- Complete Season 3
Fox Home Entertainment
Date: August 26, 2003
September 26, 2003
The Simpsons offers satiric
adventures of a working class family in the misfit city of
Springfield. You know the rest.
Matt Groening puts it in his introduction letter, "[Season
Three] makes Season Two look like Season One." And heís right.
The Simpsons is now in its 15th season on Fox and still
going strong. Aside from being the longest-running cartoon itís
also the most recognizable, but not just in the States,
worldwide! With such a huge audience following the show on TV
and now on DVD Fox decided to release all 24 episodes from
Season Three in a 4-disc set on August 26, 2003. Despite a long
wait and endless delays for this set, Season Three proves itís
getting much better; the animation is locked and finalized (no
more weird drawings), each episode is funny and special (not
even one stinker in sight), the voice talent finds its groove,
guest stars now play themselves instead of second-rate
characters, and the Simpsons prove to be Americaís most beloved
and idiosyncratic (animated) family.
need to tell you The Simpsons is hilarious. Everyone
should know that. But what you might not realize at first sight
is that all 24 episodes are unique and really fun to watch. Take
the following highlights for example. In Bart the Murderer,
Bart (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) misses out on a fieldtrip to a
chocolate factory and instead becomes a Goodfella under
Springfield mob boss Fat Tony (guest Joe Mantegna). And
when Principal Skinner (voiced by Harry Shearer) disappears,
Bart becomes a suspect. This is the fourth episode in the season
and in one scene Skinner makes like MacGyver to free
himself from being trapped under stacks of books and other
it is Homer Defined where Homer (Dan Castellaneta) saves
the nuclear plant from a meltdown by accident, and Bart realizes
why heís not invited to Millhouseís birthday party. Surprise
guest stars include Magic Johnson, who refers to a lucky break as
ďpulling a Homer,Ē and legend LA Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn (RIP).
Space aliens and Bartís incredible powers make up The
Simpsons Halloween Special II, but the funniest thing about
it is when Mr. Burns puts Homerís brain inside a robotís body
only to discover the robot is now as lazy as Homer.
gives Moe an idea for a new cocktail in Flaming Moeís.
The secret ingredient is cough syrup, and when the recipe turns
out to be a big hit, Moeís bar attracts a cool crowd including
guest stars Aerosmith. Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk sees Mr.
Burns selling the plant to German investors. But when they find
outdated security measures and Homerís abilities are seriously
limited, the Germans are forced to sell the plant back to Mr.
Burns. This is a really funny episode, especially because German
characters are always great for laughs. Phil Hartman guest
stars. Also note that the episode title is incorrect German. It
should read Burns Verkauft Das Kraftwerk, but I guess the
error is part of the joke.
noteworthy episodes include I Married Marge, here we get
a look-back at the wedding of Homer and Marge, Radio Bart,
Bart plays a cruel joke on Springfield citizens by pretending to
be a boy who fell into a well, Homer Alone, the stress of
life finally gets to Marge who suffers a breakdown, and Homer at
the Bat, where Homer rules the company softball team with a
homemade bat and a team of professional baseball players fall
victim to misfortune, leaving the game in Homerís hands
(and head). I also liked The Otto Show in which Spinal Tap (Harry Shearer,
Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest) visits Springfield, and
Otto loses his license to only move in with the Simpsons. These
are just a few highlights, mind you.
Season Three is a great time. Not one episode is unfunny or
boring. Theyíre all great. Itís The Simpsons, for Peteís
sakes. Thatís just how it is, at least with this season,
and upcoming seasons prove likewise. Fans of the
show will definitely want to own this Season Three DVD set.
Below is a breakdown of all 24 episodes.
Mr. Lisa Goes
When Flanders Failed;
Like Father, Like Clown
Treehouse of Horror II;
Saturdays of Thunder;
Burns Verkaufen Der Kraftwerk;
I Married Marge
Homer Alone; Bart the Lover; Homer at the
Dog of Death;
The Otto Show;
Bart's Friend Falls In Love;
Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?
presents The Simpsons in standard 1.33:1 fullscreen
format. However, for some reason the menus are presented in
widescreen. Shimmer appears in some images, although the colors
are sharp and pretty solid. Lines are smooth and evidence of
bleeding isnít the case. Problems occur, however, around the
edges, and some shakiness in the video that may be due to
production issues. The video is 12 years old now and shows its
age, so from episode to episode you can see differences in
presentation quality. In the overall sense this show looks good
and Foxís presentation is fitting to the material.
presents The Simpsons in English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Surround Sound. This presentation is not using all of the
channels; in fact, the two front channels seem to be the only
ones working. Rear speakers donít sound off even during some of
the musical numbers. Dialog is clear and easy to understand,
coming out of the front speakers at all times. Thereís no
problem with that. The sound effects donít add any depth to the
presentation, as these are also emitted from the front. Despite
an overall front-heavy presentation for each episode, the audio
is still in good shape and perfectly well-suited for this type
of show. You can
also choose to view each episode in Spanish & French Dolby
set comes in a purple packaging identical to the Season 2 set;
four double-density discs in a fold-out box set. Inside the
package is a booklet containing episode synopsis and chapter
listings, as well as a four-paragraph introduction letter from
creator Matt Groening.
attraction here is the audio commentaries for all Episodes
with the showís cast & crew. Matt Groening participates in
all sessions, while Al Jean, James L. Brooks, Mike Reiss, Rich
Moore, Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner,
Yeardley Smith, and episode directors, as well as other crew
members, appear only on select episodes. The general feedback
from these tracks is great. These people obviously have a good
time looking back at the show and commenting on the episodes.
Many tidbits and funny information comes through here. All
tracks are well worth a listen.
extras include Storyboards, Commercials, Easter
Eggs, and Sketches spread over all four discs. Disc 2
features a Multi-Language presentation as well as Bart
Balloon: Macyís Thanksgiving Day Parade. Disc 3 features
an Easter Egg, Audio Outtakes with the showís voice talent.
Finally, disc 4 features a Colonel Homer Pop-Up, a
Jukebox feature with thirteen songs, unseen promo footage
for Colonel Homer, and an Interactive Game Trailer.
of the Easter Eggs are downright impossible to find without
spending hours and hours searching for them; I was unsuccessful
most of the time. I donít understand the philosophy behind
Easter Eggs nowadays. When theyíre easy to find, such as moving
over an image in the background or something, then itís fun to
look for them. But if you have to enter a specific series of
numbers or crap like that, itís really annoying.
menus are easy to navigate, but look totally dull against a
simple black background. Each episode has its own submenu, and
the main menu transitions are funny. Also, the Language
Selection and Caption & Subtitles menus are kind of funny, too.
select to view the episodes with optional English and Spanish
subtitles. Each episode runs approximately 23 minutes and
is organized into six chapters.
Three improves on the quality of episodes from Seasons One and
Two. Guest star appearances are great and storylines are
completely fresh and funny. Video/audio is decent, but works for
this type of show. The commentary tracks in the extras section
are a lot of fun, although the Easter Eggs affair gets a bit
tiring here. Fans of the show will definitely want to own this
Season Three DVD setóhighly recommended.
(not an average)
VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED