One man’s dream will be another’s nightmare in this year’s installment of “Treehouse of Horror.”
The 26th edition of The Simpsons‘ frightful franchise will see Sideshow Bob finally living out his fantasy of killing Bart Simpson. And that’s not the only monstrous moment of mayhem that shall be unleashed on Oct. 25. The trilogy of terror tales, which kicks off with a trippy couch gag by Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, will also feature a creature that’s best described as Homerzilla. (Point of note: This episode should not be — but probably will be — confused with “Halloween of Horror,” which is the title of a “regular” Simpsons Halloween-themed installment that airs Oct. 17 on Fox.)
Dying to know what to expect from “Treehouse of Horror XXVI”? Check out these exclusive first-look images of the opening credits sequence and all three segments — as well as a few teases from Simpsons executive producer Al Jean.
The one-minute-45-second sequence comes courtesy of Ren & Stimpy mastermind John Kricfalusi, who contributed a 35-second couch gag in a 2011 episode.
“It’s different from not only anything that we’ve done, but anything I’ve ever seen him do,” says Jean. “His work is a very twisted homage to Hanna-Barbera, and what’s funny is he has the kids wearing Huckleberry Hound masks. We had to get clearance from the Huckleberry Hound people. Then it turns into a John Kricfalusi cartoon and a song by him. It’s one of those things where any frame you look at, you just go, ‘Wow.’ It’s meticulously made. … If you want to know how hard he worked on it, this was originally going to air on last year’s Halloween show.”
Wanted: Dead, Then Alive
The moment that Sideshow Bob has fantasized about forever is finally happening: He is totally going to murder Bart Simpson. A lot.
“You never saw the Road Runner lose. This time you do,” quips Jean. “His whole life has just been about killing Bart, so what’s next? We deal with how Bob would really feel once he accomplished this goal he’s had his whole life.” Any hints on how exactly will Bart meet his maker? “There’s a betting pool on the manner of death,” says Jean. “What I’m going to say is: Everyone in the pool is going to win because he gets killed so many times.”
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Homer + Godzilla = Donut-craving sea monster.
“We parody the first Godzilla movie and Hollywood’s repeated attempts to make a mega-budget film based on a movie whose appeal is that it looks so cheap,” says Jean. “We shift from black-and-white to color, and parody the most recent Godzillas. … We basically make fun of the fact that they keep making Godzilla movies even though nobody wants to see them.” How does Homerzilla enter the picture? “Everybody mocks Grandpa for floating a donut into the ocean every morning outside Japan to appease a sleeping monster. When Grandpa dies, nobody floats the donut and the monster wakes up and it’s Homerzilla.” Keep an eye out for a twist in the middle of the story, as well as a hat tip or two to another legend of Japan. “We can’t do Japanese animation without referencing Miyazaki, so there are a couple little nods to him.”
Telepaths of Glory
The final segment of “Treehouse of Horror” sends up the 2012 sci-fi thriller Chronicle.
“It deals with the kids getting superpowers based on their intelligence,” says Jean. “Lisa can move mountains and Bart can barely put two rocks together.” In the photo above, you can see Lisa playing all the instruments with her supernatural abilities. “We did one before that was a Marvel parody, and this isn’t that,” notes Jean of the segment. “This is creepier — and the consequences are worse.”