Banksy tags 'The Simpsons' opening sequence
October 11th, 2010
12:44 PM ET

Banksy tags 'The Simpsons' opening sequence

British street artist Banksy brought his vision to Springfield last night by directing the opening sequence for "The Simpsons," but his work might not necessarily have everyone laughing.

The sequence opens with the camera traveling through the streets of the Simpsons' fictitious hometown, past a billboard tagged with "Banksy" graffiti and landing in Springfield Elementary School, where bad boy Bart is scrawling "I will not write all over the walls" on a blackboard – and on the walls, of course.

Bart journeys via skateboard to the Simpson home and joins parents Homer and Marge and sisters Lisa and Maggie on the couch to watch TV – and then things take a dramatic turn.

Suddenly, the family appears on the giant screen of a grim animation factory, where Asian workers drearily draw the "Simpsons" cartoon while haunting music plays (a reference to the Seoul, South Korea, animation studio where the Fox series is created, perhaps?).

"Simpsons" T-shirts are wheeled through the cavernous factory, which is filled with rats and human skeletons, and cats are thrown into a woodchipper to make stuffing for Bart Simpson dolls, which are then carted off by a panda bear.

The Banksy sequence ends with a malnourished unicorn - which is chained to a wall and used to puncture holes in the center of "Simpsons" DVDs – collapsing before an image of the 20th Century Fox logo is shown surrounded by barbed wire, searchlights and a watchtower.


soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Reginald

    I rarely leave a response, but i did a few searching
    and wound up here Banksy tags 'The Simpsons' opening sequence – The Marquee Blog – CNN.
    com Blogs. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it's allright. Could it be just me or does it appear like some of the remarks appear like coming from brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are writing at additional sites, I would like to follow everything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of every one of all your community pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Prescription Safety Glasses

    November 2, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
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    October 17, 2012 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
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    April 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jchang

    stewie is cooler than bart! vote at http://coolometer.org/simpsons-vs-family-guy

    May 3, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. jchang

    stewie is cooler than bart! vote for Family Guy

    May 3, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Russ

    Looks like we've located the 25 or so people who still actually watch "The Simpsons", all posting here.

    October 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. WMesser58

    Best Opening ever. All you Dan Quayle wanna be's get a clue. It's a "FREAKIN" Cartoon. I thought it was brave and damn funny to make fun of the people that holds the money.!!!!!!

    October 12, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    Been a Simson's fan since the series start. While we love the show for social commentary and edginess, we love it because it's done with humor. I think this opening lacked that and in the end tried too hard for an "arthouse" look.
    Didn't think it worked.

    October 12, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    Great...

    "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Twentieth Century Fox"

    Thanks for sharing Fox.... NOT!

    October 12, 2010 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ian

    Great opening sequence and very funny. Anyone who did not recognize it as pure humor has most certainly lost their grip on reality.

    October 12, 2010 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Kevin

    Arguing on the internet is like running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you are still retarded.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matt

    Have any of you actually been to south korea? It's not like that.

    October 12, 2010 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. Alice

    The sequence just brings to light what we already know but choose to ignore: sweatshops exist. Will FOX stop outsourcing to Seoul because of the sequence? Hell no. There's about as much chance of that as there is of a unicorn existing (go Banksy). Did we learn something? I would like to think so. And if we listen to Mirae and understand that the South Korean 'sweatshop' is really just a bad day at work and not almost-slavery, then fine. But that doesn't mean there aren't other sweatshops out there. Kudos to the show for stirring up some controversy. And frankly, kudos to FOX for allowing it to air (although somehow I think if the company had banned the opening sequence, THAT would have garnered WAY more media attention than simply letting it air).

    October 11, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ben

    Actually, The Simpsons has turned around in the past year- very good satirical humor. I've sampled a few episodes over the past 10 years or so and I'll grant you that there have been poor seasons. Not anymore. I'm not sure where some of you live citing home ownership? I'm a homeowner where the west hills neighborhood meets downtown Portland, OR, and I've never been concerned someone is going to spray paint my place. I mean seriously, if your house is getting tagged you really need to reconsider where you are residing. On the other hand, there is a tunnel into the hills a few blocks from me that gets spray painted with cool urban themes once in a while. The city paints over it- I wish they wouldn't.

    October 11, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jay

    Banksy is useless because Fox won't stop using sweatshops? That's idiot logic if ever I've heard it. Banksy is an artist. Period. Its his job to make art. If he chooses to use his art to shine a light on a problem, that's even better. But to think that a guy with a paintbrush and a stencil is going to stop a mega-million dollar corporation from using sweatshop labor...well that's just foolish. That's like sending my high school history teacher to "fix" Wall Street because he's got some powerful opinions on the subject. Don't be a fool. Expecting art to fix the worlds ills is as idiotic as right-wingers getting mad at artists for *Gasp* having an opinion. If anything you're part of the problem. A guy steps up in a national medium and shines a light on a problem....and what do you do...you complain. Why not get off your ass and do something about sweatshop labor if you think Banksy has failed so miserably.

    October 11, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Davidb

    Nowhere fast? On a skateboard? Why the generalizations and stereotypes?

    I agree that tagging is lame...but demonizing an entire culture of art and sport....for the actions of maybe 1 kid you've seen tagging while skateboarding (although I highly doubt this. It's just your feeble mind trying to make sense of your loss of youth....) is even more lame. What what you say about a "skateboarder" or deadbeat....we're the ones banging your daughter.

    October 11, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  18. John

    The charm about Banksy is his art is simple, witty and insightful. This wasn't. It was a mess and because of overreaching, lacked the bite. This might have worked 10 years ago or when the show was actually good, but the Simpson humor is about as relevant as a "Dave & Busters".

    And the "armchair activists" comments are dead on. Most who defend against are doing it out of laziness. They don't want the guilt of it being true and them having to change their greedy little ways.

    "It's satire" -Idiot

    October 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Randoms

    In My Opinion, In no way shoud grafitti be looked at as art. If you want to argue, then you don't own a house yet and your friends still call you Stevie or Mikey. Maybe you don't have to own a house, but care about your neighbourhood.
    When you tag, it is only appreciated by the other Billy's or Davy's. If you see a tagger over 25 – dude is going nowhere fast on a skateboard. Argue all you want, but it decreases property value and invites crime.

    October 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. travis vs.

    Family Guy did an "Obey" reference a while back. grafitti is really inching it's way into the social norm. Can you aford the legal fees and jail time of being super cool? Banksy can.

    October 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Sean

    I loved The Simpsons. Noticed I said loved- as in past tense. I was a huge collector of their merchandise because I loved the show- not because I'm a collector. I had self-made VHS tapes galore (until DVRs came along and I started "taping" them that way). My wife and I bonded over the Simpsons. We'd often use a Simpsons quote in the subject line of our earliest emails. We actually got married on the day the Simpsons movie came out.

    That all said, the show absolutely sucks now. It has sucked for the better part of 10 years, actually. IMO, it's very hard to find an episode from around 2000 onward that is truly funny. The original stable of writers changed around that time and that's why. Homer's character became very different. He went from a lovable, loudmoth doofus to a just plain loudmouth idiot. They beat the living daylights out of a joke now. There was a time when "Family Guy" was a weak Simpsons rip-off. Now we've come to a point where the Simpsons is a weak Family Guy wannabe. Ouch.

    Sorry, but the show jumped the shark 10 years ago and I'm astounded that it's still on. Oh well, I'll always have my collection of episodes from the first 10 years that brilliant people like John Swartzwelder were responsible for, as opposed to the clueless-about-what's-funny 24 year old hacks who probably write it now.

    October 11, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Stevo

    It was actually the first time I saw the Simpsons in a long, long time, so I didn't know what to make of it at first. When I got the joke, I thought it was great that they did something like this. Way to think outside the box, guys.

    October 11, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  23. I love Sandra

    Great episode! The opening sequence was different, but still funny. The show itself was great. Lisa and Bart reuniting at the end was sweet.

    October 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  24. casey

    sounds awesome.

    October 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  25. cf

    Never heard of "Banksy" until now but I think we're giving him too much credit for the opening. It was classic Simpsons satire and quirkiness and this Banksy character didn't write or animate it. So... I don't get it.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Banksy storyboarded it, so, in a way, he did "write" it. As for whether or not anything will change because of it, keep in mind that there was some sort of strike 25-30 years ago (I remember Casey Kasem being involved, since he is the voice of Shaggy on all of the Scooby-Doo series) which, among other things, tried to stop animation work from being sent overseas, but that didn't work (and note that pretty much every animated show gives a credit to the overseas studio that does its "in-between" work).

      October 11, 2010 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Zeus

    Athena, what is it that you do that is making this world a better place. Besides being a pain on message boards?

    October 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mystic River

    It was an interesting opening – different than their usual couch gag – and certainly fun, but why are we celebrating this graffiti artist rather than criticizing him for defacing public property? As a property owner, I hate cleaning up after kids who've tagged my buildings. It's not art, it's not fun, and it's illegal. Ideally, we should catch this guy and clip off his spray-can finger as an example. Instead, we celebrate him as a pop-culture hero.

    October 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • CT

      I really don't think you understand Graffiti. If you are going to comment on something you should comment on other property. Graffiti is actually taught in colleges are a legitimate art now. If you knew anything about Banksy you would know his work is being fought over. http://www.freep.com/article/20100515/ENT05/100514077/Graffiti-artist-Banksy-leaves-mark-on-Detroit-and-ignites-firestorm. It is narrow minded people like you that just think about yourself and not the big picture. Property owners should feel blessed to have an artist such as Banksy to bestow upon them his visions. If he tagged a piece of your property i bet it would sell more.

      October 12, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Diane Bish

      while "tagging" is annoying and unsightly, Banksy's work is far from tagging. I understand your point, but you should check out some of his art (yes, "art")

      October 12, 2010 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  28. Vixen Blue

    ok the opening wasnt that funny infact it made me wanna cry cuz the abuse of animals i dont care if it was just cartooning or not! Its cruel! The only funny part was the admitting of sweat shop cuz most dont admitt that. -Vixen Blue

    October 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  29. dj

    it's a cartoon......fake ...not real.... really fake....get it....do not get upset ....it is fake.....

    October 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Fred

    All the retarded eco-terrorist wannabes out there should understand that this was making fun of all of your over-exaggerations of things.

    October 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike A.

      Thank God someone gets it. For every 1,000,000 posts on the internet I occasionally read one that is right.

      October 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cranky

      What a surprising comment from a dyed-in-the-wool conserva-tard...

      October 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Athena

    So what! So their eyes are "opened?" Are those people actually going to do anything to help the situation, or turn off the T.V. and go play their xbox or whatever the latest craze is? Oh yes, Banksy has shown them the light. Please. He is just another artist who is going around creating commentary without actually DOING anything about what he is commenting ON. He and his band of hipster followers are a bunch of armchair activists, nothing more. When they actually start putting their money where their mouth is- literally via boycots, voting, and ACTIVE activism rather than passive internet activism- then people will start to listen.

    October 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  32. whatt

    athena, banksy is not useless. the fact is, now a lot of people's eyes are open. its also halloween month in case you tweakers forgot.

    October 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Mirae

    Hi I live in Seoul, South Korea
    The "sweatshop" here is not as dreary like people think. It is just another of tedious day at work. Animators get their lunches, break times, smokes, play on cellphones, chat with friends, etc. No different from your dreary day at work.
    Source: I went on tour of the facility when I was art major in college.

    October 11, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Thank you for offering some legitimate insight

      October 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • not drinking the kool-aid

      Oh, don't tell people that. Americans love to believe that all corporations are evil and if their is ever any foreign investment by an American company it's only for sweatshops.

      October 12, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  34. Athena

    The reality is that this sequence does nothing but make LIGHT of the very problems it is trying to point out. Banksy is a genius? Really?! What good will come of this sequence? Will Fox drop it's sweatshop asscoiations? No? Then Banksy is useless.

    October 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Terri

    I was shocked and baffled by the opening of the Simpsons last night. Pandas being whipped? A guy using the head of a dead dolphin to lick letters? Half dead unicorn? Kittens being tossed into a wood chipper to make stuffing for dolls? Chinese sweat shop? Yes I know the reality of sweat shops, but is that really appropriate for The Simpson's opening sequence? Hardly!

    October 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Andy

    Awesome! At least something different and not too far from reality... The unicorn is fictional jajajaja... It´s good to see something different and laughing about themselves (FOX & Simpsons)

    October 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  37. sean

    Its the simpsons, anything is fair game. The simpsons should run for president, but then again they're too honest for politics

    October 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. ViSmith

    Banksy is a GENIUS!!

    October 11, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Kevin

    Who cares?

    October 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dyson

      I do actually. Last night watching it I was in shock. Obviously something was different. I am glad there is some news about it to shed some light on the subject.

      October 11, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jackson

    Inspired, and a reminder of the days when they were almost always that topical and politically minded.

    October 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Maddog

    At least the producers of the Simpson's willingly admit their connection to asian sweatshops. Most of corporate america and the goverment treats it like a dirtly little secret. Bravo Bart...

    October 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cliff

      Yeah I live in Seoul and I've been to the so-called "sweatshop"... They make a decent living.

      October 12, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  42. myke nelson

    it sounds great. i wish i could have seen it! banksy is a great artist with alot to say. its great to hear that his style has made it to such a broad audience! happy painting!

    October 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • PFET

      Myke, the opening sequence has been posted by Fox on YouTube – check it out. It was mind-blowing, yet funny as hell.

      October 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Mitchell

    This is why "The Simpsons" is great. Subversive and satirical, and at one time the smartest show on tv. I hope this signals a return to the socially conscious humor that I grew up with. Bart summed it up nicely last night when he said, "How would you like to kiss my ass?"

    October 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • squeaky voiced teen

      subversive and smart? I guess you missed the last 13 seasons.

      October 12, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  44. Isabel

    I thought it was great, Isn't it that how it really is? ( but the unicorn, of course) although it was much grimmer than other Simpsons openings, it was very different.

    October 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I agree. But of course Seoul is a huge modern city. But you can just imagine North Korea instead.

      October 12, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  45. john

    I thought the opening sequence was fantastic.

    October 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |

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