Saturday, March 31, 2012

Movie References in My Favorite Animated Shows

I remember watching The Simpsons on a local channel (RPN 9) when I was very young. I couldn’t understand it then. I didn’t have to. As a child, seeing moving, colorful pictures was enough to keep me entertained. Fast-forward to now, I still enjoy The Simpsons, but of course you already know that if you’re a friend. Aside from the longest-running animated sitcom, I also find Family Guy, American Dad, and Futurama entertaining. I guess I’ve always remained a child.

The characters from my favorite shows (minus Futurama) together (Image is from this site.)
Once in a while, I would encounter some familiar scenes while watching these animated shows, and I wasn’t watching re-runs. You see, these shows would parody or reference some famous movies. Here are some movie parodies/references in my favorite animated shows (after the jump).

(I wish I could post videos here, but I don’t want to mess with copyright laws, so I’ll just post links to videos posted by other people. Most of them are of poor quality but are still watchable.)

Family Guy

The Sound of Music

The Griffin children singing So Long, Farewell (Image is from this site.)
Peter’s boss, Mr. Weed, visits the Griffin home one evening. It’s too late for Chris, Meg, and Stewie to have dinner with the guest (who later dies that night of choking), so they just sing him a song before they go to sleep. Chris reaches the high notes perfectly. Stewie, who is oftentimes vile and murderous, is at his cutest. (Watch the clip here.)

The Silence of the Lambs

Chris: Would you do me? I'd do me. (Language was toned down.) [Youtube screenshot]
For some reasons, Chris suddenly becomes popular, and in the school gymnasium, while making an announcement “for the cool kids,” a video showing him doing the Buffalo Bill dance suddenly plays. I didn’t get it at first because I haven’t watched The Silence of the Lambs yet then. After watching the movie though, the scene made sense. (Watch the clip here. Warning: NSFW! I bet that made you want to watch it more. ;p)

In another clip from another episode, Stewie tells a baby girl who is stuck in a well, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.” Seth MacFarlane must be a fan of the movie.

Image is from this site.
Family Guy also spoofed the first Star Wars trilogy in three special episodes. The episodes closely follow the trilogy’s plot. The fans of the series will have a hearty laugh watching them (unless they’re rabid fans who don’t want people messing with the trilogy).

American Dad

Almost Famous

Stan Smith and "Abbey Road" (Images are from this site and this site.)

Stan suddenly is obsessed with a band named My Morning Jacket, which apparently is an actual band. In an attempt to meet the band, Stan wears a brown wig, a denim jacket, and a newsboy bag and poses as a reporter for the Rolling Stone. Roger, my favorite alien, tags along but not after he disguises himself as “Abbey Road.” Watch the two try to hitch a ride here. 


Hachikō Monogatari (The Tale of Hachiko)

Fry's dog Seymour (Image is from this site.)
Fry, the delivery boy frozen for a thousand years, sees the fossilized remains of his dog Seymour displayed in a museum. He stages a protest (by dancing to The Hustle) for him to have his dog’s body. Since the year 3000 has very advanced technology, he can have his dog be brought back to life through cloning, but he chooses not to after knowing that Seymour had lived a full life and thinking that the dog had probably forgotten him. Unknown to Fry, his dog had stayed in the same spot for so many years, waiting for him to return.

I'm not really sure if this Futurama episode is based on the movie or on the actual story of the loyal dog, Hachiko. Either way, I love this episode. It made me miss my old dog. (Watch the episode's last few scenes here.)

The Simpsons

Cape Fear

Cape Fear (the 1991 version) is one of the best thriller films I have ever seen (Robert De Niro was very scary here). The film is so good that the guys behind The Simpsons decided to spoof it in an episode entitled Cape Feare, which was nominated for an Emmy Award.

Sideshow Bob in Cape Feare (Image is from this site.)
It must have been four years ago when I watched this episode (I have a box set), and back then I didn’t know that it was based on an actual movie because I watched Cape Fear just two months ago. The scene where Robert De Niro’s character ties himself under a car made me remember this Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob, who has been trying to kill Bart, does the same. (Watch a fan-made video clip collection of the episode here.)


Tweenlight (Image is from this site.)
Springfield Elementary has a new student named Edmund (voiced by Daniel Radcliffe), who turns out to be a vampire. Lisa becomes infatuated with him, and the two “move between trees the way a bat does – by jumping.” You should see what happens to Milhouse (who’s supposed to be the wolf guy) when he feels a “change coming.” (Watch the clip here. Note: Uploaders modified audio and video on purpose.)

These shows have referenced tons of famous movies, either as parody or homage.  What I shared here are just a few of what I remember. It is helpful to be a movie buff if you watch these shows. It feels good to get a joke, you know. :)

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