The Simpsons-Season 2 (Box Set) (1990)
Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Easter Egg-x 3
Featurette-American Music Awards (January 28, 1991) +/- commentary
Music Video-Deep Deep Trouble +/- commentary
Music Video-Do The Bartman (Director's Cut) +/- commentary
Featurette-Butterfinger TV Commercials (3)
Featurette-David Silverman on the "Creation of an Episode"
Featurette-Emmy Awards Presentation (September 16, 1990)
Interviews-Crew-Interview with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks
Storyboards-Bart Gets An F; Bart vs. Thanksgiving
Gallery-Early Sketches and Drawings
Featurette-Foreign Language Clips (Fr; Ger; Hung; Port; Sp)
|Year Of Production||1990|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (4)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Twentieth Century Fox
|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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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 continue to be one of the most popular and well-written shows on television.
This DVD collection contains all twenty-two episodes from the second series of The Simpsons and is complemented by a wealth of extras. When compared to the first series, the second series animation was significantly improved as the regular characters had established designs. These factors combined with the faster-paced scripts for the series makes many of these episodes comparable with the episodes seen in later series.
One annoying feature of this disc is that extensive copyright messages are displayed after every single episode. Luckily, like the first series, these may be skipped by returning to the menu.
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.
Bart Gets An F
After failing another class test Bart is threatened with repeating the grade if he does not pass the next exam. He does try to study but finds himself constantly distracted.
Simpson and Delilah
Homer defrauds his company's health insurance and claims a new hair re-growth product. With his new head of hair Homer quickly rises through the company ranks.
Treehouse of Horror
This is the first Simpsons Halloween special with the following three short stories; Bad Dream House: the Simpsons purchase a haunted house, Hungry are the Damned: the family is abducted by aliens to be taken to a special feast and The Raven: an adaptation of the Edgar Allan Poe classic.
Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish
Mr. Burns runs for Governor and he decides to visit the Simpson household to hold a staged political event.
Homer becomes the mascot for the local minor league baseball team and the team starts a winning streak. As Homer's popularity rises he is called up to the major league and moves to Capital City.
Dead Putting Society
Bart and Todd Flanders compete in a miniature golf match and both their fathers place pressure upon them as they have made a bet about the tournament winner.
Bart vs. Thanksgiving
During a Thanksgiving celebration Bart burns a table centrepiece that had been created by Lisa. After being accused of ruining Thanksgiving Bart decides to leave home.
Bart the Daredevil
After witnessing a daredevil at a local monster truck show Bart decides he will start a career in death defiance. As his stunts increase in daring Bart sets his sights upon Springfield gorge.
Itchy & Scratchy & Marge
Maggie hits Homer on the head and Marge directly blames the influence of the cartoon series Itchy & Scratchy. Marge forms a group and lobbies the series creator to remove the violence from the cartoon.
Bart Gets Hit By A Car
Bart is hit by Mr. Burns' car while skateboarding and he suffers some minor injuries. Homer employs a dodgy lawyer and attempts to sue Burns for one million dollars damages.
One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish
After eating puffer fish at a local Japanese restaurant Homer is told he only has twenty four hours to live and he plans out his final day.
The Way We Was
When the television set breaks Homer and Marge tell the story of how they first met and fell in love.
Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment
Homer manages to get an illegal cable TV connection but Lisa has a moral problem with the family stealing the service. When a fight is televised Homer invites his friends to see it at his house and Lisa makes a formal protest.
Homer sets Principal Skinner and his sister in law Selma up on a date but Skinner falls for her sister Patty instead.
Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
Fearing he will soon die, Grandpa Simpson reveals that Homer has a half brother he has never met. Homer manages to find his brother and designs a new car for his successful company.
Bart's Dog Gets An F
After destroying many objects around the house Marge and Homer both agree that the dog must go if he cannot be trained. Bart takes him to a dog school and tries to teach him some obedience.
Grandpa Simpson makes a new friend at the retirement home but misses her birthday when he is trapped with the family at a lion park. After receiving a sum of money, Grandpa must decide who really deserves his assistance.
Brush With Greatness
Marge takes up painting again and wins a local art competition. Seeing her talent, Mr. Burns commissions her to paint his portrait.
When Mrs. Hoover falls ill a substitute teacher, Mr. Bergstrom, takes her class and Lisa develops a crush on him. At the same time, Bart is running for class president against Martin.
The War Of The Simpsons
After getting drunk at a party, Homer reluctantly agrees to attend a marriage counselling retreat. While on this retreat, Homer sneaks away to try and catch the legendary catfish General Sherman.
Three Men and a Comic Book
After attending a comic book convention Bart decides he must have a copy of Radioactive Man number one. Unfortunately, the comic costs one hundred dollars so Bart agrees to perform odd jobs to earn some money. When it becomes clear that he will not have enough money, he convinces Martin and Millhouse to split the cost between them.
Mr. Burns falls ill and urgently requires a blood transfusion of rare type. Bart is the only person in town who provides a match and after donating the blood Homer expects a suitable reward.
The transfer for this series exhibits a number of video artefacts that are significantly distracting to the viewer. We asked Fox about these, and they offered the following as explanation; "The video issue you identified on THE SIMPSONS is reflective of the approved master, and deemed best possible."
The full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is, of course, not 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness of the transfer does vary throughout the series with some sections of the episodes appearing to be very sharp while other scenes in the same episode appear quite soft. These variations in sharpness are a result of the source material and not a problem with the transfer. There are very few dark scenes in the episodes and consequently there are no apparent problems with shadow detail. No problems with low level noise were detected during the transfer.
The unusual colour palette used in The Simpsons will be familiar to all viewers and this has been accurately reproduced by this transfer. The colours displayed during the episodes are well saturated and the textured background patterns that were used during the first series have now been replaced with solid colours.
Numerous artefacts may be seen along the edges of almost all artwork in this transfer. These artefacts appear during all episodes but occur most frequently during the episodes on the first two discs. These artefacts are similar to Gibbs artefacts and were also seen during the first series. Luckily, the severity of these artefacts is significantly reduced when compared to the first season but their presence is still slightly distracting to the viewer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:25, 0:32, 0:41, 1:16 and 2:48 during the first episode and they are also present during each of the other episodes.
Aliasing artefacts pose the most significant problem for this video transfer. Numerous aliasing artefacts may be seen during both static shots and scenes with significant movement and these are significantly distracting. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 9:03, 11:44 and 20:04 during Bart Gets An F, at 3:29, 3:47 and 13:10 during Simpson and Delilah, at 13:57 during Dancin' Homer, at 5:32, 6:00 and 13:37 during Bart vs. Thanksgiving, at 2:41, 2:56, 11:03 and 20:04 during Principal Charming, at 3:12, 8:07 and 10:38 during Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and at 8:33 and 17:41 during Bart's Dog Gets An F. These artefacts are most severe during the episode Bart vs. Thanksgiving and are very distracting to the viewer.
A number of minor film artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:17, 2:49, 5:42, 9:30 and 9:56 during Bart Gets An F, at 2:26, 6:03, 7:37 and 8:44 during Simpson and Delilah, at 9:12 during Treehouse of Horror, at 0:27 during Bart vs. Thanksgiving and at 3:51, 5:54, 8:40 and 8:57 during Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment. These artefacts are all quite minor and are only minimally distracting.
A number of minor NTSC to PAL conversion artefacts may be seen during each episode. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:46, 9:32, 9:43 and 14:30 during Treehouse of Horror, at 5:30 during Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish, at 2:36 during Homer vs Lisa and the 8th Commandment and at 7:13 during Principal Charming. Each of these artefacts are only slightly distracting to the viewer.
At numerous points throughout the transfer, a halo-like artefact may be seen around the foreground images. This artefact is a cel flare caused by the layering of the thick background and foreground cels. The number of visible cel flares is significantly reduced when compared to the first series and they are never distracting to the viewer.
A small number of cross colour artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:39 during Bart Gets An F, at 4:34 during Simpson and Delilah and at 1:56, 13:31, 14:18, 15:14, 18:55 and 20:30 during Bart's Dog Gets An F.
White subtitles are provided in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and English for the Hearing Impaired. I sampled the English subtitles on various episodes and found them to be consistently accurate.
The layer change is placed between episodes on all four discs and consequently is not visible to the viewer.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. 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 significantly more during this series than in the first and may be found in the majority of scenes. This music always works well with the action on screen and does help to set the mood for the episodes.
Despite having a new 5.1 mix for each episode, the surround and subwoofer 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 subwoofer channel is used minimally and never draws attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
All extras are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks.
The minimally animated menus are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
Each episode is accompanied by a scene specific feature length commentary by Matt Groening and various writers and directors involved with the show. These commentaries are quite interesting as they discuss inspirations for storylines, the show's timeslot move and the introduction of new characters. Numerous in-jokes and hidden meanings for items are also described. During some of the later commentaries there are some small gaps, but in general these are quite entertaining and informative.
These are two clips from the 1999 American Music Awards where Bart provides a short introduction and helps present the award for Favourite R&B Single. This clip is presented with an optional commentary by Matt Groening and possibly Al Jean (no introductions are provided).
This music video is presented with a choice between the original audio and a commentary by Matt Groening and animation director Gregg Vanzo.
This music video is presented with a choice between the original audio and a commentary by Matt Groening and video director Brad Bird.
This is a collection of three television commercials for Butterfinger chocolate bars staring characters from The Simpsons.
During this segment, David Silverman explains the steps in creating an episode of The Simpsons. Using a single scene from the third act of Treehouse of Horror he is able to demonstrate each of the separate steps involved and provide some insights into the time frame involved in creating each episode.
This clip from the 1990 Emmy Awards features the Simpsons presenting the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
This is a promotional segment created for the second series. During this interview segment, Matt Groening and James L. Brooks describe the origins of The Simpsons, each of the characters and their influences.
This extra is broken into the following sections; Bart Gets An F storyboards (21 pages), Bart vs. Thanksgiving storyboards (4 pages), Early Sketches and Drawings (39 Pages) and Magazine Covers (18 pages).
This is a clip from Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish presented in French, German, Hungarian, Portuguese and Spanish.
In the language selection menu for the episode Bart Gets An F, pressing the right arrow key when the More or the soundtrack item is selected will highlight a scrap held in Santa's Little Helper's mouth. Pressing Enter will display an artwork design for Bart. Pressing the right arrow at this point will then display a character design for Marge.
In the language selection menu for the episode Two Cars In Every Garage and Three Eyes On Every Fish, pressing the right arrow key when the More or the soundtrack item is selected will highlight a three eyed fish. Pressing Enter will display an animated thank-you message for David Silverman.
In the language selection menu for the episode Brush With Greatness, pressing the right arrow key when the More or the soundtrack item is selected will highlight the portrait of Mr. Burns. Pressing enter will display a character design for Mr. Burns.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
As the R1 release contains the original audio mix and would avoid the NTSC to PAL conversion artefacts, this may be the preferred version for some, but there would appear to be very little difference between the two releases due to the front-focused nature of the 5.1 sound mix.
The Simpsons Season Two is an entertaining collection containing a number of classic episodes that will appeal to all fans of the show.
The video transfer is slightly disappointing but is the best that can be expected with the available source materials.
The 5.1 audio remix is not particularly aggressive but is quite adequate for the material.
A large collection of extras is included and these will be of interest to all fans of the show.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Front left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)|
|Speakers||Front left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259|