The Simpsons’ Halloween Special, Animation Tribute

- Oct. 20, 2014, S. Barton
The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror XXV ended with a surprising all star animation tribute. In it’s third installment, The Others, (a parody of the 2001 horror film staring, Nicole Kidman), The Simpsons clash with their original 1987 incarnations. America’s famous family got their start as a series of animated shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987, before getting their own animated series in 1989.

As the story come to a close, Lisa then says,“I just had a worrisome thought: If there can be two incarnations of The Simpsons, why couldn’t some evil marketing entity produce millions of others?!”

Her fears are then realized, with a pop-culture reference of epic proportions; as multiple versions of The Simpsons’ line up to enter the family home.The creators of the show had a little fun as each version pays homage to a variety of animated films and series.

This included an assortment of anime references to: Pokemon (Maggie as Pikachu), Attack on Titan (Lisa as Misaka), Naruto (Bart as Naruto), Bleach (Marge as Rangiku), One Piece (Homer as Zoro), and Studio Ghibli’s, Spirited Away(Santa’s Little Helper as Haku). This isn’t the first time The Simpsons’ have referenced anime. In Married to the Blob,(Season 25, Episode 10), is entirely dedicated to Japanese pop-culture and US Comic-Con couture, it also included a special sequence to honor legendary Japanese animator/director, Hayao Miyazaki. (see article here)

In total, the ending pays tribute to: claymation, Anime, Adventure Time, South Park, Archer; a mini-tribute to french animator,Sylvain Chomet (Triplets of Bellevile, 2003). Last but not least, LEGO’s, Despicable Me, and finally, The Simpsons animal incarnation from Treehouse of Horror 13, The Island of Dr. Hibbert.

How many references did you spot?

Hello Kitty celebrates 40th Anniversary in Space!

August 16, 2014- S. Barton

Hello Kitty has gone where very few toys have gone before:To Outer Space! In celebration of the beloved character’s 40th Anniversary, her creators from Sanrio Co.,LTD, have sent her out of the world.

On June 19 2014 ,a 1.6-inch (4 centimeters) Hello Kitty figure rode aboard the nano-satellite, Hodoyoshi 3, launched from Russia. She’s riding in a compartment 28 inches tall (70 cm), and 20 inches wide and deep, which is also equipped with a digital display to show messages from Earth.

As part of the celebration, Hello Kitty will be taking your messages and reading them from space. From August 12 to  August 25, fans can send messages to Hello Kitty, in Japanese or English. However, only 10 messages will be chosen. Does your message have “the right stuff?” There’s still time to enter at Sanrio’s Official Website.

[The winning messages will be announced daily from 8/26/2014- 9/8/2014.]

via NBCNews.

Fun Facts:

Hello Kitty isn’t the first toy to have graced the starry skies, her predecessor’s include: Disney’s Buzz Lightyear, and LEGO’s. Want to learn more? Then check out Space.com’s photo gallery, Cosmic Playtime:Toys in Space. 

For our cat-lovers: The first “Astro-Cat”, was Félicette from France, she was launched on October 18, 1963, aboard Veronique AGI rocket, No. 47.