Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror III

tohiii-1(this episode was directed by Carlos Baeza)
After two years of Marge in front of the curtain with her earnest word of warning, here Homer steps in, childishly goading the audience. But first, a wonderful take on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with Homer subbing for the master of horror, clearly even fatter than the silhouette.

tohiii-2I laugh out loud every damn time during this shot of Marge chastising Homer, with no movement but Homer’s chewing lips. That completely blank expression serving to pay off the simple gag involving Homer the food monster. Also, not animation related, but I do like Marge setting up this traditional, but still slightly macabre party game, it’s such a true mom thing of her to do. Nowadays, extreme wet blanket one-dimensional Marge certainly wouldn’t be up for something like this.

tohiii-3Always fun to go frame-by-frame on animation smears like this. The limited amount of frames, and the wonderful coconut sound effect of Milhouse’s head hitting the wall, makes this a brilliant small moment of funny.

tohiii-5What a hilarious shot. The framing of it, the repairman’s shocked expression against Marge’s unaffected one, presumably having been dealing with this for a few hours, and the Krusty doll hoisted upon Homer’s lips painfully yanking at his elongated tongue. Just amazing.

tohiii-6“King Homer” pays tribute to the very original King Kong, of course, aping (heh heh) many of the shots from that film. My favorite is this, recreating the kinda goofy looking insert shot of the beast as the reaction to a live actor screaming in terror. Also great is later when he pulls Marge through the window, it’s just like the original, with Fay Wray flailing within a giant fake monkey fist.

tohiii-7My favorite moment in the entire show may be Shirley Temple’s little shoes falling off when she’s being picked up by Homer. But that doesn’t really come across in a framegrab, so here’s a shot of him eating the famous child actress.

tohiii-8Another great drawing. As if a gargantuan ape wouldn’t look awkward enough inside a church, they pose him in such a way he seems not only awkward, but self-conscious. Look at him looking up at his little hat! It’s almost adorable.

tohiii-9A perfect example of the show piling jokes on top of jokes on top of jokes. So Bart’s reading “Find Waldo Yet Again,” already a double joke, in the title referring to the dizzying amount of Waldo books, and the fact that since Bart figured that he struck out with “Baby’s First Pop-Up Book,” maybe this mature tome would appease Krabappel. So we see Waldo’s right there in the open, and if it weren’t easy enough, there’s a kid right there on the beach pointing at him. Brilliant.

tohiii-10Astounding reference to three network animated shows that emerged soon after The Simpsons to attempt to reach a similar audience… and were all swiftly cancelled. Lucky that they all involved animals so this joke works perfectly. Of the three, I’ve only seen Fish Police, and boy oh boy…

tohiii-11 Another great “Technical Difficulties” card, as usual. The only show to rival this incredibly specific type of humor is The Critic (“Wheel Be Right Back!”)

tohiii-12I love how even in the middle of a joke involving how brainless he is, Homer is still able to realize he’s been insulted when the zombies look elsewhere for brains.

tohiii-13Great drawings of zombie Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney kicking about Skinner’s head. I love how while a yellow complexion seems perfectly normal, altering them to green and purple truly makes them look sickly and undead.

tohiii-14Not animation related, but I wanted to end with my favorite line from the show.
“Excuse me, I’m John Smith.”
“John Smith, 1882?”
“My mistake!”

7 Responses to “Animation Alley: Treehouse of Horror III”

  1. 1 Shane
    15 October 2013 at 10:14 am

    Nice analysis! And of course, there are numerous other great sequences throughout. I’m fond of the animation on Zombie Sideshow Mel grabbing Krusty followed by the cut to his now-zombified self getting kids to enter his new ‘competition’.

  2. 15 October 2013 at 11:04 am

    Great review on screengrabs, also… iii = III!!!

  3. 3 Al Gore Doll
    15 October 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Was a screencap of the Snail transformation Lisa undergoes too obvious?

  4. 4 Josh
    15 October 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Love these animation alley posts, espcially when they’re on the subject of Treehosue of Horror!

    One visual I’ll mention that made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it, is Mr Burns doing his silly little dance ‘I was strolling through the gas one day’. Absolutely killed me!

  5. 15 October 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I meant to say: Great review Mike, good screengrabs!

  6. 16 October 2013 at 10:24 am

    I never noticed the kid pointing at Waldo. Brilliant.

  7. 7 Stan
    16 October 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Again animation aside (I know, I know), totally liked the setting in the show. It’s Halloween. They all get together and tell stories, and that’s what matters. I know it’s hard to keep up with in for 20 or so seasons, but taking a while for making one once again, the old fashioned way, would be awesome. And, if you want so much to be like Family Guy nowadays, notice how FG also often includes narritive eps in their season, especially on certain dates. HAVE SOMEONE TALK TO US FOR GOD’S SAKE!

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