The Simpsons officially made their Disney debut this weekend as they had their first panel as part of D23. The Simpsons panel is regularly one of our biggest highlights of SDCC, and D23 was no exception.
Ahead of this year's D23 we had already learned that The Simpsons would be part of Disney+, where every episode of The Simpsons will be available to stream. Even though I already own every season on DVD (that's been released), having every episode stream on Disney+ is enough for me to sign up!
The Simpsons panel kicked off with Yeardley Smith returning to the moderating role she had at SDCC, with a fairly similar members on the panel. Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike B. Anderson, Matt Selman, and Nancy Cartwright joined Yeardley on the stage.
This panel was a treat as it appeared to me that many of the D23 attendees were getting their first look at The Simpsons panel that we've been use to for years at SDCC. One thing that was a nice change of pace was creator Matt Groening talking about family trips to Disneyland and the profound influence Disney had on him, notably how Donald Duck gags influenced The Simpsons couch gag routine.
Bart paddle fans handed out to the panel attendees
(Picture courtesy of laughingplace.com)
I know many long time fans of The Simpsons like myself were nervous about how the merger with Disney could impact some of The Simpsons regualr jokes made at Disney's expense. As we saw at SDCC, they aren't holding back, and at D23 they made sure fans knew they would stay true to form. They also showed a great montage of some of the many jokes made at Disney's expense over the years.
One of the final touching moments of The Simpsons panel was the tribute to Russi Taylor, who not only voiced Minnie Mouse, but a number of Simpson's characters such as Martin, Uter, and Sherri & Terri. In his usual panel fashion, Matt Groening gave away some art, a Minnie Mouse drawing in memory of Russi Taylor.
Matt Groening's Minnie Mouse drawing
Experiencing two Simpsons panels in the past month has me incredibly excited for this upcoming season of The Simpsons, as well as the launch of Disney+. While there's a ton of great programming coming to the streaming service, I can tell you I for one will have The Simpsons on repeat.