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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Various
Cast:
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Marcia Wallace, Russi Taylor
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
Kang and Kodos invite you to add this Emmy Award winning season to your collection filled with your favorite guest stars (Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, Tony Hawk, Blink 182, and more) and exclusive features that will satisfy your hunger. The Simpsons Season 14 is finally available on Blu-ray and DVD.

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Fullscreen 1.33:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 483 min.
Price: $59.99
Release Date: 12/6/2011

Bonus:
Disc One
• Audio Commentary for All Seven Episodes
• “A Haunting Invite From Matt Groening” Introduction
• “In the Beginning” Featurette
• “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes for Six Episodes
• Sketch Gallery
Disc Two
• Audio Commentary for All Eight Episodes
• “The 300th Episode” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes for Five Episodes
• “Halloween Classics” Featurette
• Bonus Episode
• Sketch Gallery
Disc Three
• Audio Commentary for All Seven Episodes
• Deleted Scenes for Four Episodes
• Deleted Scenes Compilation with Optional Commentary
• Animation Showcase
• Special Language Feature
• “Foolish Earthlings” Featurette
• Bonus Episode


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season [Blu-Ray] (2002)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 16, 2011)

After a 15-month span with no Simpsons home video releases, the series returns with this Season 14 package. Aired across 2002-2003, I’ll look at the 22 shows in their original broadcast order, which is how they show up in the set. I’ll examine them each on their own to document the specifics. The plot capsules come straight from the package’s booklet.

DISC ONE:

Treehouse of Horror XIII (aired November 3, 2002): “In ‘Send in the Clones’, Springfield is faced with its most terrifying menace – a hungry horde of Homers. In ‘The Fright to Creep and Scare Harms’, Springfield bans guns and then is ripe for attack from villains long-dead. Finally, in ‘The Island of Dr. Hibbert’, a pleasure trip is not what it seems when the people of Springfield become half-human/half-animal monstrosities”.

Of the three segments, “Clones” easily fares the best. It takes a simple concept and exploits it for good laughs. “Harms” has some moments as well but occasionally feels like an ad for the NRA. “Hibbert” works the worst, mainly because it attempts most of its humor from the weirdness of its human/animal combinations; it doesn’t boast much mirth otherwise.

How I Spent My Strummer Vacation (aired November 10, 2002): “When a hidden camera films Homer during a cab ride, he confesses his resentment that his family came between him and his rock ‘n’ roll dreams. To his surprise, Marge enrolls him in an adult rock camp run by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. But in Homer, the rock stars have met their match in violent decadence.”

Some episodes rely on the star power of their guest actors to do the heavy lifting, and that seems true of “Strummer”. With Mick, Keith, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Brian Setzer and Lenny Kravitz, the show comes with rock star wattage to spare, but they aren’t able to carry the total load. Still, it’s fun to see so many big names all in one place, and the show includes enough good gags to make it enjoyable.

Bart Vs. Lisa Vs. The Third Grade (aired November 17, 2002): “ Bart is demoted to third grade while Lisa is advanced to the same class. They are both extremely unhappy with the situation, which is exacerbated when they are made ‘buddies’ on a field trip to the state capital.”

“Grade” opens with a TV-based segment awfully reminiscent of Season Two’s “Homer Vs. Lisa and the Eighth Commandment” and doesn’t get much better from there. As usual, we discover a few laughs along the way – particularly when Bart tries to teach mnemonics – but these are less plentiful than I’d like. This ends up as a wholly mediocre episode.

Large Marge (aired November 24, 2002): “Marge accidentally gets implants that feminize her Olive Oyl figure and decides to leave them in. Meanwhile Bart and Milhouse imitate unsafe behavior they saw Krusty display on an old TV show and Krusty must come up with a way to rehabilitate his image. He decides to stage a rescue from a rampaging elephant but when the elephant gets out of control, Marge’s new knockers come to the rescue.”

Though the plot of “Large” screams “high concept”, it actually works pretty well. It uses the silliness attached to Marge’s chest to good comic effect, and the secondary plot with Bart and Krusty ties into things in a fun manner. It presents a lot of funny bits and turns into a strong episode. It’s also hard to knock a show that reunites the voices of Adam West and Burt Ward.

Helter Shelter (aired December 1, 2002): “When the Simpson home is tented for termites, they agree to go on a reality show in exchange for a place to live. The show forces the Simpsons to live as people did a hundred years ago, and the horror of it nearly splits the nuclear family apart.”

I guess that’s not a terrible idea for an episode, but it’s not a particularly exciting one, either. The show plods through its scenario without much life, mostly because parodies of reality TV just aren’t very interesting; the programs they mock are already so absurd that there’s not much room for satire.

The Great Louse Detective (aired December 15, 2002): “When someone attempts to murder Homer at a free weekend spa vacation, the police go to Sideshow Bob to help find the culprit. Working with the Simpsons, Bob discovers a surprising enemy from the family’s past – then must decide if he wishes to enact a revenge of his own.”

Over the years, we’ve gotten many a great Sideshow Bob episode, so this one has to live up to steep competition. While not a bad show, “Louse” fails to live up to its predecessors. It does throw out some good moments, and it’s fine by Season 14 standards, but it doesn’t qualify as a Sideshow Bob classic.

Special Edna (aired January 5, 2003): “Bart tries to cheer up a dejected Mrs. Krabappel by entering her in a competition for Teacher of the Year. Surprisingly, she is nominated and invited to the ceremony at “EFCOT Center”. Skinner follows, afraid they may break up, and they reconcile with the help of Little Richard.”

I’ve liked episodes that focus on Krapappel, but on the other hand, her relationship with Skinner has always been a bit of a dud. Those two factors cancel each other out to leave this as an average show, though the mockery of EPCOT scores some points. I think the real EPCOT is pretty fun, actually, but the program delivers some amusing pokes at it.

DISC TWO:

The Dad Who Knew Too Little (aired January 12, 2003): “When Homer gives Lisa an inappropriate birthday gift, he realizes how little he knows about his daughter. He hires a private detective to her information on her, but when Homer tries to stiff the PI for expenses, he and Lisa are framed for a crime they didn’t commit.”

How many times will the series go to the “Homer neglects Lisa and gets in trouble” well? Many, and the result is usually the same: mediocrity and sentimentality. “Little” proves to be no less predictable than its brethren, though the private detective angle adds some mirth. Still, it’s an unexceptional episode that feels like one we’ve already seen many times.

The Strong Arms of the Ma (aired February 2, 2003): “A terrifying mugging makes Marge afraid to leave the house. She starts to lift weights to regain her confidence, but an addiction to steroids proves even more harmful than her agoraphobia.”

Two episodes in one season that deal with the alteration of Marge’s body? While “Ma” and “Large Marge” follow different stories, they share the same basic theme, and that makes “Ma” seem somewhat redundant. This doesn’t make it a bad show, however, as despite the similarities with “Large Marge”, it’s still a pretty amusing show.

Pray Anything (aired February 9, 2003): “When Ned Flanders wins a huge sum of money an a WNBA game, Homer decides that the power of prayer can answer any problem. Homer finds that all his prayers are indeed answered, and in fact, he is given the deed to the church. Living in the church, Homer becomes more and more sacrilegious, until a cleansing rain – perhaps from God himself – makes matters right.”

While not a clone, “Pray Anything” seems awfully reminiscent of Season Four’s “Homer the Heretic”, as it’s another episode that pits Homer against standard organized religion. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as good as the earlier show. “Pray” delivers some amusing moments but doesn’t add up to a consistently strong program.

Barting Over (aired February 16, 2003): “Bart learns that he was once a child star whose earnings were squandered by Homer. Bart sues to become legally emancipated and Homer can only win him back with the help of skateboarding legend Tony Hawk.”

Blink-182 and Tony Hawk – it’s like a “Best of the Early 2000s” fest! Well, no one said The Simpsons would never seem dated. Those elements are pedestrian, and it’s hard to find a lot of other strong moments here. Like many other shows from this year, “Barting” isn’t bad, but it’s ordinary.

I’m Spelling As Fast As I Can (aired February 16, 2003): “Lisa wins the state spelling finals and is invited to the Spellympics, hosted by Renaissance man George Plimpton. Meanwhile, Homer is preoccupied with following a rib sandwich around participating Krusty Burger franchises.”

The series ran a “back to school” episode – in February? Buh? Despite that oddity, “Spelling” helps add some pep to Season 14. Lisa’s story goes along predictable but enjoyable lines, and I enjoy the Ribwich narrative, as it gives Homer opportunities for food-related humor. This becomes one of the year’s better shows.

A Star Is Born Again (aired March 2, 2003): “When a left-handed movie star wanders into Ned Flanders’ store, a romance blossoms. They spend an incredible night together then Ned informs her that if she wants more of his milk, she’ll have to buy the cow.”

If I recall correctly, “Again” provides Flanders’ first dating situation since Maude died back in Season 11. (He did think about dating a Christian singer in that same episode, however.) “Again” feels less contrived – well, as “less contrived” as a show in which Flanders woos a movie star can be – and it has some good moments, especially when we get the contrast between small town Flanders and his big-time girlfriend. It’s a fairly good show.

Mr. Spritz Goes to Washington (aired March 9, 2003): “When the airport designs a new flight path right over the Simpsons’ home, the family convinces Krusty to run for Congress to remedy the situation. Once in Washington, Krusty is shocked – shocked! – to discover the system is corrupt.”

Another episode, another sense of déjà vu. The Simpsons has explored election campaigns in the past – Season Two’s “Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish”, Season Six’s “Sideshow Bob Roberts” – and “Spritz” doesn’t do a lot to reinvent that wheel. It even borrows jokes from earlier episodes, such as when the House aide says “yeah, looks like” when told he looks like Walter Mondale; that’s a direct rip of the John Travolta bit in “Itchy & Scratchy Land”. The show still delivers some laughs, but the repetitive moments harm it.

CED’oh (aired March 16, 2003): “On a lonely Valentine’s Day evening, Homer attends a life-altering seminar which teaches him to take a more aggressive course towards success. He becomes the head of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, only to discover how lonely the life of the man at the top truly is.”

What the heck is going on this year? Two days after Valentine’s Day, the series runs a back to school program, and then it delivers its Valentine’s episode in the middle of March! Of course, none of this should matter when we’re viewing The Simpsons on home video, but it still seems weird.

On the positive side, at least “CED’oh” seems more original than the last few shows. On the negative side, it’s just not that entertaining. I like some of the Burns-related bits – we’ve not seen much of him this year – but the program simply lacks a lot of real spark. It’s pretty ordinary.

DISC THREE:

’Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky (aired March 30, 2003): “A documentary filmmaker comes to Springfield Elementary and turns Bart and Lisa’s worlds topsy-turvy. Bart decides he needs to steal mobster Fat Tony’s hood ornament to prove that he’s ‘cool’, while Lisa tries to reduce the creeping threat of light pollution.”

Like most Lisa-based stories, this one tends to be lackluster. However, Bart’s side helps add some panache, especially since we get a few good moments with Fat Tony. The sluggish Lisa elements dominate too much to allow this to be a generally strong show, however.

Three Gays of the Condo (aired April 13, 2003): “Homer discovers that Marge intended to break up with him while they were dating and is so upset he moves in with two gay roommates. Marge wins him back with the help of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic – and alcohol poisoning.”

An episode that plops Homer amongst some gay dudes might sound like a recipe for disaster. However, “Condo” presents a reasonably solid episode. It milks lots of laughs from the settings into which Homer arrives, and it uses the guest actors well.

Dude, Where’s My Ranch? (aired April 27, 2003): “Homer writes a song about Flanders that becomes so popular the Simpsons leave town to avoid hearing it played. They make it to a dude ranch where Lisa falls for an older boy, while Homer and Bart get involved in a range war with a herd of beavers.”

“Dude” manages a generally good tone, at least, and has its strengths. Homer’s song manages fun moments, and a few bits at the ranch also stand out as reasonably positive. “Dude” doesn’t live up to the series’ best shows, but it’s pretty decent.

Old Yeller Belly (aired May 4, 2003): “When the cat saves Homer’s life during a fire, while the dog flees like a coward, Snowball II becomes a hero and the dog is chained outside the Simpsons’ house. There he is discovered by beer magnate HK Duff and turned into a corporate spokesmodel. The dog’s original owner – last seen in ‘Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire’ – learns of Santa’s Little Helper’s success and comes forward to reclaim him.”

The program’s references to Spuds McKenzie – an advertising icon who’d not appeared in about a decade when the program aired – weren’t exactly timely, but the show still works pretty well. It certainly moves at a good pace and delivers a rapid-fire array of pleasing gags. It’s also fun to bring back an obscure character from the series’ first-ever episode.

Brake My Wife, Please (aired May 11, 2003): “Distracted by his in-car appliances, Homer gets into an accident and has his license suspended. He discovers that walking makes him happier and healthier until he is hit by a car – driven by Marge! Homer realizes how much hidden resentment his wife has towards him and throws her a feast to regain her love.”

“Brake” starts off pretty well but fades as it progresses. The problem stems from the narrative – or lack of one. Plenty of Simpsons episodes shift gears as they go, but they usually do so naturally; when “Brake” changes its path, it feels like it just cobbled together two separate story ideas into one program. It’s still enjoyable, but its best moments come during its first half.

The Bart of War (aired May 18, 2003): “Bart and Milhouse discover that Ned Flanders has a secret, valuable Beatles collection – which they ruin. To provide them with more adult supervision, the boys are placed in separate youth groups – but when the two groups go to war, Bart and Milhouse are turned against each other.”

I’d like to say that Season 14 is heating up as it nears its end, but unfortunately, “War” offers a pretty dull episode. When Homer misinterprets Indian traditions, it has some humor, but it quickly drags and becomes lackluster. It’s not an actively bad show but it’s a fairly flat one.

Moe Baby Blues (aired May 18, 2003): “A traffic jam arising from a once-in-a-century flower emanation causes Maggie to nearly fall in the river, only to be saved inadvertently by Moe. A friendship blossoms between the baby and the bartender until the Simpsons decide it has gotten too intense, and order Moe not to see their little one any more, breaking his heart.”

When an episode focuses on two of the series’ least-featured characters, you shouldn’t expect much. There’s a good reason we don’t often see Maggie and/or Moe at the fore, and that’s because they’re limited personalities. Moe’s just too pathetic to be funny in anything more than small doses, and the same goes for Maggie. “Blues” has more spark than “Bart of War”, but it’s still an ordinary end to the season.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus B

The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season appears in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. This was the year the series went with digital ink and paint, so the production values jumped a bit.

Actually, sharpness was the only inconsistent element. While the episodes clearly looked tighter than earlier seasons did on DVD, concerns still arose, particularly due to jaggies; round objects could appear a bit rough. General definition was usually quite good, though, so expect the show to provide fairly positive sharpness. Unlike prior years, source flaws were essentially a non-factor. The use of some older snippets – like the “Eye on Springfield” opening – showed some of the old specks and marks, but the material created for S14 seemed clean and without defects.

Colors got a boost from both the Blu-ray presentation and the change to digital. The latter meant a broader palette available to the animators, and the shows offered peppier hues. The Blu-ray made them look pretty bright and vivid. Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows showed nice delineation. The occasional roughness around the edges left this as a “B+” image, but it’s still the most appealing pre-HD Simpsons I’ve seen.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, it remained in line with prior years. As in the past, the soundfields mostly focused on environmental information. Showier sequences cropped up occasionally – like the way in which all the “Mr. Spritz” jets zoomed from front to rear – but at its core, The Simpsons remains a chatty show, so it doesn’t need a wild soundscape. The mixes created a good sense of place and occasionally a bit more than that, but mostly the soundfield stayed supportive and little more.

Audio quality’s improved over the years, and that showed up here. Speech was consistently warm and natural, and music showed good pep and bounce. A little distortion occasionally affected effects, but not more than a couple of times; those elements usually appeared rich and full. The limited scope left this as a “B” soundtrack, but I thought it seemed appropriate for the series.

The extras of S14 don’t reinvent that wheel, so expect a roster of goodies similar to what we’ve found in prior years. As always, all 22 episodes provide audio commentaries. These tracks present an ever-changing roster of participants. Show runner Al Jean appears on all 22; he’s the only person to do so.

We also hear from from series creator Matt Groening (2, 6, 11, 22), supervising producers Michael Price (2, 3, 6, 9, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22), J. Stewart Burns (5, 11, 14, 16, 21, 22) and Dana Gould (2), producers Tom Gammill (2, 4, 6, 7, 11, 14, 21, 22), Marc Wilmore (14, 21) and Max Pross (11, 22), co-executive producers Dan Greaney (5, 16) and Carolyn Omine (5, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17), songwriter Ken Keeler (18), writers Brian Kelley (1, 12, 13, 18), Kevin Curran (1, 3, 5, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22), Mike Scully (2), Ian Maxtone-Graham (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18), Tim Long (3, 6, 15, 19, 20), John Frink (1, 2, 3, 6, 12, 15, 19, 20), Matt Selman (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22), Matt Warburton (4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17), Allen Glazier (5), Sam O’Neal (10), and Neal Boushell (10), directors David Silverman (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18), Mike B. Anderson (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 14, 15, 18, 21), Steven Dean Moore (2, 3, 5, 6, 15, 16), Mark Kirkland (5, 8, 17), Bob Anderson (7), Pete Michels (9, 20), Michael Polcino (10), Michael Marcantel (13), and Lance Kramer (14), and actors Dan Castellaneta (1, 2, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 22), Yeardley Smith (1, 8, 12, 17), Hank Azaria (11, 22), Nancy Cartwright (4, 7), “Weird Al” Yankovic (8, 17), Mark Hoppus (11), Tony Hawk (11), Joe Mantegna (16), David Byrne (18) and Stacy Keach (19).

Note that some of the participants serve multiple roles on the series, so they make perform different jobs for specific episodes; it’s just easier to list them in only one manner. Occasionally folks will sit in sessions for episodes on which they didn’t work as well, probably just to complicate my transcription. I will survive!

Here’s where I cut and paste notes about prior commentaries because Season 14’s chats cover the usual roster of subjects. We get thoughts about the various stories and their origins/development, cast, characters and performances, guests, various references, some animation notes, and a mix of other connected topics.

Since the commentaries for Seasons One through 13 were erratic, should you expect more consistency from the chats alongside S14? Nope, though I think I’ve listened to so many Simpsons commentaries over the last decade that I don’t notice the sometimes monotonous elements that much any more. I won’t say I’ve been “beaten down” by the 300-plus Simpsons tracks I’ve screened since 2001, but I’ve come to understand what to expect from them and not feel disappointed when they don’t become truly insightful.

And I’ve always enjoyed them, even though I know they’ve always been unexceptional. The usual pattern continues here, so expect to get more laughing and praise than you might like but also to find a good array of details. We find quite a lot of nice info about story/character issues, and the switch to digital delivers useful details. Heck, we even hear some criticism, as Jean acknowledges problems with the story of “Helter Shelter”! (Jean also tells the story of his mother’s reaction to Season Three’s “When Flanders Failed” at least three times – once is enough, Al!)

The final commentary is probably my favorite. With Castellaneta and Azaria paired together, we get a better than average discussion of the work of the vocal actors. They tend not to say a ton during their chats, so it’s good to learn more about their craft. The quality of the other 21 tracks tends to be erratic as always, but they’re definitely worth a listen.

A mix of other supplements spread across all three discs. 15 of this release’s episodes include Deleted Scenes; we don’t get extra sequences for “Bart Vs. Lisa Vs. the Third Grade”, “The Dad Who Knew Too Little”, “I’m Spelling As Fast As I Can”, “CED’oh!”, “Three Gays of the Condo”, “Brake My Wife, Please” and “Moe Baby Blues”.

You can watch them as parts of the appropriate shows or in a separate compilation on Disc Three. It puts all 20 scenes - which last a total of 10 minutes and four seconds - in one place. In a nice touch, we get the portion of the show that precedes the cut scene right before it to remind us where the snippet would have appeared. Those bits are black and white while the new material appears in color; that helps us tell which parts were deleted.

Of course, with so many scenes in so little space, none of the sequences last very long. Most snippets act as quick extensions to existing pieces. These offer a mixed bag, as many are forgettable but some seem pretty amusing. It’s not a great collection but it’s enjoyable.

If you check out the deleted scenes via the big package on Disc Three, you also can listen to optional commentary from Al Jean; he provides a short intro as well. A lot of the time, Jean simply describes the scenes; he occasionally tells us why they cut the sequences, but usually he offers little more than vague identification of the shots. You can safely skip this commentary and you won’t miss anything.

Sketch Galleries appear for two episodes. They offer running, filmed sets of images, and we get these for Disc One’s “How I Spent My Strummer Vacation” (2:14) and Disc Two’s “Barting Over” (2:14). These offer some character design images and are fun to see.

As always, Disc One provides an intro. Titled A Haunting Invite from Matt Groening, the piece lasts two minutes, 12 seconds. Also as always, this tends to be fluffy and fairly pointless. Dude, we already bought the package – you don’t need to sell it to us!

Under In the Beginning, we get a 12-minute, 43-second compilation. It shows the opening sequences for all 13 of the “Treehouse of Horror” episodes that ran through Season 14. Most fans will already have those shows on DVD, but it’s cool to see all these creative segments in one place.

Also on Disc One, It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll fills nine minutes, five seconds. It looks at the “Strummer Vacation” episode via comments from Tom Petty, Lenny Kravitz, Brian Setzer, Elvis Costello, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. None of them offer any amazing insights, but it’s simply enjoyable to hear them chat about their guest spots, and we also view some good shots from the recording studio. The latter are especially cool since we hear interaction among the rockers and the regular actors – and what sounds like Hank Azaria’s impression of Richards.

The 300th Episode appears on Disc Two and offers notes from Matt Groening and guest actors Blink-182 and Tony Hawk. It goes for one minute, 56 seconds and provides some thoughts about “Barting Over”, the series’ 300th episode. It’s too short to tell us much.

Also on Disc Two, The Halloween Classics lasts eight minutes, 18 seconds. Like Disc One’s “In the Beginning”, this offers a compilation of scenes from the first 13 “Treehouse of Horror” episodes. “Beginning” was fun, but “Classics” seems less interesting, as it’s just a semi-random collection of moments.

Disc Two concludes with Treehouse of Horror V. This acts as a bonus episode, so we get the entire 22-minute, 54-second show from Season Six. It’s one of the better “THOH” shows, and it’s nice to have it on Blu-ray, though I’m not sure the format does much to improve the visuals.

Moving to Disc Three, we locate a Special Language Feature. With it, we get the same kind of multi-language clip we’ve found on prior sets. We can watch all of “Three Gays of the Condo” in German, Czech, Italian, and Portuguese. It’s a cute option but not terribly useful.

For five minutes, 26 seconds of “Moe Baby Blues”, we get an Animation Showcase. This allows us to use the “angle” feature to check out some scenes at different levels of completion; we can flip between storyboards and animatics/rough animation. The other option appears in a small box down in the lower right corner. This remains a fun way to inspect the different stages of animation.

A featurette called Foolish Earthlings goes for three minutes, 44 seconds. Another compilation reel, it shows clips of Kang and Kodos from a few “THOH” episodes. As with the other featurettes, it’s mildly interesting but not great.

Next we find another Bonus Episode. This one gives us Season Seven’s 22-minute, 48-second “THOH VI”. It’s not as good as “THOH V”, but it’s a decent addition to the package.

As with all the prior sets, this one comes with a booklet. It features an intro from Groening along with details about all 22 episodes. These present credits as well as info about each show’s special features. The booklet goes with a videogame theme, and that makes it a lot of fun.

By Season 14, The Simpsons was in a pattern of generally good but unexceptional episodes. There’s little – if anything – here that competes with the series’ best, but I think S14 is more entertaining than its detractors believe; while average by Simpsons standards, it’s still enjoyable. The Blu-ray offers pretty good picture and audio as well as the usual assortment of supplements. Unless you’re a Simpsons buff who thinks the series died around Season Nine, this Season 14 package would make for a good pick-up.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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