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Where does "The Simpsons" draw its inspiration and how does this aperate? Discuss with particular reference to "A Star is Burns" episode

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Introduction

Where does "The Simpsons" draw its inspiration and how does this aperate? Discuss with particular reference to "A Star is Burns" episode "The Simpsons" has become one of the most popular cartoons of all time. Its creator Matt Groening could never have fathomed Bart, who he based around himself would become such a household name. Matt took animation back to its roots, creating simple 2D non-humanistic forms. The influences of "The Simpsons" are very clear to anyone who watches the programme. The first is The Flintstones, this is apparent due to the "family unit". The Flintstones was the first cartoon sitcom, it dealt with the same family every week and follows a sitcom format, having storylines run for one week but never running over one programme. It was the first cartoon to have longer episodes, lasting up to half an hour whereas most of the time only lasted a few minutes. This type of cartoon created higher expectations from viewers and inspired spoofs such as "The Jetson's". The Flintstones are the ancestors of The Jetson's, while Fred and his family are very primitive; George Jetson and his family are very futuristic. This shows the gradual progression of man. "The Simpsons" is based on two cartoons, "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons", while one is set in the Stone Age the other is set in the future. "The Simpson's" is set in between the two, in the present day. It makes references to the two cartoons of which it is indebted to by its name. ...read more.

Middle

South Park has only been possible due to "The Simpsons" popularity. It has taken animation even further backwards, using even simpler animation techniques than "The Simpsons". Also it is aimed at a much older audience, an exclusively adult audience; this is evident by the language used and the scenarios, which are shown, and the bawdy jokes. It is quite obviously a cartoon, with the characters moving across the screen, with no movement of their "limbs", simply a movement of their whole bodies. Walt Disney was the "father" of animation, without him animation would almost definitely not be as popular as it is today. Walt Disney and his company made every memorable animated film. For this the creators of "The Simpsons" must be grateful, even if only for the fact that he made animation popular to the masses. Without him "The Simpsons" wouldn't have been nearly as popular as it is now. Even from his childhood Walt Disney sold his drawings to make himself money. From the beginning of his career Walt was popular with the masses and has made millions from his name alone. He bought the rights to "Winnie the Pooh" and made millions from selling merchandise, which has completely changed the way in which people think of Winnie the Pooh who originally didn't wear any clothing, let alone a red top. In reality Walt Disney was not the man that the majority think he was; he took advantage of others ideas and made millions from them. ...read more.

Conclusion

Barney represents unemployment and the huge percentage of the population in America who are unemployed or part of blue collar America. He represents all the people who work hard for their living, manual labourers etc who have no hope of finding a new job but have lots of unfulfilled potential. They are capable of so much more than anyone gives them credit for but they can't do anything to prove themselves. Flanders represents evangelical America, the Religious Rights movement and people who close their eyes to the real world only to leave them with what they want to believe. Their lives and beliefs are restricted. "The Simpsons" has a very diverse appeal, as anyone who watches it can relate to at least one of the characters. Originally "The Simpsons" was created to be viewed by an American audience but due to its popularity it has grown to become a global product. The aspects of Walt Disney's marketing, which the creators originally ridiculed such as the Disney memorabilia that have come from all the animations, have now become products of "The Simpsons". In the "A Star is Burns" episode alone there are over 20 references to films and American TV programmes, they include "Seinfeld", "The Guns of Navarone", "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", "Ben Hur" and many more. To me this shows that the makers of "The Simpsons" try to incorporate the real world into their cartoon. Even darker sides to American culture such as the mob mentality are represented. Also literary culture is represented, in this specific episode by the title "A Star is Burns", a pun of the Hollywood musical "A Star is Born". ...read more.

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