17
Jan
13

DVD Commentary: Bart the Genius

bartthegenius

Be gentle, it’s my first one of these.

Four guys on this commentary, David Silverman, Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, and Jon Vitti.

David Silverman talks about the popularity of the show after the Christmas Special

Matt Groening talks about the development of the now classic “Simpsons” main titles music

Blackboard and main titles were originally a way to pad the show length, but as the show got more sophisticated the writers didn’t want to cut anything

This episode was Jon Vitti’s first 30-minute script, and David Silverman’s first full-length directorial debut

Koreans don’t have bananas, hence the miscoloring

KWYJIBO was also later used as a name for a computer virus

Milhouse’s hair is inconsistently colored in this episode, occasionally black, occasionally blue

Jon wrote a  list of 100 bad things that Bart could do, and cheating on a test was the only thing that stuck

Series was not going to do fantasy sequences initially, but that stipulation was relaxed after the directors started using them very creatively (dream sequence with numbers)

Matt wanted a full orchestra to play the emotion that the show otherwise could not have depicted using animation

It was very controversial how stupid Homer’s handwriting was on the check

Loren Pyror sounds a lot like Mr. Burns in this episode

Matt considers this episode, like the other 12 in Season 1, to be experiments in the visual language of the show. Things like giant plants which featured somewhat prominently in the background were later removed

It used to be Skinner’s persistent goal to get Bart out of Springfield Elementary

There’s a discussion/mea culpa about Bart’s many, likely unoriginal, catch phrases, from “eat my shorts” to “cowabunga” etc.

The school that Bart goes to is a product of co-creation from the writers, not necessarily based on any actual school that the writers went to

The first draft of this episode was over 71 pages long!

Matt initially could not wrap his head around the fact that the sketches were moving, owing to his background in print media, but loved what he was seeing all the same

It was easier to merchandise villains than friends, so that’s why the show’s writers kept adding more

One can’t help but notice the crudeness of the animation in the opera scene

They’re all chuckling at the leisurely pacing of this episode, a result of the show’s creators learning on the fly

Kids playing with marbles is a cute anachronism

Shadows were used sparingly in early episodes out of concerns that they couldn’t afford them

The hamster gets to escape after Bart’s chemistry mishap, otherwise the joke earlier about the hamster being dissected would’ve been too cruel

Bart’s confession was animated in the US, not Korea

David enjoys having a yellow character talk to a green character


3 Responses to “DVD Commentary: Bart the Genius”


  1. 1 Col. Coward
    17 January 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I don’t want to be mean, but… all this does is give a laundry list of what everyone said, and not even in full sentences. I want to see more input from the author, more reaction to the commentary, saying things that surprised you, things that relate to other episodes. It’s hard not to be critical, especially when the “spews truth” and “makes baby Jesus cry” segments have done such a great job with commentaries. Please, look at those for advice on how to make these articles better.

  2. 17 January 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Definitely a potentially useful reference, Dave, I imagine this will be a brilliant refresher for those of us (like me) who haven’t checked in with the early season commentaries in years. Good job. Offering some more personal opinion would be great, though – tell us which commentaries are especially convivial, which are worth revisiting, which are full of vague blathering, etc. Good luck, I think this feature has fun potential.

  3. 17 January 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Did a good job Dave, it reads like a trivia list or something from SNPP, easy to read, not too long and simple yet entertaining. Good job at your first go.


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