The coronavirus pandemic has delayed virtually all live-action movie and TV productions, with social-distancing protocols also likely having an impact on upcoming Halloween festivities, but one tradition that won't be impeded by the pandemic is The Simpsons' annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode, which will feature various vignettes honoring iconic genre stories. While the full details on the upcoming episode have yet to be revealed, last week's Comic-Con@Home event saw the debut of our first looks at the Halloween episode. The above clip features a tease of a parody of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse where Homer meets a number of versions of himself in addition to a tease about the aftermath of Homer consuming too much Halloween candy.
The first "Treehouse of Horror" episode took place in the second season of the series, becoming so popular that it has been embraced as an annual tradition. While the earlier entries into the annual event parodied various famous horror stories, subsequent years saw the event open up its targets to other famous narratives, such as the Harry Potter films and Mad Max: Fury Road. Back in 2015, the series also delivered audiences the episode "Halloween of Horrors," marking the first Halloween-themed episode deviating from the anthology format and seeing the titular family embark on a number of Halloween festivities.
The animated characters made their TV debut in segments of The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987 before earning a Christmas special in 1989, which was then continued as a recurring series. The upcoming season is its 32nd, marking for a staggering accomplishment for the animated family. Additionally, the series has inspired a feature-length movie and a number of shorts focusing on various characters.
One of the bigger shakeups for the series is that when The Walt Disney Company purchased 20th Century Fox, which included The Simpsons franchise, the entire series was added to the streaming service Disney+. While this excited a number of fans, it came with a major caveat.
Throughout its earlier seasons, The Simpsons was crafted in a 4:3 aspect ratio, with the series embracing the 16:9 format in 2009 to be optimized for newer TVs. Disney+ originally made the earlier episodes available in a cropped 16:9 format, which resulted in a number of visual gags being absent from the service. Disney has since offered the option to view those original episodes in either their intended 4:3 or the updated 16:9 versions.
Stay tuned for details on The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror XXXI."
Are you looking forward to the episode? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!