This Sunday, April 19 on Fox/Citytv, The Simpsons handed the opening “Couch Gag” segment off to Acme Filmworks animator Michal Socha. Acme is an indie house, utilizing 50 directors from 24 countries working on everything from features to commercials to music videos to apps.
Polish director Socha, 38, directed this weekend’s extended opener. Acme has a few distinguished alumni from The National Film Board of Canada on its talent roster, including Academy Award nominated Caroline Leaf (“Sand,” “The Street”), and Paul Driessen (“Yellow Submarine”) as well as Janet Perlman (“The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin.”
Socha’s Simpsons‘ opener has the whole family engaged in extreme sports — well, virtually, anyway. The rest of the episode finds Cletus becoming a helium tycoon, and Maggie reuniting with baby Hudson from Playdate with Destiny in the all new episode, “The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby.”
How much of The Simpsons can be animated, scored, recorded and edited in this time of extended isolation is in question. For years, the principle voice cast has been recording from home. Character design and key art is done in California with the bulk of the animation contracted to various international studios. Each episode, from start to finish, usually takes about nine months to complete.
Earlier this year, the series was renewed for a 31st and a 32nd season — the first due to commence this coming September. If the entire order is completed, TV’s longest-running series will surpass 700 episodes. Ay carumba!