The Simpsons - Season 6

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Sarah Artt

Read Sarah Artt's film review of The Simpsons - Season 6

The Simpsons: Season 6 has many classic episodes, including my personal favourite, Lisa On Ice. The touching montage of childhood memories reminded me so deeply of my relationship with my own brother that I was instantly transported back to a time when he was still reliant on me to buy him beer. Needless to say, he is an upstanding member of the community, married to a lovely woman and is not now, nor has he ever been, described as "the devil's cabana boy." But enough about me and onto the DVD review!

First off, the menus are exquisite works of comic genius. While most menus are cranked out by frustrated graphic artists the world over and contain little more than an annoyingly shoddy music loop and a some badly photoshopped silhouettes, The Simpsons' menus have animated, costumed figures and a detailed breakdown of everything on the disc, with few obscure sub-menus. This makes navigation and episode selection far simpler. While other TV series DVDs attempt to experiment with obscure forms of navigation (Spooks Series 1 and 2), or change format from disc to disc (The Complete Sex And The City), The Simpsons has obviously benefited from Matt Groening's close supervision.

Rather impressively, there are commentaries for almost everything in sight: every single episode, Animatic sequences and a deleted scenes reel. There are two featurettes: a Confession From Matt Groening and The Simpsons Plane. There are also three TV commercials, an introduction from James L. Brooks, a sketch gallery for Who Shot Mr. Burns?, and the TV special Springfield's Most Wanted. Apparently, there are also several easter eggs, which I was unable to locate at the time of this review, but since Matt G says there are easter eggs, then there must be, right?

The Animatic sequences for selected episodes are a little problematic. They consist of the initial line animations, with audio commentary from Groening and other artists, as well as on-screen doodles. I found it a bit hard to follow and on screen doodling is only there for other artists and animators. That said, some of the commentary is quite funny, as occurs on Disc 1's Animatic footage for Treehouse Of Horror V when Groening discusses the origins of Lisa's look. He explains that "most boys don't draw girls" and implies the navigation of women's hairstyle trends may, in fact, be a skill akin to diffusing land mines in Bosnia - hence, Lisa's proto white chick afro. He follows on from this by doodling a Jessica Rabbit form and claims, "See, that's too arousing", another reason why Groening draws women in the manner that he does, rather than say, that of Robert Crumb, or Tex Avery.

The audio commentaries for the episodes are also hysterical, with Groening's self-effacing wit acting as a refreshing compliment to his much watched and much loved characters. All in all, this is a DVD set, packed with features and extras, that has been lovingly and carefully designed to gratify even the most jaded Simpsons aficionado.

Reviewed on: 26 Oct 2005
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The Simpsons - Season 6 packshot
Homer and his family's odyssey continues.
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Product Code: 290520100

Region: 2

Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1

Extras: Audio commentary for all episodes; Animatic for selected episodes; Animatic with audio and illustrated commentary; Confession From Matt Groening featurette; Simpson Plane featurette; deleted scenes reel with optional commentary; 58 deleted scenes; 3 TV commercials; an introduction from James L. Brooks; sketch gallery for Who Shot Mr. Burns?; TV special Springfield's Most Wanted

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