The tournament will continue as soon as this pesky World Cup stops distracting me, but until then let’s take a look at some of the awesome doodles and sketches from David Silverman’s multi-decade tenure as animation director for “The Simpsons.” You can find all these and a lot more on his Twitter feed, @tubatron. Click on the images to see them full size.
David Silverman’s Twitter feed is the gift that keeps on giving. Here are some more of his early Simpsons sketches he shared.
From 1987, a sketch from the Tracey Ullman Show short “House of Cards,” as well as some rough models for Maggie and Grampa:
From the 1989 short “Maggie in Peril: Chapter One,” a background cell drawn by Eric Stefani, and an animation cycle:
Also from 1989, one of Silverman’s first sketches for the Simpsons title sequence:
Also from Eric Stefani, a draft of a cut scene from 1990’s “Bart vs. Thanksgiving”:
Homer acting poses for the second season episode “Blood Feud” from 1991:
Homer’s heart attack poses from 1992’s “Homer’s Triple Bypass“:
Sketches for Mr. Burns’ big number in “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds,” 1995:
Finally, some sketches and color drawings from 1997’s “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)”
Round 86: 4F21 vs. 9F09.
4F21: “The Secret War of Lisa Simpson” (Season 8 / May 18, 1997)
Written by Richard Appel
Directed by Mike Anderson
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein
I don’t think there’s a single Oakley & Weinstein episode I actively dislike, but there are a few, like this one, that just don’t quite resonate with me the way that, say, “A Fish Called Selma” does.
“The Secret War” is funny and well-crafted, the kids’ story is interesting and relevant. I have no complaints. It’s just… if the episode suddenly disappeared I don’t think I’d miss it.
9F09: “Homer’s Triple Bypass” (Season 4 / December 17, 1992)
Written by Gary Apple, Michael Carrington
Directed by David Silverman
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss
When trying to explain how, when, and why The Simpsons went bad, the focus is mostly on the writers and the showrunners. And most of the blame certainly does lie with them. But looking at the astonishingly beautifully animation of this and other episodes directed by David Silverman, it is clear that the show lost something crucial when he stopped directing. Silverman is still on staff as supervising director, but his last own episode (that’s not a clip show or a Halloween special) is season 7’s “Mother Simpson.”
There are other, unquestionably talented directors working for the show, but, to me, David Silverman stands out as the most ambitious and innovative of them all. His episodes look and feel as dramatic and cinematic as they are funny. (I also wrote about the stark contrast between the way the show used to look and how it looks now in Round 23.)
- -“Remember your hippopotamus oath.”
- Always love seeing Homer with his half-glasses on, in bed, going over bills.
- -“And that’s why God causes train wrecks.”
The winner: 9F09, “Homer’s Triple Bypass.