The Simpsons has always delighted in referencing and spoofing the movies its creators love. But now in its 25th (!) season, the show has recently taken an increased interest in paying tribute to iconic films and filmmakers by integrating their characters and visual styles into the show, with sequences like the Hobbit-inspired couch gag and the “Treehouse Of Horror” intro created by director Guillermo del Toro. Now the endlessly inventive Simpsons writers and animators have paid tribute to the work of filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, who may or may not be retiring after his latest masterpiece, The Wind Rises.
The clip below, from this Sunday’s “Married To The Blob,” includes shout-outs to many of Miyazaki’s most famous characters and movies, including No-Face from Spirited Away, the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro, and Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service. There are lots more, as I’m sure you’ll all point out in the comments section.
I wonder what the reaction from folks who’ve never seen a Miyazaki movie will be on Sunday. If you don’t get the references, this scene is going to look awfully weird.