Lifetime of Simpsons

S22 E14 – Angry Dad: the Movie

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Apparently by Season 22 it’s okay to have some nostalgia for episodes from Season 13. Because we’re going to be closing out our week here at Lifetime of Simpsons by checking in with a weird little episode all about Angry Dad, the weird cartoon character that Bart created almost a decade before this episode.

We open up with a pretty funny, albeit too-long, Itchy and Scratchy short that’s basically a traditional kung fu movie storyline, with a bit of Kill Bill thrown in. It’s all about Scratchy seeing his father killed by Itchy as a child, and then training his whole life to be able to get revenge, only to be betrayed by his father and an elderly Itchy so that he dies. It’s pretty fun, but certainly drags on a bit too long.

And when the short is over we see that Bart is home alone, incredibly bored. Apparently the rest of the family are off getting frozen yogurt together, and have left Bart home alone. I’m not quite sure why anyone thought this was a good idea, but that fact really gets hammered in when Bart finds the perfect thing to keep himself entertained. He orchestrates a massively complicated skateboard trick where he wraps a rope around a ceiling fan, then has the rope all around the house, dragging him around with it.

This ends up basically destroying the whole house, letting his skateboard break everything in its path. Which is right when the family arrive back from the frozen yogurt place, and they are not pleased. They begin picking up the house while chewing Bart out. He doesn’t really seem to care, but it’s clear that it’s going to be pretty pricey to get everything fixed. And, as luck out have it, someone is about to arrive and offer them some money.

It’s a man who is some sort of office chair mogul. He apparently sold an internet start-up their office chairs, and when the dot-com bubble burst and the company went insolvent they were unable to pay for the chairs, and the man was given ownership to all of their web-series’. Once of which was Angry Dad, the cartoon that Bart created in “I Am Furious (Yellow).” And now that this man owns Angry Dad, he wants to make a movie out of it, and wants Bart to create it.

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Bart obviously agrees, and the family head to the animation studio that the chair mogul has created, and Bart begins working on Angry Dad: the Movie. The animators and writers working at the studio are super psyched to see Bart, and they all begin working on his opus. Hell, they let Homer reprise his role as Angry Dad. And, slowly but surely, the movie begins to take form, and after several months of work they finally have a rough cut to show people and get their opinions.

And people are not pleased with it. Angry Dad: the Movie is almost universally reviled, and it looks like Bart’s career as an animation director has gone up in smoke. Until Lisa suggests that they take the advice from the people who saw the film, and cut the movie down to a short film using only the things people liked. Bart likes this plan, and after quite a bit of editing they manage to make a really tight and fun little short film.

In fact, it’s so good that Bart is approached one day by Luigi, who it turns out is not just a pizza parlor owner, but also a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press. He’s there to tell Bart that his short film has been nominated for a Golden Globe. So Bart and the family head to the Golden Globe awards, and are instantly intimidated by a group of animators from a studio called Mixar that win every award, and who are not pleased with the competition from Bart’s little movie.

But it’s not up to them, so we get to see some of the Golden Globe Awardshow, with Russel Brand giving away the awards. We see a couple of the other shorts, like a weird French cartoon about brothers who snort food, a depressing Eastern European thing about the futility of war, the Mixar short Condiments about condiments who come to life, and Angry Dad: the Movie. And, against logic, Angry Dad wins the award for best Animated Short.

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However, when it’s time to go up and give a speech Bart is horrified to see that Homer marches right up to the podium and begins taking all the credit, giving a huge and hammy speech. But Bart kind of lets it go, figuring that there’s plenty of other awards that Angry Dad will be eligible to win, so he just lets Homer enjoy it, assuming he’ll get to give his own speech some day. Which is incorrect, because Angry Dad turns out to be the sleeper hit of awards season, and begins winning everything.

They win a Childrens Choice Award, a Kennedy Center Honors, some sort of Playboy Mansion award, and Bart even gets to get his handpritns put at the Chinese Theater. But at every occasion Homer takes credit, and butts into the speech, taking all of the glory away from Bart. And that really starts to drive him insane. He knows that it’s kind of absurd to care so much about awards, but he decides he needs to do something in order to keep Homer away from the next award.

And it’s a big one. Because while staying in Los Angeles for their slew of awards Bart gets a call that he’s been nominated for an Oscar. And this time, he’s going to be the one to accept the award, because he’s not even going to tell Homer. So when the big night arrives Bart sends Homer and Marge out to check out the Watts Towers while he and Lisa go to the award ceremony, hoping that Homer won’t figure out what’s going on.

Which he almost gets away with. Unfortunately some guys spot Homer and Marge at the Towers and tell them about the ceremony, then drive them there. Meanwhile, Halle Berry is getting ready to present the awards, giving us a look at Condiments, which looks like a cross between Toy Story and Sausage Party, and some Wallace and Gromit Claymation thing. And after all of that the results come in, and Bart has won an Oscar. However, when he goes up to give his speech he finds that the whole thing is a little ridiculous. He says that it’s insane that one person gets to accept an award for countless people’s work, and he decides to take the Oscar, while inviting Homer up to the stage. And once that’s taken care of they take the Oscar and break it into little pieces, enough for every person who worked on Angry Dad: the Movie.

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This is a very weird episode. Similar to that episode where Homer and Marge became Olympic Gold-winning athletes the idea that Bart Simpson has now won an Academy Award is a little absurd. It goes far outside the realm of the Simpsons being an average American family. But whatever, it’s a fun episode. Mainly because of all of the silly little clips we get to see from the other nominated short films, showing up some great gags while trying out a variety of styles that we don’t normally see from the show. But I guess the real draw from the episode is that bit at the end, showing us that awards are silly, and that film and television are collaborative affairs that are the sum total of dozens if not hundreds of people’s work. Which is something we tend to forget.

Take Away: You shouldn’t care about accolades, just focus on the fact that you’ve created something people enjoy.

 

“Angry Dad: the Movie” was written by John Frink and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2011.

 

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