'The Simpsons' pay tribute to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli

By Michelle Lynn Dinh

I’ve been watching "The Simpsons" ever since I was a kid and I’ve enjoyed Hayao Miyazaki’s movies for just as long.

So you can imagine my delight at discovering this Simpsons tribute to the newly retired director of Studio Ghibli. The minute and a half long clip, uploaded to YouTube by the Fox Network, is merely a sneak peak at this Sunday’s upcoming episode, but the animators manage to flawlessly incorporate aspects of the two imaginary worlds of Matt Groening and Hayao Miyazaki in such a short amount of time.

It’s an almost melancholy tribute to Japan’s greatest animator with just a touch of Simpsons humor sprinkled throughout. Familiar characters from both sides are merged as one, which is sure to amuse fans of both animation studios.

▼ One of my favorite mash-ups has got to be Patty and Selma both as Kiki, Moe Szyslak as the scarecrow from "Howl’s Moving Castle" and Martin and his gang of nerdy Springfield Elementary students as tree spirits from "Princess Mononoke."

We can’t think of a better tribute to the nearly 30-year-old Studio Ghibli by "The Simpsons," an American classic that’s been delighting families for 25 seasons.

Source: IT Media

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Find your favorite Ghibli characters in this portrait of Hayao Miyazaki -- 96% of Japanese moviegoers have watched a Hayao Miyazaki film -- Fun trivia about the legendary Ghibli animation studio

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Awesome. It's always nice to see that artists from other cultures respect and admire each other's work. Many people consider The Simpsons as a potty-mouthed show for neck beards, but Matt Groening is a genius in his own right, and a brilliant American satirist. When he is done I'm sure the US will miss him as much as Japan, and all Ghibli fans, miss Miyazaki. Thanks for the masterpieces, Hayao! You've made me laugh, cry, and think!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Agree with John, although I disagree with the "potty-mouthed show for neck beards" (compare this with South Park!... which I also like). It can't really be a show for 'neck beards' (not really even sure what that means, really) if it's "genius satire". The show appeals to both kids and adults, and the fact that it's in its... what?... 24th season? proves its staying power and popularity in general. Again, though, I agree with John that it's admirable to see artists respecting artists from other cultures (or their own for that matter), and I look forward to watching this little segment. The Simpson's is genius indeed, and have always paid hommage to others very well.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Can you imagine a world without the writers of the first three seasons of the Simpsons?


0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just remember growing up hearing a LOT of adults hate on the Simpsons. Bart's catch phrase, "Eat my shorts!" isn't exactly classy. Many of those same people have retained those views without having ever watched the show. Thus, the contrasting "but" before stating my opinion of the show. Anywho, Urban Dictionary defines neckbeard as: (n) Derogatory term for slovenly nerdy people who have no sense of hygene or grooming. Often related to hobbies such as card gaming, video gaming, anime, et. al. Hope that helps.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I like the simpsons tho, later seasons weren't as good. I'd love to see this, but I don't know if I'll be able to...

This article, though, is really weird. It sounds like a 9th grader's report.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@John I agree with you when you said many people consider the Simpsons as a potty-mouthed show for neck beards. As popular as it is, not everyone likes it or its humor. Personally I prefer Ghibli and MIyazaki's works and almost have the complete collection, but then again I've been a fan of Japanese animation for as long as I remember

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Agree with everything that's in this article 100%. I've loved both the The Simpsons and Studio Ghibli since I was a kid and when I first saw the trailer for this I thought it was pretty awesome that a show as massive as The Simpsons is recognizing and genuinely showing respect to someone as great as Hayao Miyazaki. I know the references will go over the heads of everyone who doesn't know the likes of Spirited Away, Howls Moving Castle etc. But for the fans of both this will be pretty goo.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This was a beautiful, exceedingly well thought-out tribute. Probably the best Ghibli tribute I've ever seen, and there are many. I think it's kind of telling that Totoro didn't make an appearance...maybe some things are too sacred? Or maybe too obvious...either way, fantastic job, Simpsons team.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps you missed it, but I believe Mr. Miyazaki announced his UN-retirement on a New Years Eve radio broadcast.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I loved that... it was really beautifully done.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I am at a loss to come up with any American animation that is on the same wavelength as Ghibli (Jibli) productions.

Eastern Europe, yes. But the US, no.

I can see a comparison between the Simpsons and the Drifters of old - Shimura Ken, Kato Cha, et al., but not Ghibli (Jibli). I'm sorry.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Cool but too bad no one watches the Simpsons anymore.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

John: Thanks for the definition of neckbeard. I figured it was something like that, and knew it must be urban-slang. Just goes to show I've been here for too long to have never heard it before. Anyway, "eat my shorts" is far less 'potty-mouth' than calling people who like the show neckbeards, so wash your mouth with soap, young man! Seriously though, what should a little troublesome boy say? People in Japan didn't seem to have trouble with Crayon Shinchan pulling his pants down and flashing his private parts -- in fact, they found it cute and reflective of how children can be.

genjuro: "Personally I prefer Ghibli and MIyazaki's works and almost have the complete collection"

You simply canNOT compare The Simpson's and Miyazaki's works. That is not at all a matter of which is better, it's just that they are so different there can be no comparison save that they are both animation. If Ghibli starts up a weekly animated sitcom that lasts 24 years THEN you can compare and contrast, but they are completely different genres.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

WOW - I'm quite speechless

0 ( +0 / -0 )

looked OK - that short vid didn't make me smile reminiscing about Ghibli movies tho. But then i stopped watching Simpsons many seasons ago so the humour maybe i don't relate to anymore.

If Groening had done the homage in the Futurama universe i might have appreciated it more :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"We call this the killing floor. Don't let the name fool you, it's not really a floor". During a school tour of a meat factory on the Simpsons.

The Simpsons rule.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like this South Park and Totoro parody better! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQg-_gmGOIw

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yeah, even the discerning mothers of China know better than to...no they don't, because Disney stuff is more easier to counterfeit and copy than Ghibli films...depth, storytelling and imagination aren't strongsuits of most animations out there...most of it's garbage.

Miyazaki has set a towering standard that'll stand for generations in Japan and beyond.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It would be nice to see Hayao Miyazaki go out with an Oscar, I also see him and John Lassiter get a lifetime award. His sons work is also coming along but has a different touch.

Loved the Simpson tribute, BTW Gibhli had been using CGI for years in Heisei Tanuki pom polo, etc. Tonari no yamada San was 100% created on PC's.

The studio also has grown and moved into SFX and life-action.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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