Ay carumba! This will be the only The Simpsons crossover episode worth watching. You probably already know that the iconic animated series – “the longest-running scripted television show in history” – will this season have crossover episodes with Futurama and Family Guy. But the show will also have a crossover episode with itself. According to Entertainment Weekly, this year’s 25th “Treehouse Of Horror” will not only have viewers beholding the ravages of age upon themselves, but also upon the show, as the Simpsons family encounters the Simpsons family as they looked circa 1987-1990. The “Treehouse” segment is structured as a parody of The Others, with the Simpsons discovering they share their home with another ghost family that looks and sounds a lot like them, if maybe they were left on a radiator overnight.
The episode presents challenges to the animators, who had to recreate the original crude look of the show, and to the actors, as the voices of characters have altered considerably since the show’s origins as filler material on The Tracey Ullman Show. Dan Castellaneta will put on his old Walter Matthau-aping grumble. “People remember Dan’s, but Nancy [Cartwright]’s is different too,” showrunner Al Jean says. Cartwright is the voice of Bart. “It was lower-register, and you can see in the difference in this segment. It was really funny to get the interplay [between the two versions of the Simpsons] and for the actors to see the voice evolution. The great thing is we didn’t have to ask—we already had the cast hired for the Tracey Ullman Simpsons.”