With Disney+ celebrating its Disney Plus Day today, it seems fitting to throw on some Simpsons content. What Disney have conjured here, in this 3 and a half minute short, is actually quite disappointing if I’m honest.
Now granted, I haven’t watched The Simpsons for a fair few years now, but the comedy just feels… bland. The short isn’t quite parodical nor is it a satire. There are no laugh out loud jokes here and instead, a few amusing tidbits to raise a thin smile.
For most of the run-time though, this short occupies that weird safe space between different comedic states, being careful not to offend anyone but at the same time missing out on an opportunity to actually deliver a fun-filled adventure for the Simpsons family to embark on.
Without the trademark opening scene (a missed opportunity unto itself), The Simpsons in Plusaversary opens outside Moe’s Tavern. There’s a big Disney celebration going on, with plenty of familiar faces from Disney’s lore. As different characters of all shapes and sizes head in, Homer finds himself stuck outside. However, he soon finds a plus one in Goofy, and the two head in to share a drink. After a big sing-song, the party ends and both Goofy and Homer are separated. That’s it, that’s the story.
What’s particularly amusing here though is the cynical song about Disney and renewing to their subscription service. Now, correct me if I’m wrong but having Lisa Simpson, the activist who’s dead-set on trying to protect the planet, champion a global corporation and entice people to subscribe just feels out of character for her.
It’s especially weird because Bart rocks up near the end dressed as Mickey, demanding everyone get back to work. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to be the one conducting the song?
The other issue here comes from the aesthetic. It really bothers me when animators don’t stick to one style and here the same holds true. Wreck-It Ralph and Donald Duck, for example, are drawn with coloured lines around the edges. But yet, almost everyone else has a black line. Maybe it’s just the OCD in me but these just feel like irritating inclusions.
Now, I do appreciate that Simpsons of old had aesthetic hiccups but given this short is only 3 minutes rather than 30 minutes long, it’s really disappointing to see this.
Maggie and Marge are both glaring omissions too, while a lot of the other characters are reduced to one-note jokes that don’t really do anything other than show The Simpsons acting as a shill for the House of Mouse.
Hey, like I said maybe this is just how The Simpsons is now but thinking back to those incredible episodes of the past, this is a sad decline for a show that’s long since run out of steam.
Verdict - 3.5/10