A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Sylvain Chomet’s ‘Simpsons’ Opening

The elaborate Simpsons couch gag directed by Sylvain Chomet (Triplets of Belleville, The Illusionist) now has a making-of video courtesy of the production company that produced the opening, London-based th1ng. Th1ng founder Dominic Buttimore and animator Neil Boyle appear with Chomet in the video.

Chomet also explained recently to the British trade publication Beak Street Bugle why the entire Simpsons clan wears glasses in the opening:

The only problem Sylvain recalls was to do with reconciling his style with that of Matt and The Simpsons’ animators. Sylvain’s characters don’t have round eyes like the Simpsons, so he had trouble making them recognisable while retaining his aesthetic. His solution was to give them all glasses – a bit of lateral thinking that makes a big difference.

(Thanks, Kirk Hendry)


  • blandyblottschalk

    Is that onionskin paper? They were working in a really well-lit room which is unfamiliar to me. Light….

    • TStevens

      Onion Skin paper??? Hmmm… I suspect they are working with Chromacolour ProGrade paper which is no longer available in the states but is still available in Europe (from what I have heard). As far as back light vs top light, a lot of animators don’t really use the back light unless they are checking for size and scale. It’s really there for clean-up and inbetween and even then, with a thinner paper, you don’t really need the back light as much as you think.

  • Joseph Patrick

    Three words. Labor of Love!

  • wganoz

    good old pencil and paper, now only old farts can pull this out

    • bob

      yeah guys like Minkyu Lee are just so old.

  • sameul

    so much talent.. and animating fingers and hands are hard as hell, kudos

  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    That was really great to see the power of hand drawn animation displayed here. Even if technology helps finalize the piece, the fact that hand drawn is still alive and well brings me joy.

  • Cindy Gagnon

    One day your show will be very popular. I smiled :)

  • Shmorky

    The instant I saw the glasses I knew right away that it was done to keep their big bug eyes in Chomet’s style. Glad to have him confirm my theory.

  • Funkybat

    Some people love Chomet’s stuff and other hate it. I can only take it in moderate doses, but like a fine dessert, it’s great to indulge in every now and then. Such amazing (if disturbing) detail! This was the best “guest couch gag” yet.

  • joe G

    Now if the Fox network won`t be so cheap,they might as well do a full episode,even just one episode that is fully hand drawn and not done in Korea.