User:Queenieacoustic/Treehouse of Horror XI
|"Treehouse of Horror XI"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Directed by||Matthew Nastuk|
|Written by||Rob LaZebnik Story: Mike Scully (part 1)
John Frink and Don Payne (Part 2)
Carolyn Omine (Part 3)
|Original air date||November 1, 2000|
"Treehouse of Horror XI" is the first episode of The Simpsons' twelfth season and the eleventh Halloween episode. The episode features "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad", "Scary Tales Can Come True" and "Night of the Dolphin" and was written by Rob LaZebnik (story by Mike Scully), John Frink and Don Payne and Carolyn Omine and directed by Matthew Nastuk.
This year's installment sees Homer as a wandering spirit who must do one good deed before going to Heaven ("G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad"), Bart and Lisa as genre-savvy peasant children who end up lost in a fairy tale forest in "Scary Tales Can Come True," and Springfield's population at war with sea mammals in "Night of the Dolphin."
The episode first aired on November 1, 2000, beginning a practice of the Halloween episodes debuting after the holiday itself due to the Fox network's World Series coverage (a practice that would end in 2009 when, for the first time since "Treehouse of Horror X," season 21's "Treehouse of Horror XX" aired in October and before Halloween). This was also the first Simpsons episode to have mixed-case closed captioning. The episode has received positive reviews from critics.
The opening sequence is done as a spoof of The Munsters, with Homer as Herman Munster, Marge as Lily Munster, Lisa as Marilyn Munster with a book on copyright law, Bart as Eddie Munster, and Abe as Grandpa Munster. At the front of their mansion, an angry mob of townspeople attack the Munster Simpsons. They stab Marge and Grampa on the chest with stakes, set Homer on fire, and activate a bear trap on Bart's head, leaving Lisa unharmed.
At breakfast, Homer reads his horoscope. Under Taurus, it states that he will die that day, and an attractive colleague will compliment him. Marge is confused until she reads her horoscope, which says her husband will die. Homer dismisses it and leaves for work. On his way there, he narrowly escapes death several times. When he gets to the power plant Lenny compliments him about the rattlesnake on his arm. Since he is still alive at the end of the day (despite multiple injuries and close calls) he scoffs at the horoscope, but is finally killed after eating some broccoli. When Homer reaches Heaven, St. Peter informs him that he has not done a good deed in his life, and must do one within 24 hours before he can officially be let into Heaven. Over the next 24 hours, Homer tries to do good deeds, such as saving Bart from being bullied by Nelson (which only succeeds in Homer getting a noogie from Nelson) and helping Principal Skinner's mother, Agnes, across the street, leading to the old lady being dropped to her death with Homer defending his actions by stating that Agnes was "going to be the next Hitler". With only one minute left, Homer, still unsure of what he can do to get into Heaven, saves an unknown woman's baby from a runaway stroller when it reaches the street. Confident, he returns to St. Peter with news of his good deed. However, St. Peter (despite supposedly being omniscient) did not see Homer perform his good deed as he was reading a newspaper. Homer is then sent to Hell, where Satan puts Homer in a headlock and gives him a noogie for all eternity. Homer screams in pain, but Satan tells him to be quiet as he will "wake up John Wayne", who has already woken up for his day in Hell.
Scary Tales Can Come True
The Simpsons are peasants living in a pumpkin cottage. When Homer comes home with news that he has been fired as the village oaf, he abandons Bart and Lisa in the woods to solve the family's food shortage. With the help of Lisa's copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales, Bart and Lisa journey through the woods' many dangerous creatures, including a troll-like Moe and the Three Bears (who viciously maul Goldilocks after Bart and Lisa leave the Three Bears' cottage). Meanwhile, Marge admonishes Homer for throwing out the kids, and orders him to get them back. While Homer is looking for his children he finds Rapunzel's tower. Baby asks Homer to rescue her and lowers her hair so that he can climb up to her window, but Homer only succeeds in ripping Rapunzel's hair and scalp clear off her head. Meanwhile, Bart and Lisa find shelter in a gingerbread house owned by a witch. Lisa is wary, as she knows that the scenario Bart and Lisa are in is exactly like that from the story "Hansel and Gretel," but Bart is too busy eating treats to care. Lisa tries to stall the witch by claiming she's lonely and has no love-mate. The witch denies this, stating that there is a man named George Cauldron coming to pick her up for a date, which Lisa does not believe. Before the witch can attack Lisa and Bart, Homer comes to the rescue, eating his way through the gingerbread house's walls. The witch turns Homer into a half-chicken, half-fish creature with donkey ears and brooms as arms, then tries to roast him in the oven, but Homer overpowers her and shoves the witch inside instead. As the witch screams in pain, the spell broke and Homer turns back to normal. A man named George Cauldron comes by, asking Homer, Bart, and Lisa if they have seen a woman named Suzanne.
The peasant Simpsons are reunited, and are now living happily ever after with Homer still having a chicken's half-body to produce eggs for dinner and able to provide the family with eggs.
Night of the Dolphin
While at Springfield's Marine World, Lisa takes pity on the star attraction—a dolphin named Snorky, whose trainers let him be humiliated and forced to do demeaning stunts for the crowd's amusement. After Snorky's latest show, Lisa sets the dolphin free to swim in the ocean. Unbeknownst to Lisa, Snorky is actually the leader of the world's dolphins bent on leading his army to destroy humanity. The dolphins begin their war by attacking Springfield, first killing Lenny during a night swim in the ocean and the Sea Captain (who claims he can stop them) before marching towards the town on their tails. Snorky then interrupts a town meeting, takes the stage and tells Springfield that dolphins used to live on land, but were banished to the ocean by humans, and, now that Snorky has reclaimed his throne as king, he banishes all mankind to live underwater. The humans decide not to submit to the dolphins' will without a fight, only to leave town hall to find the dolphins greatly outnumber them. As the humans walk out of the hall, Lisa sees a small dolphin with a set of bottle rings around its face, she takes it off, and is bitten. Furious, Homer retaliates by punching the dolphin, and then encourages the townspeople to fight back. A battle ensues between the dolphins and the humans, with heavy casualties on both sides. When one dolphin hits Homer with a bag of oranges, Bart shoots the dolphing using his slingshot. After that, Homer leads the survivors in a final charge to drive the dolphins back to the sea. In a twist ending, it is revealed that humanity has lost and the residents of Springfield are now adjusting to their new life as marine animals. A dead Krusty the Klown floats near Marge. In disgust, she kicks it away, where it floats to a dozen other corpses, where it spells "THE END?".
Epilogue - Kang and Kodos
The episode was directed by Matthew Nastuk and written by Rob LaZebnik, John Frink, Don Payne, and Carolyn Omine. The first segment, "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad" was written by Rob LaZebnik, but the idea came from then current show runner, Mike Scully. It is Rob Lazebnik's first writing credit for the series with his second being the fifth episode of the season "Homer vs. Dignity". The second segment, "Scary Tales Can Come True" is the second written by John Frink and Don Payne with Insane Clown Poppy, but it was not accepted until this season after the segment was produced. The episode was not their idea and was another writer's idea.
The third segment, "Night of the Dolphin" was written by Carolyn Omine based on an idea from the writers for an episode in a tribute to an animal and was settled on dolphins, because they are "the friendliest animal in the world". The walk for the dolphin walk was pitched by Caroline to Matthew Nastuk. The episode was later added to The Simpsons Game. The King Dolphin's real voice is Harry Shearer's normal voice. There are two deleted scenes that are now available on the DVD: One with Dr. Julius Hibbert fighting with hypodermics and one where Moe Szyslak puts a gas tube down a dolphin's blow hole during the humans vs. dolphin war. During production, the writers forgot to include a scene with Kang and Kodos, which was mentioned in the scene at the end. The episode is also the first "Treehouse of Horror" to not have a couch gag since "Treehouse of Horror II".
The opening is a reference to The Munsters. "Scary Tales Can Come True" is a parody of Grimm's Fairy Tales. The scene in which the baby's stroller stars falling the stairs mirrors a similar scene in The Untouchables. In "Night of the Dolphin", where the dolphin jumps out of the water park and into the ocean is a parody of Free Willy. The dolphins outside the town meeting is a parody of The Birds. The title and plot are based on Mike Nichols's Day of the Dolphin.
Release and reception
In its original American broadcast on November 1, 2000, "Treehouse of Horror XI" received an 8.0 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, translating to approximately 8 million viewers. The episode finished in 42nd place in the ratings for the week of October 30–November 5, 2000, tying with an episode of the news program 60 Minutes II and a showing of the television movie Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.
Critical reception and home release
Since its broadcast, "Treehouse of Horror XI" has received mixed reviews from critics. Giving the episode a positive review, Matt Haigh of Den of Geek wrote that it is "probably one of the funniest Halloween episodes of the show's history". Television critic David Bianculli of the New York Daily News wrote that "Treehouse of Horror XI" "prove[s] that The Simpsons hasn't lost any steam." DVD Verdict's Mac MacEntire wrote that "Day of the Jackanapes" and "Treehouse of Horror XI" are both "winners", and Matt Groening, one of the series' co-creators, has stated that "Night of the Dolphin" has one of his favorite scenes in the entire series. Colin Jacobson of DVD Movie Guide gave the episode a positive review saying "Even in the weakest Simpsons seasons, you can count on the Halloween episodes to deliver good amusement. Or at least pretty decent comedy, as evidenced by the up and down “Treehouse XI”. None of the segments excel, but none of them flop either, so they keep us entertained. It’s really hard to fault a mainstream network TV series that references glory holes, so “Treehouse XI” gets a positive appraisal despite a few missteps." On August 18, 2009, "Treehouse of Horror XI" was released as part of The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season DVD set. Matt Groening, Mike Scully, John Frink, Don Payne, Rob LaZebnik, Matt Selman and Carolyn Omine participated in the audio commentary of the episode.
- Payne, Don (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror XI" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Omine, Caroline (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror IX" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Scully, Mike (2009). The Simpsons The Complete Twelfth Season DVD commentary for the episode "Treehouse of Horror IX" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
- Associated Press (November 8, 2000). "NIELSEN RATINGS". Long Beach Press-Telegram. MediaNews Group. p. A20.
- Haigh, Matt (October 1, 2009). "The Simpsons Season 12 DVD review". Den of Geek. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- David Bianculli (November 3, 2000). "FOX' SUNDAY BEST IS LOOKING GOOD 'Simpsons,' 'Malcolm' are top returns". New York Daily News. Mortimer Zuckerman. p. 129.
- MacEntire, Mac (September 9, 2009). "The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season". DVD Verdict. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
- Groening, Matt (1997). The Simpsons Beyond Forever!: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Family ...Still Continued. Harper Collins Publishers. p. 1. ISBN 0-06-050592-3
- Jacobson, Colin. "The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season (2000)". Retrieved September 10, 2010.
- Scully, Mike. (2009). Commentary for "Treehouse of Horror XI", in The Simpsons: The Complete Twelfth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
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