The Simpsons-Season 3 (Box Set) (1991)

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Released 11-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Cast and Crew
Featurette-Butterfinger Commercials (5)
Featurette-Bart Balloon - Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 1991
Alternate Audio-Treehouse of Horror II: Multi-Language(Span,Fr,Czech,Polish)
Storyboards
Gallery-Scene Specific Sketches
Music Highlights-Jukebox - 13 songs
Alternate Audio-Colonel Homer: Pop-Up Simpsons
Unseen Footage-Promo for Colonel Homer
Easter Egg-Additional Commentaries by Mike Reiss
Easter Egg-Audio Outtakes
Easter Egg-Design Sketches
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 529:44
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Multi Disc Set (4)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rich Moore
Jim Reardon
Wes Archer
Mark Kirkland
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Dan Castellaneta
Julie Kavner
Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith
Hank Azaria
Harry Shearer
Case ?
RPI $89.95 Music Alf Clausen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Simpsons is a series that needs no real introduction. If you have owned a television set at any time over the last decade you will have seen this show. The Simpsons have been broadcast for over a decade, but still continues to be one of the most popular and well-written shows on television.

    This DVD collection contains the twenty-four episodes from the third series of The Simpsons and is complemented by a wealth of extras. Unlike the previous two seasons, this collection includes the ability to play all episodes on each disc instead of having to select each episode individually. The ability to select individual episodes is also provided.

    The following episodes are included in this collection. If you require any additional information on these episodes, please consult one of the numerous extensive Simpsons episode guides found online.

Stark Raving Dad
    After a washing accident with Bart's red cap, Homer is forced to wear a pink shirt to work and is declared insane. While in the mental institute Homer makes a new friend who believes he is a famous singer.

Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington
    After Lisa wins a competition, the Simpsons travel to Washington for the finals. While in Washington, Lisa uncovers serious corruption and she loses her faith in the democratic system. This was the first episode to be originally broadcast in Dolby Surround.

When Flanders Failed
    Ned starts a new business catering specifically for left handed customers. When he has trouble finding a target audience, Homer is pleased.

Bart The Murderer
    After taking a part time job working for mob boss Fat Tony, Bart is accused of the murder of Principal Skinner when he mysteriously disappears.

Homer Defined
    When Homer avoids a nuclear meltdown he is praised by his family and co-workers, but after they discover that this was only achieved by pure chance they quickly turn on him.

Like Father Like Clown
    When Krusty finally comes to the Simpsons for dinner, they discover that he has not spoken to his father for many years. Bart and Lisa are determined to reunite Krusty with his Rabbi father.

Treehouse Of Horror II
    In the first part of this episode, Homer purchases a monkey's hand that grants its owner four wishes. In part two, everyone in town must remain happy or a monster will attack them. In the final part, Homer is selected by Mr. Burns for a Frankenstein-like experiment.

Lisa's Pony
    When Homer fails to get a saxophone reed for Lisa's school recital, he buys her a pony to try and make up for it.

Saturdays Of Thunder
    Discovering that he knows little about Bart, Homer decides to help him make a soapbox derby racer. Their initial racer design is disappointing and Bart must decide if he will continue to work with Homer or use a racer owned by Martin.

Flaming Moe's
    Trapped with Patty and Selma in a house without alcohol, Homer invents a drink that becomes incredibly popular but it is Moe that receives all the credit.

Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk
    Mr. Burns decides to sell the power plant to a German company and all the workers benefit from the sudden rise in the share price except Homer.

I Married Marge
    After a shock discovery that Marge may be pregnant, Homer tells the story of the events surrounding Bart's birth.

Radio Bart
    Bart is given a radio microphone by Homer for his birthday and is unimpressed until he finds out he can use it for practical jokes. When Bart pretends to be a young boy who has fallen down a well, the joke quickly gets out of hand.

Lisa The Greek
    Lisa attempts to build her relationship with Homer by watching football with him, but she eventually learns that he may be more interested in her predictions of the games' outcomes than actually spending time with her.

Homer Alone
    After suffering a nervous breakdown, Marge takes a holiday to Rancho Relaxo while Homer stays home and looks after Maggie.

Bart The Lover
    When Bart discovers that Mrs. Krabapple has published a personal advertisement in a singles magazine he decides to reply and lead her along.

Homer At The Bat
    The power plant employees form a softball team, but when Mr. Burns makes a bet on the team he decides to employ some ring-in players.

Separate Vocations
    Lisa and Bart have their future careers assessed by the school. While Bart is predicted to become an authority figure, Lisa rebels against the prediction that she will become a homemaker.

Dog Of Death
    Santa's Little Helper requires an operation to save him and the whole family must sacrifice something in order for them to be able to afford the expensive procedure. After the operation, the family's affection quickly wears off and the dog is taken into the care of Mr. Burns.

Colonel Homer
    After having a fight with Marge, Homer travels to a country bar where he discovers a talented singing waitress named Lurleen Lumpkin. Homer becomes her manager but Marge is worried about their relationship.

Black Widower
    After being released from prison, Sideshow Bob marries Selma but Bart remains suspicious of his true motives.

The Otto Show
    Otto moves in with the Simpsons after he loses his job driving the school bus. Bart takes up the guitar after he attends a Spinal Tap concert.

Bart's Friend Falls In Love
    When he discovers he has not been invited to Milhouse's birthday, Bart becomes jealous, and when he learns that Milhouse has a girlfriend he plots his revenge.

Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes
    Homer's long lost brother Herb returns and he tries to rebuild his fortune with his new invention, a baby translator.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality displayed in this collection shows a marked improvement over previous seasons. During the first few episodes in this season, there are a significant number of artefacts when compared to the later episodes but during the commentaries it is revealed that these episodes were actually held over from the previous year's work. During a number of scenes throughout the episodes, the black outlines around characters are significantly thicker than seen in more modern episodes but this is never annoying.

    The transfer is presented at its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The image remains constantly sharp throughout but during the episodes Stark Raving Dad and When Flanders Failed the transfer is notably softer, but this is only minimally distracting. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. During the occasional dark segments of the season, excellent shadow detail is displayed.

    The colour palette displayed during the season is clearly stronger and more vibrant when compared to previous seasons and is similar in design to modern seasons. There is a greater emphasis upon large areas of solid colour and less use of shading in this season, but shading is still used in conjunction with animated shadows to set specific moods when required.

    A number of minor MPEG compression artefacts may be seen in the majority of large expanses of solid colour and numerous small Gibbs artefacts may be seen along the outlines of the animation. All of these artefacts are quite minor and they are only very minimally distracting.

    A number of aliasing artefacts may be seen during the episodes. These artefacts are most common during the episodes at the start of the season and appear to be mainly due to the original source animation. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:41, 1:52, 2:03 and 2:30 during Stark Raving Dad, at 4:57 and 7:41 during Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington and at 2:21, 3:41 and 4:24 during When Flanders Failed. Due to their severity, these artefacts are moderately annoying.

    A small number of film artefacts may be seen throughout the season but these never draw attention to themselves. During the episode Stark Raving Dad a higher number of these artefacts may be seen, with examples visible at 3:19, 4:38, 5:24 and 13:07, but these are only minimally disturbing.

    A significant number of minor dot-crawl artefacts may be seen during the episodes. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:40, 4:07, and 9:33 during Stark Raving Dad, at 8:41 during Mr. Lisa Goes To Washington, at 6:51 during When Flanders Failed, and at 4:52 during the episode Radio Bart. All of these artefacts are quite minor but due to their frequency they are slightly disruptive.

    During the episode Dog Of Death, a small amount of cel-flare may be seen at 10:57 and 12:38, but this is not irritating due to its short duration.

    White Danish, English SDH, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, and English Commentary subtitle streams are provided for each episode. I briefly sampled each of the English streams throughout the season and found them to be consistently accurate.

    The layer changes occur after the third episode on each disc and are consequently never disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    An English Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 audio track is provided for each of the episodes.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    As with all animation there are the expected problems with audio sync. No dropouts were detected during the transfer.

    The musical score by Alf Clausen is used extensively throughout the series. This music always works well with the action on screen and does help to set the mood for the individual episodes.

    Despite having a new 5.1 mix for each episode, the surround and LFE channels are used minimally throughout. The surrounds are used to reinforce the score and some crowd scenes such as at the school or the power plant. This reflects the initial mix of this series and is quite suitable for the on screen action. The LFE channel is used minimally and never draws attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The animated menus are presented at an aspect ratio of either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon player setup. While the main menus contain a large amount of animation, the episode specific menus are very sparse with just a simple black background. The same menu design is featured on the Region 1 release.

Commentaries

    Every single episode is presented with a scene specific Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround commentary by the show's directors, writers and cast members. These commentaries are all quite interesting and they cover topics such as censorship, inspirations for characters and plots, guest stars and the animation techniques used.

Commercials

    A collection of five television commercials for Butterfinger chocolate bars are included. These commercials are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 192kbps 2.0 soundtrack.

Storyboards

    This is a collection of the complete storyboards for the following episodes. The viewer has a choice of viewing the storyboards with the final Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 soundtrack or stepping through each page manually.

Scene Specific Sketches

    During each of the following episodes, a series of original design sketches are presented at related scenes.

Macy's Thanksgiving Parade 1991 (1:28)

    This is a short segment showing the Bart Simpson balloon during the 1991 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. This segment is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 192kbps 2.0 soundtrack and an English subtitle stream.

Multi-language tracks: Treehouse of Horror II

    A Polish Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 track and Spanish, French and Czech Dolby Digital 192kbps 2.0 surround tracks are provided for this episode.

Video Juke Box

    This collection of thirteen musical clips from the show may be played individually or consecutively.

Pop Up Trivia: Colonel Homer

    A series of trivia items appears throughout this episode via a specific subtitle track. This playback option also has a specific Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround soundtrack with quite annoying bleep noises that accompany each trivia segment. Unfortunately, during playback of this extra, switching of audio and subtitle streams is disabled.

Promo: Colonel Homer (0:30)

    This is a thirty-second television commercial for the episode, presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 soundtrack and English subtitles.

Easter Eggs: Commentary by Mike Reiss

    These are additional Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 commentaries by writer / showrunner Mike Reiss on the episodes Stark Raving Dad, Lisa's Pony, Bart The Lover and Separate Vocations. During these commentaries, Mike discusses his work on the episodes and the stresses of working on the series.

Easter Egg: Audio Outtakes

    This is a collection of the following twelve audio outtakes by cast members and guest stars. To access these audio clips, enter 84763 on the main menu of disc three, pausing between each digit while the music loops.

Easter Egg: Sketches

    Pressing 742 while in the special features menu of the fourth disc will display a randomly selected design sketch from a group of thirteen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Both versions of this season appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Season three of The Simpsons is a collection of excellent episodes that are all well written and consistently funny.

    The video transfer presented during this season is notably improved over the previous two seasons and it displays significantly fewer artefacts.

    The 5.1 audio mix is never aggressive but is suitable for the mainly front focused material presented.

    All fans of the show should appreciate the interesting collection of extras that are included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Monday, November 03, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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Comments (Add)
Easter eggs - Miklos (my stinkin' bio)
Collectable cardboard foldout edition no longer available. - Greg
Collectable cardboard foldout edition no longer available - Le Messor (bio logy class)