You can’t think about ambitious cinematic crossovers without talking about Marvel. But now that Disney owns everything from Star Wars to The Simpsons, the ante has been well and truly upped. Case in point: The Good, The Bart and The Loki.
As a die-hard fan of The Simpsons for as long as I can remember, I jumped on this the second I saw it had premiered on Disney+. But unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.
The short wasn’t bad, per say. It still had all of the telltale signs of being an episode of The Simpsons – conflict between Bart and Lisa, Homer being a clueless buffoon and cameos from the minor characters we all know and love.
But it just didn’t really hit the mark for me. It was very choppy and honestly felt like the creators tried to squeeze as many Marvel references into a six minute short as they possibly could.
Sure, there was the novelty factor of seeing all of your favourite Springfield residents as The Avengers, but the short itself lacked the substance I expected from an episode of the show.
At first I thought I just missed the inside jokes because I’m not a huge Marvel fan and that’s why it didn’t land for me, but it turns out it was actually a much bigger creative decision.
I didn’t love The Good, The Bad and The Loki because it wasn’t created for me.
If you look at the Disney+ homepage, there are specific categories for Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, Pixar and even National Geographic, but not for The Simpsons.
Basically, this means The Simpsons has to work harder to get on the radar of people who aren’t already fans of the show.
The solution? Infiltrate Disney+.
According to executive producer James L. Brooks, the plan was simple: invade the rest of the platform with short films to pique the interests of fans of the other popular IPs.
“It was just the desire that we had to reach out to the viewers [of] the other branches of Disney+, to see if they would be interested in us — you know, if they hadn’t seen us as much,” Jean told Variety.
Essentially, these shorts are a gateway drug for fans of the MCU to introduce the characters and premise of The Simpsons in a way that feels familiar to them. That’s why it doesn’t necessarily land for diehard fans of the show, especially if you’re not equally obsessed with Disney’s other IP.
The plan kicked off with Star Wars with the OG short The Force Awakens From Its Nap, and now we’ve got The Good, The Bart and The Loki. But The Simpsons isn’t stopping there.
“We definitely want to keep doing these shorts — definitely [with] those two, but also with the other properties, like Pixar and the classic Disney movies,” Brooks said.
“We’ll probably take a little more time on the next one. We haven’t settled on what we’re going to do yet, but there are just so many things that are just so, you know — I mean, as a kid, I was a huge fan of Marvel. I started collecting when I was six. These are the things that we would want to crossover or parody, anyways.”
Basically, no IP is safe from Simpsonification.