Viewers who tuned in to “Treehouse Of Horror XXVI” on The Simpsons last weekend no doubt noticed that Bart, Lisa, and the other residents of Springfield looked a bit different in the show’s extended couch gag. That’s because the introduction was animated by John Kricfalusi, creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, and he redesigned the characters in his own signature style. As both a student of cartoon history and a mentor to up-and-coming animators, Kricfalusi has always been generous about sharing the tricks of the trade with his fans, usually through his John K Stuff blog, and this latest Simpsons project (he already did a couch gag for the show once before) is no exception. On Wednesday, Kricfalusi posted a whole mess of “Treehouse Of Horror” storyboards and sketches. In the segment, Bart and Lisa are menaced by a giant zombie Frank Grimes, who rises from the grave while the Simpson children are trick-or-treating. In keeping with John K’s love of old cartoons, Bart seems to be wearing a vintage Huckleberry Hound mask. The introduction is set to a specially composed song, and the lyrics are also represented on the boards.
Though the segment is undoubtedly elaborate, Kricfalusi’s post reveals it was originally even more so. “Originally this cartoon was supposed to be 3 and a half minutes and there are a lot more storyboards that happen before this one starts,” he writes, “but another story for another blog adventure.” He continues, later in the post: “I ended up having to squeeze a heck of a lot of action and story into a very short amount of time. I REALLY wanted to do the original longer intro because that was more story and character based.” Ah, the indignities of working in television.