DVD review: ‘The Simpsons — The Thirteenth Season’ is a lucky number

Just think: With Tuesday’s release by Fox of The Simpsons: The Thirteenth Season, we’re just six seasons shy of catching up. Season 20 was issued last January, and Season 21 is still airing. But at least we have our lucky 13th, complete with the bells and whistles fans have come to expect.

Among them are fun newly animated menus spinning from the four-disc set’s motif of a video game arcade. There’s also an eight-minute Simpsons video game montage of what appear to be crude mockups of games (but since I don’t play them, what do I know?).

Cover boy Ralph Wiggums also gets his own six-minute montage, The Sweet Life of Ralph, paying tribute to the most naive and childlike of all Simpsons characters. And there are 14 minutes of deleted scenes, which you can see within their episodes or watch strung together with commentary by producer Al Jean.

He points out in it that Season 13 was the last featuring ink and paint coloring of animation cells. Now The Simpsons is a creature of CG.

Season 13’s 22 shows include the inevitable Halloween episode, which in this case harbors the superb HAL-like house computer voiced by Pierce Brosnan. Other extras include a series of commercials for Burger King and (in Spanish) chips; a box set intro from creator Matt Groening with a quick run-down of the season’s guest voice actors; and a brief “Ralphisms” bit with Ralph’s best lines. (“Me fail English?” That’s no worse than millions of American who don’t know how to use “me” and “I.”)

If you love The Simpsons, as I do, you’re there already. And there’s no need for me to warn you off or qualify my review, except for the unwanted packaging ploy of shoving discs in tight inner cardboard sleeves. (Doh!) Beyond that, just enjoy. For the 13th season or the 21st, that’s what The Simpsons is about.


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