The Simpsons-Film Festival

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Released 12-Mar-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Featurette-Special Featurette With Troy McClure
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 87:05
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steven Dean Moore
Rich Moore
Jim Reardon
Susie Dietter
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Dan Castellaneta
Julie Kavner
Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith
Hank Azaria
Harry Shearer
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Danny Elfman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish 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
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Finnish
German
Italian
Norwegian
Spanish
Swedish
French Information
German Information
Italian Information
Spanish Information
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 Film Festival is a collection of four film-related episodes from the classic animated television series The Simpsons.

    The following four episodes are included on this disc:

Beyond Blunderdome (AABF23)
    After test driving an electric car, Homer and Marge receive two tickets to a test screening of the latest Mel Gibson film, a remake of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Mel attends the screening and is surprised when Homer has numerous negative comments. In an effort to make the movie appeal to the common man, Mel invites the Simpsons to Hollywood to help rewrite the film. This episode was released in 1999 and is from the eleventh series.

Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie (9F03)
    During this episode from the fourth series, Marge and Homer decide that they must properly discipline Bart to ensure his future success. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, Homer finally forbids Bart from seeing the new Itchy and Scratchy movie. The film is a huge success but Homer refuses to back down.

22 Short Films About Springfield (3F18)
    This episode from the seventh series is a collection of loosely linked short stories from around Springfield. During this episode, we seen Skinner cooking lunch for Superintendent Chalmer, Apu letting his hair down, various methods of removing chewing gum from hair and a fantastic series of Pulp Fiction references. The title of this episode is taken from the Canadian film Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould.

A Star Is Burns (2F31)
    During this episode from series six, Marge convinces a town meeting to hold a film festival to raise the city's profile. Various citizens make their own films and submit them to the competition. When first released, this episode was widely criticized for its cross-promotion of another Fox show ('The Critic') and resulted in Matt Groening removing his name from the show's credits.

    One annoying feature of this disc is that the extensive copyright messages are displayed after every single episode. Luckily, these may be skipped by returning to the menu.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    These episodes come from different series and the video quality displayed may be directly linked to the age of the episode. Fortunately, each of these episodes display significantly less artefacts than seen during the DVD release of the first series.

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

    The sharpness displayed during the episodes does vary considerably. The first episode is quite sharp throughout but each of the other episodes are noticeably softer. This softness is initially distracting to the viewer when switching between episodes but is quickly accepted and it is not significantly distracting. All of the episodes are brightly animated and no problems with shadow detail are present at any stage. No low level noise was detected at any time.

    The unusual colour palette used in The Simpsons will be familiar to all viewers and this has been accurately reproduced during the transfer. In the later episodes, the colours displayed are more vibrant and saturated than the older episodes.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen during the transfer.

    A very small amount of aliasing was detected during the transfer. Some examples may be seen at 12:46 during the first episode and at 11:53 during the third episode, but these artefacts are all minor and are not distracting to the viewer.

    A number of minor film artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these may be seen at 0:42, 4:12 and 9:02 in the first episode and at 2:03, 4:00, 7:25 and 18:13 during the second episode. All of these artefacts are very minor.

    During the episodes, a number of unusual markings and blemishes may be seen. Some examples of these marks may be clearly seen during the first episode at 5:18, 6:18, 11:10, 12:10 and 16:59. These marks appear to be a result of the original source material and are not a fault of the transfer, but they are still slightly distracting.

    Fourteen sets of white subtitles are provided on the disc. I viewed the English set and found them to be consistently accurate throughout. The final four sets of subtitles are used to translate on-screen titles and are not used to describe dialogue.

    The layer change is placed between episodes and consequently is not detectable.

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

Audio

    Five Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround tracks are provided on this disc. I listened to the English track and briefly sampled each of the other mixes.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times.

    As this is an animated feature there are the expected obvious problems with audio sync for each soundtrack. At no stage during the transfer were any audio dropouts detected.

    The various musical pieces found during the series always work well with the on-screen action. The distinctive theme by Danny Elfman is present during each of the episodes but is shortened during the episode A Star Is Burns due to a minimal opening sequence.

    The original surround mix for each of the episodes is provided and this works well creating an effective soundstage.

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

Extras

Menu

    The non-animated menu is provided at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Special Featurette with Troy McClure (2:38)

    This is simply a collection of unrelated clips from various episodes featuring Troy McClure. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc does not appear to be currently available in Region 1.

Summary

    The Simpsons Film Festival is an entertaining collection of episodes and will appeal to fans but many people may wish to wait and purchase the boxed sets instead of having a range of separate episodes.

    The video displayed during the transfer is a pleasant surprise after the disappointment of the first series and this bodes well for future series.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtracks faithfully reproduce the original audio mix.

    The single extra included on this disc is very disappointing and of no real value to viewers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Sunday, March 24, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, 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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