The Simpsons-Treehouse of Horror

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Released 29-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Special Featurette with Kang and Kodos
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 87:22
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jim Reardon
Mike B. Anderson
Studio
Distributor

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


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)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
Dutch
Swedish
Hungarian
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
English
German
French Titling
German Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, During Credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror is a collection of four Halloween episodes from the classic animated television series The Simpsons.

    The following four episodes are included on this disc. Each episode is broken into three distinct separate stories:

Treehouse of Horror V (#2F03) 1994
    In The Shinning, the Simpsons become the winter caretakers at Mr. Burns lodge. With no beer or cable TV, Homer is pushed over the edge and he attempts to kill Marge and the children.
    After modifying a broken toaster Homer travels back in time in Time and Punishment. Unfortunately, he kills a mosquito and changes the future. In order to try and correct his mistake, Homer repeatedly travels back in time with varying results.
    As the number of children in detention increases and budget shortages cause cutbacks in the cafeteria, Principal Skinner develops a plan to solve both problems in Nightmare Cafeteria.

Treehouse of Horror VI (#3F04) 1995
    After Homer steals a massive doughnut, large advertising signs come to life and wreak havoc on the town in Attack of the 50 ft Eyesores.
    Children in Springfield are dying in their sleep and this seems to be connected to the death of groundskeeper Willie in Nightmare On Evergreen Terrace.
    While trying to hide from Patty and Selma, Homer is drawn through a portal into a strange new dimension and his family attempts to rescue him in Homer 3.

Treehouse of Horror VII (#4F02) 1996
    After investigating a strange noise in the attic, Bart learns that he has a brother that was separated from him at birth, literally, in The Thing and I.
    Lisa accidentally creates a small world in a container when she is working on her science fair project in The Genesis Tub.
    With an upcoming presidential election, aliens Kang and Kodos capture and impersonate the major parties' candidates Bill Clinton and Bob Dole in Citizen Kang.

Treehouse of Horror XII (#CABF19) 2001
    After destroying her workplace, Homer is cursed by a gypsy and he brings bad luck to everyone near him in Hex and the City.
    In House of Whacks the Simpsons update their house with a completely automated, voice-activated system that develops a crush on Marge with near-deadly results.
    The Dark Lord Montymort and assistant Slithers convince Bart to betray his powerful wizard sister in the Harry Potter spoof Wiz Kids.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    As expected, the video quality varies significantly between the episodes with the first three displaying numerous artefacts whilst the final episode has a near perfect transfer.

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

    The sharpness level presented during the transfer varies between episodes. The first three episodes are clearly softer when compared to the final episode, but this never creates a problem. During dark scenes, the transfer easily reveals all the detail that was present in the original animation. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer.

    The colours displayed during the transfer are consistently vibrant and well saturated, and the distinctive palette choices familiar to all viewers of the show are accurately reproduced.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer.

    A small number of aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 3:52, 11:16 and 16:21 during the first episode, and at 3:15, 4:19, 4:31 and 7:49, 9:03 and 9:20 during the second and third episodes respectively. Each of these artefacts are quite minor and are only minimally distracting.

    A number of small film artefacts may be seen during each episode. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 2:42, 4:02 and 4:35 during the first episode, and at 1:45, 4:17, 7:00 and 0:28, 2:08 and 4:52 during the second and third episodes. All of these artefacts are very small and are never annoying.

    Numerous instances of dot-crawl may be seen throughout the first three episodes. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:10, 1:33 and 1:39 during the first episode, and at 0:14, 0:31, 1:47 and 0:18, 0:28 and 3:35 during the second and third episodes. Due to the frequency of these artefacts they are moderately distracting.

    Eleven sets of white subtitles are included on the disc; I extensively sampled the English for the Hearing Impaired stream and found it to be consistently accurate.

    The episodes are divided between layers on a dual layered and consequently the layer change is not detectable.

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

Audio

    Three Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround tracks are provided on this disc; English, French and German. 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 musical score by Alf Clausen is used continually throughout these episodes and always works well with the action on-screen, helping to set the mood for each episode.

    The surround channel is used minimally during these episodes to provide support for the score and an occasional effect.

    The LFE channel is not utilized during the transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

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

Special Featurette with Kang and Kodos

    This is simply a collection of unrelated clips from various episodes featuring aliens Kang and Kodos. This is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and French, Dutch, English and German subtitles.

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: Treehouse of Horror is an entertaining collection and will appeal to the show's fans but many people may wish to wait and purchase the series boxed sets.

    The video displayed during the transfer is acceptable but the obvious presence of dot crawl during the first three episodes is disappointing.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtracks adequately reproduce the original source material.

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

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Thursday, October 17, 2002
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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