The Simpsons have never been edgier than in this week’s episode “My Fare Lady.” The opening sequence has been reimagined in pixel form complete with Lo-fi video game music. Not everyone appreciates the simplified style.
“Pixel art is not real art,” Bart writes on the chalkboard.
The couch gag was an unsolicited submission from Australia by a koala bear jests an artist simulation. The truth behind its creation is almost as improbable. It was independently created by animator Paul Robertson (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game) and his roommate Ivan Dixon, Director at Rubberhouse animation studio. The video titled “Simpsons Pixels” was uploaded to YouTube and within hours they were contacted by the show’s creators but not with the typical copyright notice rather a request to use the animation on the show.
“The show had been doing so many guest couch gag segments and we thought: ‘No one’s ever done a pixel art and here we are two pixel artists, who love the show. Let’s just make it,'” Dixon told Symphonic Pixels.
Robertson summed it up: “It’s basically like a big fan art.”
The opening is a faithful recreation with a bit of gaming references like Lisa’s band class playing handheld video games instead of instruments. The creators say they wanted to keep it conservative to suck people in but they were determined to “go crazy” on the couch gag. The Simpsons family gets digitized into a video game world resembling an art piece by Robertson titled “We Made It.” The camera pans up a towering homage to classic episodes that includes the Mr. Sparkle mascot, the Stonecutters, and the infamous three-eyed fish.
The Simpsons “My Fare Lady” premieres Feb 15, Sunday 8PM.