The Simpsons is a legendary American cartoon. Studio Ghibli is a legendary pillar of Japanese animation. It stands to reason the two would cross paths eventually. Movies like Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away are as good as any live action film you will ever see. So what happens when The Simpsons pays homage to this wonderful animator and animation style. We get a The Simpsons Studio Ghibli opening to The Simpsons, and it is a thing of beauty.
It would be impossible for me to name all the cross references in this The Simpsons Studio Ghibli opening. They just fire that many off a second. Look for nods to Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, among many others. I would go so far as to say this is the coolest thing you will see all day. Watch above.
Did you get them all? No, not Pokemon. I didn’t say “catch them all”, but heck, that works here, too. I think the best moment in the whole intro is the scene when the Kwik-E-Mart gets up and walks away, steampunk style. A definite nod to the Howl’s Moving Castle with hints of another brilliant anime film, Steamboy.
Seriously, how do The Simpsons do it? How do they stay this awesome after so many decades of entertaining us? I have no idea, but am just grateful they do.