You’re not the one one shocked by the sudden announcement of the brand new “The Simpsons” brief “Maggie Simpson in ‘The Force Awakens From Its Nap.'” For government producer Al Jean and the group behind the long-running animated sequence, they’re nonetheless marveling at how rapidly they turned it round.
“The Force Awakens From Its Nap,” which premieres at Midnight PT on Disney Plus, got here out of an concept that government producer James L. Brooks got here up with in January. Because “The Simpsons” library is such successful on the streamer, why not do a sequence of shorts the place the show interacts with different Disney Plus franchises?
Jean’s thought was “Star Wars”-centric, sending child Maggie to a Jedi pre-school. He wrote the script with Joel Cohen and Mike Price, whereas “Simpsons” director David Silverman helmed the brief.
Lucasfilm and Disney Plus had been on board. Keep in thoughts, this was January. “And then they mentioned, ‘we would actually wish to time the Star Wars brief for May the Fourth,'” Jean mentioned. “Obviously as a result of that is the massive day. But that is a really tight schedule. We instantly needed to write it. I believe the primary draft is dated January 18. And we have been engaged on that employees with us and David and the animation ever since. We lastly completed the combination on Friday final week. So I might say about three months is about as quick as you are able to do this stuff.”
“The Force Awakens From Its Nap” is the third in a sequence of shorts centered on Maggie, and with no dialogue. The first, “Maggie Simpson on ‘The Longest Daycare,'” premiered in theaters in 2012 and was nominated for an Oscar. The second, “Maggie Simpson in ‘Playdate with Destiny,'” ran on Disney Plus in April 2020.
“Maggie, I might say is like Buster Keaton,” Jean mentioned. “She’s silent, she’s humorous and she will take a fall. So she’s a wonderful silent comic… I simply love doing them. When I began watching comedy, my heroes had been Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, and there was an essence to these shorts that they did that was wonderful.”
Jean mentioned the Lucasfilm group was sport to work with “The Simpsons” and “had some good recommendations. They needed to guarantee that we used the complete universe of their characters,” he mentioned. “I’ve been watching for the reason that first movie and I’ve loved ‘The Mandalorian’ and their references to every thing in between. It’s at all times been an inspiration to us at ‘The Simpsons’ and it was enjoyable to actually combine the 2 universes. It’s onerous to explain till you’ve got seen it, however I believe it is actually gorgeously animated. I believe it actually got here off nicely.”
Among the characters who seem are BB-8 and “Darth Maul Baby.” Baby Yoda, aka Grogu, is referenced however not seen. “Baby Yoda might be essentially the most in demand character in the entire Disney universe proper now,” Jean mentioned. “I believe they do not need Baby Yoda to be overexposed, which is comprehensible. So there is a small reference.”
Where the “Star Wars” group additionally got here in helpful was ensuring the Star Wars language, Aurebesh, was accurately translated on a chalk board. “They corrected our language and retranslated it for us,” Jean mentioned. “You have the highest minds of two organizations of nerds combining on this.”
Monday’s Disney Plus announcement revealed that the brand new brief “is the primary of a number of from ‘The Simpsons’ that Disney Plus will launch all year long paying tribute to the service’s marquee manufacturers and titles.” And certainly, Jean confirms that one other one is within the works, and this one does not heart on Maggie.
“I will not say what it’s however it’s additionally very thrilling in several methods,” he mentioned. “The solely purpose is to type of stroll throughout the Disney Plus tiles from Star Wars to Nat Geo and plant our seed in every single place.”
Could Marvel be subsequent? “Could be,” hinted Jean. “I’m an enormous Marvel fan. We’ve handled them in a few methods. We’ve parodied them lots. We even had a few them, together with Kevin Feige, on the show. So our relationship with them has solely been implausible. Just as I’ve been impressed by ‘Star Wars’ for 40 years, I grew up studying Marvel Comics. And have a bunch nonetheless. If someone informed me I’d develop as much as write for ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel I’d be fairly joyful.”