Put Bleeding Gums Murphy Back In the Opening!

The Simpsons and King of the Hill have both made the switch to HD, and both of them needed to create new main titles for the new format. The new KotH title is not online at the moment (or if it is I couldn’t find it), but it was basically exactly the same as the original, even including the bit where Luanne hops on the back of Buckley’s motorcycle. (Buckley has been dead since the beginning of the third season, but he’s still in the opening credits every week. Personally I’d still rather see him than Lucky.) I guess since this is the last season, it wouldn’t have made much sense to pay for a whole new sequence. But The Simpsons, which is in this for the long haul, created a new sequence with new gags and characters — including, finally, taking Bleeding Gums Murphy out of the opening sequence, though they do include his portrait in Lisa’s classroom as a memorial tribute. (Bleeding Gums has been dead since the sixth season.) Here it is, including another one of those tiresome extra-long couch gags.


This is actually the third Simpsons title sequence; they had a different one in the first season, and created the “definitive” version in season 2.

I like the new intro; it’s not as good as the familiar one, because some of the gags are kind of lame (always a problem with everything The Simpsons does now) but mostly because the animation is not as good as it was in 1990. No, really.  Look at the original animation of Homer when he sees Marge’s car coming at him; he “acts” in a convincing way that rarely happens on the show now, or even in the movie. This doesn’t have a lot to do with the switch to digital ink-and-paint or HD; it’s just that the rough edges of the animation have been smoothed away and replaced by mostly standard poses — so you rarely get the kind of expressiveness you got in the Krusty sequences animated by Brad Bird, or the animation of Homer’s heart attacks in “Homer’s Triple Bypass” (season 4).

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