The Walt Disney Company (Disney for short) is an American multimedia conglomerate mostly known for their film studio and iconic cartoons such as Mickey Mouse. Even though it was a competitor to 21st Century Fox until its recent acquisition, it is often parodied, homaged and referenced on The Simpsons.
Acquisition of 21st Century Fox
On December 14, 2017, The Walt Disney Company announced that it would acquire copyrights and distribution rights to the majority of 21st Century Fox's assets. This would include 20th Century Fox, National Geographic, FX Networks, X-Men, Family Guy, and of course, The Simpsons. 20th Century Fox Television would still produce the shows as a unit of Disney Television Studios. The deal did not include the FOX network, the Fox News Channel and its Sports channels. The deal was completed on March 20, 2019.
On April 11, 2019, it was confirmed that The Simpsons would be added to the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, which launched in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands on November 12, 2019, with all the episodes, (with the exception of "Stark Raving Dad" due to it being pulled from rotation after headlines were made about the Michael Jackson scandal), which effectively replaced FX's "Simpsons World" streaming service. A Simpsons short promoting Disney+ was released by the company on April 11, 2019, with the Simpson family further lampooning Disney's corporate synergy and media consolidation, indicating that, much like the show's previous corporate parent Fox before it, Disney will continue to be a target of the show's satirical humor. Another short was released by the company in November 2019, with the Simpson family dressed as characters representing the library presented on Disney+ (a reluctant Bart Simpson as Mickey Mouse (representing Disney), Marge Simpson as Bo Peep (representing Pixar), Homer Simpson as Tony Stark/Iron Man (representing Marvel), Maggie Simpson as The Child (representing Star Wars) and Lisa Simpson as an iceberg (representing National Geographic). All 30 seasons of the series debuted on Disney+ on November 12, 2019, but is instead presented in a non-HD format. Instead of presenting them in their original aspect ratio, they were either cropped to fit widescreen televisions or were stretched out in the same manner. FXX's now-defunct "Simpsons World" streaming service was similarly criticized when it launched. In response, Disney stated they would make the ability to watch the episodes of the first 19 seasons and some from season 20 in either the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio in early 2020.
On May 28, 2020, Disney+ officially made episodes of The Simpsons from episodes of season 1 to some episodes of season 20 available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio.
References in The Simpsons
The character Shary Bobbins is an obvious spoof of Mary Poppins, and the episode features songs parodying ones from Mary Poppins.The episode title is also a reference to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, a song from the film.
The episode title and plot is a parody of Disney's One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The scene where Santa's Little Helper and his girlfriend are eating pasta is a spoof of Lady and the Tramp, and Mr. Burns's song See My Vest is a parody of the song Be Our Guest from Beauty and the Beast.
One of the homeless men recalls owning Mickey Mouse Massage Parlors, which Disney shut down due to copyright infringement.
- The Little Land of Duff, a ride at Duff Gardens, features animatron puppets which represent all parts of the world and sing the "Duff Beer for me, Duff Beer for you" song. The ride is a reference to the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland.
- Duff Gardens has a group of costumed mascots (called The Seven Duffs) who are an obvious spoof of the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White. The Duffs' names are Sleazy, Queasy, Edgy, Surly, Tipsy, Remorseful, and Dizzy.
Two Disney references are shown in this episode:
- When the Devil Flanders gets angry at Homer at the nuclear power plant, the form he assumes is exactly like the demon Chernabog in "A Night on Bald Mountain" segment from Fantasia.
- Lionel Hutz combs his hair the way Ariel combs her hair from The Little Mermaid.
- The entire Itchy & Scratchy Land theme park is a parody of Disneyland.
- The short film "Nazi Supermen are Our Superiors" reference the rumors that Walt Disney was anti-Semitic.
- "Scratchtasia" is a parody of the Disney film Fantasia, particularly "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" segment within the film.
Dr. Hibbert claims that Walt Disney had the "evil gene."
At the beginning of the episode, there's a school field trip to the "Diz-Nee Historical Park," an obvious reference to Disney.
In the former episode, Homer and Mindy eat the opposite ends of a hot dog, a reference to the scene in Lady and the Tramp where the titular characters eat the opposite ends of a piece of spaghetti.
The same scene is referenced again, this time with Mr. Burns and Gloria eating spaghetti.
Bart, Nelson, Milhouse, and Martin consider going to Disney World before deciding on Knoxville.
Lisa reads that a redwood tree can provide enough sawdust to cover up an entire day's worth of vomit at Disneyland.
To get Bart to go to military school, Homer and Marge lie that they are going to Disneyland. Later on, Homer and Marge use the same trick when bringing Bart and Lisa to the dentist.
Ralph remembers getting a spider bite at Disneyland, which apparently led to a lawsuit.
Marge and Maggie listen to Radio Disney, which plays a cover of "Who Let the Dogs Out" remade into "Who Left the Milk Out."
Bart recalls having a bad experience at Disneyland, and attempts to suppress the memory.
The Shady and the Vamp segment is a parody of Disney's Lady and the Tramp, starring Homer and Marge.
When trying to come up with a logo for his new religion, Mr. Burns briefly considers the Disney logo, which consist of the Mickey Mouse ears.
The sign outside of 20th Century Fox Studios is labelled "20th Century Fox: A Division of Walt Disney Co." Notably, this gag was made decades before 21st Century Fox sold its film and television studios to Disney. The title is even a parody of "When You Wish Upon a Star".
Lisa cites The Little Mermaid as her favorite movie before Homer taped it over.
Disney merchandise is among the objects Homer uses to make unusual art.
When Barney Gumble drinks hallucinogenic vegetable juice, he sees a three-eyed monster, which frightens him. He then quickly drinks some Duff Beer, and a pink elephant comes to his aid and stomps on the monster. Barney's elephant resembles the pink elephant that Dumbo the Flying Elephant (the title character from Dumbo) sees when he mistakenly becomes drunk.
Wally Kogen claims to have heard nothing but bad things about Disneyland.
Mickey Mouse's sorcerer's hat from Fantasia can be seen in the background at the animation convention. Later, the Disney Store is among the places where the now-intelligent Homer feels he would not fit in.
A scene features that spoofs the "Circle of Life" sequence from The Lion King. It similarly revolves around African animals assembling. When the jeep is travelling through the savannah, Pride Rock can be seen in the background.
The Simpsons agree that a tour of prison is preferable to Disney's California Adventure. The episode's title is a pun on The Great Mouse Detective.
Mr. Burns says that Storm Thurmond will live another century thanks to the magic of Disney animatronics.
The gay pride parade includes a "Lesbians of the Caribbean" float which parodies the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Disney theme parks.
In Homer's nightmare, Winnie the Pooh and Baloo are seen with the other bears march angrily towards Homer. When Homer is imagining all the bears attacking him the "Pink Elephants on Parade" parodies it.
The Blue-Haired Lawyer warns Homer not to use certain notes in the song he plans on writing because they are owned by Disney.
Bart creates a line of novelty T-shirts and sells them at Goose's Gags and Gifts. Goose Gladwell later sells the T-shirt line to Disney (and tries to keep Bart from receiving any of the profits from the sale).
In Homer's dream he is flying on a magic carpet. He finds the Magic Lamp, rubs it and the Genie pops out of it. He quotes, "You rubbed? You must like me! Really, really, like me!" This is a reference to Disney's 1992 film, Aladdin. The episode's title also parodies Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Dan Castellaneta, in addition, also voiced the Genie in The Return of Jafar, the animated series and the Kingdom Hearts series.
Lisa tells Homer that without bees there will be no honey. Homer then imagines what the future would be like without honey. In Homer's imagined version of the future, it is a wastleland. Then, WALL-E shows up with the last bottle of honey, which Homer then drinks, and WALL-E shoves Homer into him and makes him into a cube. This is a reference to Disney•Pixar's 2008 film, WALL-E.
Lisa tells Homer to come into the kitchen where many rats are scurrying. One rat climbs onto Homer's head and begins pulling his hair, which controls Homer's movements. Homer says, "Ah, it's just like that movie I taped in the theaters." The rat begins pulling on his hair and helps Homer make a soup. Homer then tastes the soup and says, "Needs more rat poison." Then all the rats scurry away. The whole sequence is a reference to Disney•Pixar's 2007 film Ratatouille.
Gina tells Bart that she got arrested for pushing Snow White off the Parapet at Disneyland, Showing him a newspaper with the news tittle "It's a fall world".
When the witch casts a spell to Homer makes him grow donkey ears, he has the same reaction as Pinocchio when he discovers that he too becomes a donkey.
Many kisses from films including the scene where WALL-E is kissing EVE. This is a reference of Disney•PIXAR's 2008 film WALL-E.
On the train, Bart is looking through people's luggage. He puts a black bra on his head (a sight gag on Mickey Mouse, as Bart looks like he's wearing "mouse ears") and says, "I am a mascot from an evil corporation!" Also, Homer and Marge's love scene parodies many Disney films, with Disney-style animals helping them undress.
Mr. Carrot Head is a parody of Mr. Potato Head and Randy Newman is seen singing the song, "You've Got an Enemy" which is a parody of the song, "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story. Also, Luxo, Jr. from the Pixar logo is seen in the background.
This couch gag was created by Disney Animator Eric Goldberg, who is known for creating the Genie, Phil, and Louis, before Disney acquired 21st Century Fox twenty years ago, as seen in the 1998 episode "When You Dish Upon a Star".
Maggie Simpson as 1920s Minnie Mouse (Mickey Mouse)
Lisa Simpson as Cinderella (Disney's Cinderella)
Marge Simpson as Snow White (Disney's Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs)
Homer Simpson as Baloo (The Jungle Book)
Bart Simpson as Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey Mouse (Fantasia)
The opening to the episode featured a Billboard gag showing a solemn-looking Krusty the Clown advertising his show, but with the caption "The only thing not on Disney+". This billboard gag was made days before the launch of the streaming service.
The short, released after the acquisition of 21st Century Fox by The Walt Disney Company, features references reflecting it, including statues of Star Wars antagonist Darth Vader and former CEO of The Walt Disney Company, Bob Iger, a portrait of Rupert Murdoch in a garbage can, the FOX logo on the balloons covered with tape holding the banner "WELCOME SYNERGY", the Simpson family wearing Mickey Mouse ears, with one of them hitting Dumbo, who lands on Homer, and Maggie, in the role of Tinker Bell, to end the short.
The opening shot features an appearance of Mickey Mouse's head, which then transitions to Homer with two donuts, which he then eats. The opening credit's card also reads "Disney welcomes The Simpsons". The Gracie Films logo at the end of the short replaces one of the patrons in the audience with Mickey Mouse. All of these references reflect Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox on March 19, 2019.
- ↑ The Simpsons will stream exclusively on Disney+
- ↑ ‘The Simpsons’ to Stream Exclusively on Disney+
- ↑ FX’s Simpsons World Online Site To Close Down Once ‘The Simpsons’ Launches On Disney+