bart and Lisa sat in it telling stories to each other. [64], The Treehouse of Horror episodes are often among the top-rated episodes of their seasons[23] and many of the Treehouse of Horrors have generally been well-received by fans. In 2006, James Earl Jones, who guest starred in " Treehouse of Horror " and " Treehouse of Horror V ", was named seventh on IGN's "Top 25 Simpsons Guest Appearances" list. [12] Although every episode is entitled Treehouse of Horror, the first was the only episode that actually used the treehouse motif. It includes Treehouse of Horrors V, VI, VII and XII. The third segment is an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's 1845 poem "The Raven". Although the names quickly became more silly than scary, there have been a wide variety of special credits, from simple names like "Bat Groening" or "Chains Hell Brooks" to complex ones like "David²+S.²=Cohen²". [19], Critics also praised the episode's relationship to various television shows and Poe's "The Raven". [3] "Treehouse of Horror" was the first time an alternate version of the theme that airs over the end credits was used. [4] The house was also designed to look like the Addams family house. [18] However, after two decades, this gag made a brief comeback in Treehouse of Horror XXIX at the very beginning, this time appearing before the main opening sequence and title. For example, a story about zombies attacking the town briefly cuts to them in their space ship, watching the events and laughing maniacally at the Earthlings' suffering. [2] In some cases, the writers will have an idea that is too violent and far-fetched or too short for a normal episode, but can be used as a segment in the seasonal special. Budke described the segment as "one of the most refined Simpsons pop references ever" and knows "people [who] consider this the point that they realized The Simpsons could be both highly hilarious and highly intelligent". [10] Following "Treehouse of Horror VII", the opening has been upwards of a minute long and sometimes featured an introduction by a character, such as Mr. Burns in "Treehouse of Horror XVII"[8] or included over-the-top violence, such as "Treehouse of Horror VIII" (which showed a Fox Network censor being brutally murdered) and "Treehouse of Horror XIV" (which showed the Simpson family killing each other).[5]. [50] Season 23's "Treehouse of Horror XXII aired on October 30, however, as the World Series (which went the maximum of seven games) had concluded on October 28. The Raven: Probably the most literate stance the show has taken, it's brilliantly performed with James Earl Jones as the narrator (a great actor in himself, of course.) Many segments are spoofs of episodes of The Twilight Zone, and entire segments will be based on a single episode. Unable to work with the rest of the cast, Jones recorded his lines at the Village Recorder in West Los Angeles; he chewed on a cookie close to his microphone to perform drooling sounds for the aliens.[3]. Lisa, skeptical at this, blows off more space dust, revealing the title to be How To Cook Forty Humans. [73], "Treehouse of Horror VII" is Simpsons creator Matt Groening's seventh favorite episode, and the line he likes best is "We have reached the limit of what rectal probing can teach us. [72], In 2006, IGN.com published a list of the top ten Treehouse of Horror segments, and they placed "The Shinning" from "Treehouse of Horror V" at the top, saying it was "not only a standout installment of the annual Halloween episode, but of The Simpsons, period. [18] "Hungry are the Damned" was selected as the fifth best Treehouse of Horror segment by Eric Goldman, Dan Iverson and Brian Zoromski of IGN in 2008. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. [2] Their scene in "Treehouse of Horror VIII" nearly did not make the final cut of the episode, but David X. Cohen managed to persuade the producers to leave the scene in.[21]. Oct 12, 2013 - Best Guest Voice: James Earl Jones reciting "The Raven" while Bart the Raven says "Eat my shorts" They're showing a Halloween episode... in November!" It is the first Treehouse of Horror episode. Sam Simon wrote the third segment, "The Raven", and David Silverman directed it. Alf Clausen, who has scored most of the Simpsons music, began his work on the show with this episode. Many of the special character designs featured in the episodes have become action figures. Read about The Raven by Simpsons (James Earl Jones) and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. On Halloween, Bart, Lisa and Maggie sit in the treehouse and tell scary stories, while Homer who had just come home from trick or treating eavesdrops on them. "Treehouse of Horror" was the only one that actually included a treehouse as a setting. Enraged at Lisa's mistrust, they return the Simpsons to Earth, explaining that Lisa has ruined the family's chance at paradise on the aliens' home planet. [38], The first Treehouse of Horror episode was the first time that an alternate version of the theme that airs over the end credits was used. The Simpsons read “The Raven” (with help from James Earl Jones) in the third episode of the show’s second season (1990), “Treehouse of Horror I.” … [68] "Treehouse of Horror V" is considered the best episode by several critics: it finished ninth on Entertainment Weekly's top 25 The Simpsons episode list,[69] fifth on AskMen.com's "Top 10: Simpsons Episodes" list,[70] and was named best episode of the sixth season by IGN.com. [47] In 1996, "Treehouse of Horror VI" was submitted for the Primetime Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Animated Program (For Programming less than One Hour)" category because it had a 3D animation sequence, which the staff felt would have given it the edge. [2] Usually when the producers submit an episode for the Primetime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)", they submit a Treehouse of Horror episode,[12] and to date, seven episodes have been nominated. That night, the house possesses Homer and the children, manipulating their minds and making them chase each other with axes and knives. Jones was born in Mississippi on January 17, 1931 and grew up in Dublin, Michigan. The segment ends when The Narrator, infuriated by the Raven's mockery of his grief, flies into a fit of rage chasing it across his study, ending with the Raven's eventual victory and The Narrator lying wide eyed and staring under a pile of books. The warning in the first episode was put in as a sincere effort to warn young viewers, as the producers felt it was somewhat scary. The Simpsons read “The Raven” (with help from James Earl Jones) in the third episode of the show’s second season (1990), “Treehouse of Horror I.” … the Extra-Terrestrial,[37] and Orson Welles's The War of the Worlds radio broadcast. [31] The "Bart's Nightmare" segment of "Treehouse of Horror II" parodies the episode "It's a Good Life" and is even presented in a format similar to an episode of The Twilight Zone. Suspicious of the alien's intentions, Lisa sneaks into the kitchen and finds a book titled How To Cook Humans. However, the animators did not mind the work, leading to the drooling staying in the script. [71] In 2006, James Earl Jones, who guest starred in "Treehouse of Horror" and "Treehouse of Horror V", was named seventh on IGN's "Top 25 Simpsons Guest Appearances" list. [16] The tombstone gags were easy for the writers in the first episode, but like Marge's warnings, they eventually got more difficult to write, so they were abandoned. Unlike a typical Simpsons episode, "Treehouse of Horror" is divided into three segments. It made the poem a bit more humorous than Serious. [45] Rather than taking sides in the election, Jean says it is "mostly a comment on what many people to believe to be the irregularities in our voting system. The action then switches back to the actual story. On The Simpsons, he first guest starred in " Treehouse of Horror ", where he was heard in all three segments, the only special guest voice to date who holds that distinction: as the moving man in "Bad Dream House", Serak the Preparer in "Hungry Are the … [12] Part of the difficulty for the animators is that the episodes always involve many complex backgrounds, new characters and new designs. The entire game has a Halloween theme as the player tries to save the Simpson family from the Treehouse of Horror.[56]. James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi, USA. In the opening segment of the first five episodes, the camera zooms through a cemetery where tombstones with humorous epitaphs can be seen. [52] Citytv in Canada however aired the episode as originally scheduled. [77], The second, third, fifth, eighth, ninth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and eighteenth[78] Treehouse of Horror episodes were nominated for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" at the Primetime Emmy Awards. One of my favorite renditions of “The Raven” was performed by James Earl Jones on “The Simpsons” first “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween Special, on October 25, 1990, a timeless classic now in its own rite! [1] The episodes are considered to be non-canon and always take place outside the normal continuity of the show, since each character appears to be fine afterwards. James Earl Jones (born January 17, 1931) is an American actor and voice actor, best known for his distinctive bass voice and for voicing Darth Vader on Star Wars. Every episode between "Treehouse of Horror III" and "Treehouse of Horror X" featured a couch gag with a Halloween theme, including the Simpson family dressed as skeletons,[17] zombies,[3] and characters from previous Halloween episodes. Afterwards, Lisa discovers the source of the haunting - a Native American burial ground hidden in the basement. He points out that his 10-year-old daughter loves films like Coraline, and that, "[in] the age of scary stories [...] appropriateness has gotten lower. The IGN reviewers singled out the How to Cook for Forty Humans section of the segment as its funniest moment. The episode then returns to the treehouse and Bart, Lisa and Maggie, who are not frightened by any of the stories. At the time (1995), it was groundbreaking, as it was unusual for a television show to use such animation. [3] The episode was inspired by EC Comics horror comics, such as Tales from the Crypt. "[2], The Treehouse of Horror episodes are difficult for both the writers and the animators. This is the amazing poem by Edgar Allen Poe, a perfect Halloween classic. In its original broadcast, "Treehouse of Horror" finished 25th in ratings for the week of October 22–28, 1990, with a Nielsen rating of 15.7, equivalent to approximately 14.6 million viewing households. It was inspired by EC Comics Horror tales. These segments usually have a horror, science fiction or fantasy theme and quite often are parodies of films, novels, plays, television shows, Twilight Zone episodes, or old issues of EC Comics. [42] Treehouse of Horror V has been described by Mirkin as being one of "the most intense, disturbing Halloween show ever" as it was filled with violence and gore in response to new censorship rules. [4] The entire segment was a parody of the opening of the 1931 film Frankenstein. The first segment involves a haunted house that is based on various haunted house films, primarily The Amityville Horror (1979) and Poltergeist (1982). Metacafe Affiliate U Subscribe Unsubscribe 2 287. [3] They were last used in "Treehouse of Horror V", which included a solitary tombstone with the words "Amusing Tombstones" to signal this. The first, second, and fifth Treehouse of Horror episodes open with Marge standing on a stage and warning parents about the content of the episode, advising them to put their children to bed. [12] They are difficult for the writers because they must produce three stories, an opening and, in the early episodes, a wraparound. The segment was executive producer Bill Oakley's idea and included live action directed by David Mirkin. The "Treehouse of Horror 2" set was released in 2001 and included an interior alien spaceship playset as well as Kang, Kodos and "Alien Ship Homer". Maggie has spoken in non-canon episodes, where she has been voiced by different actors. "The Raven" was selected as the second best Treehouse of Horror segment by Ryan J. Budke of TV Squad in 2005. "The Simpsons" Treehouse of Horror (TV Episode 1990) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. [49] Season 12's "Treehouse of Horror XI" was the first episode to air in November. [2] Kurt M. Koenigsberger said in his book Leaving Springfield that The Simpsons, while "not strictly a literary form ... is certainly the literate of all situation comedies". Welles 's the War of the later episodes production logo for Gracie Films is displayed after the closing.! 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