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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Simpsons Christmas 2
Simpsons Christmas 2
Fox // Unrated // November 2, 2004
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 27, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

This compilation includes four holiday-themed episodes of "The Simpsons". Some of these episodes (such as the recent "'Tis the 15th Season") have not yet been released as a part of the full season box sets already out. While not all of these episodes are among the best, there are certainly some winners here.

The first episode is "Homer Vs. Dignity", where Homer tries to get Burns to give him a raise to cure his money woes. When Smithers goes away to try and stage his play in New Mexico, Homer tries to get Burns to give him a raise. Instead, Burns makes Homer his "prank monkey", paying him to play nasty pranks on his co-workers and the rest of the town. This episode does get played a lot in reruns, but there are some memorable lines and classic scenes.

"Skinner's Sense of Snow" is the second episode on the DVD, and it's another favorite of mine. There's a major snowstorm in Springfield, and everyone seems to have a snow day aside from the kids. After being shown a terrible old film by Principal Skinner, the kids find that they've been snowed in. It's up to Homer and Flanders to try and save them, although their rescue attempt doesn't go exactly as planned.

"Dude, Where's My Ranch?" is the next episode, and it's probably the weakest of the set. When Homer writes a song against goody neighbor Ned Flanders, David Byrne overhears and wants to help Homer produce it. The song becomes a number one hit and forces Homer and family to head out for a vacation to get away from Homer's creation. Some of the opening bits with Homer are amusing, but Lisa's storyline of finding romance on the vacation ranch (and then jealousy when she thinks she has competition) is fairly uninteresting.

Good, but not great is "'Tis the 15th Season", which sees Homer getting an additional "bonus" at work when Burns gives him a classic baseball card in addition to his $5 cafeteria voucher. Although Homer first thinks about getting a great tree for Christmas, he spends most of the money on a nearly useless present for himself.


The DVD

VIDEO: All four episodes are presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, their original aspect ratio. The picture quality is excellent, as good as the episodes that have been included on the more recent full-season sets. Sharpness and detail are first-rate, as the picture appeared crisp and well-defined, showing off all of the details of the animation. A little bit of shimmer and a couple of traces of pixelation appeared, but these faults were barely noticable. Colors appeared bright and well-saturated, with no issues.

SOUND: While the episodes on the full season box sets are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, the episodes here have not had their soundtracks remixed for 5.1, and instead are presented with their broadcast 2.0 soundtracks. Despite not being in 5.1, the 2.0 audio seemed satisfactory, with clear dialogue and sound effects.

EXTRAS: The only supplements are regarding "'Tis the 15th Season". In The "Art and Animation" area, viewers are presented with an animatic (moving storyboard) for the episode and a multi-angle feature that offers picture-in-picture viewing of: storyboards, animatic and completed episode footage.

Final Thoughts: Although some may be dismayed that Fox is releasing these "themed" discs, this latest "Christmas"-related Simpsons offering does boast 2 superb episodes and 2 amusing ones. With its low price, it's a fun idea to pick up to have around for holiday parties/gatherings. Recommended.

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