Tags: Ben Stiller, Carmen Electra, Dan Castellaneta, Dana Gould, Delroy Lindo, FOX, George Takei, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, James Lipton, Jane Kaczmarek, Joe Montegna, Jon Lovitz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julie Kavner, Marcia Wallace, Matt Groening, Matthew Perry, Michael Stipe, Nancy Cartwright, Olympia Dukakis, Pamela Hayden, Paul Newman, Phish, Pierce Brosnan, R.E.M., Reese Witherspoon, Richard Gere, Robert Pinsky, Stan Lee, The Simpsons, Trey Anastasio, Wolfgang Puck, Yeardley Smith
has an average rating of 9.2 on IMDb
4×3 1080p in AVC on THREE 50gb discs
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are pretty decent this time around!
– 2001 – 2002
– 491 minutes
Overall Verdict – Fans Will Be Pleased
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Show Itself was created by Matt Groening for FOX‘s television broadcasting network and originally premiered back in December 17, 1989. The show has been on the air now for 22 years (and counting) and continues to be one of the most watched sitcoms on television.
Writing a synopsis for this show or even this season is a bit weird for me as I honestly think about at least 90% of the readers have seen this show at some point in their life, but I’ll try my best here to write a synopsis of some sort. For those of you who have actually never seen the show, let me explain a tad bit. The show revolves around the family, “The Simpsons” comprised of a drunk, dimwitted father “Homer” (voiced by Dan Castellaneta), the wife with large hair “Marge” (voiced by Julie Kavner), the menace of a son “Bart” (voiced by Nancy Cartwright), the smart and outspoken daughter “Lisa” (voiced by Yeardley Smith) and lastly the baby “Maggie“. The family lives in the town of “Springfield” with other crazy characters such as the bartender “Moe” (voiced by Hank Azaria), the richest man in town “Montgomery Burns“, his assistant “Smithers“, the overly religious neighbor “Ned Flanders” (voiced by Harry Shearer), the kids TV show host “Krusty the Clown“, Bart’s best friend “Milhouse” (voiced by Pamela Hayden), the policeman “Chief Wiggum” and even his hilarious son “Ralph Wiggum” to just name off a few familiar characters.
All 22 Episodes of the thirteenth season of the show are included. They are as follows.
- Episode 1 – “Treehouse of Horror XII“
- Episode 2 – “The Parent Rap“
- Episode 3 – “Homer the Moe“
- Episode 4 – “A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love“
- Episode 5 – “The Blunder Years“
- Episode 6 – “She of Little Faith“
- Episode 7 – “Brawl in the Family“
- Episode 8 – “Sweets and Sour Marge“
- Episode 9 – “Jaws Wired Shut“
- Episode 10 – “Half-Descent Proposal“
- Episode 11 – “The Bart Wants What it Wants“
- Episode 12 – “The Latest Gun in the West“
- Episode 13 – “The Old Man and the Key“
- Episode 14 – “Tales from the Public Domain“
- Episode 15 – “Blame it on Lisa“
- Episode 16 – “Weekend at Burnsie’s“
- Episode 17 – “Gump Roast“
- Episode 18 – “I Am Furious (Yellow)“
- Episode 19 – “The Sweetest Apu“
- Episode 20 – “Little Girl in the Big Ten“
- Episode 21 – “The Frying Game“
- Episode 22 – “Poppa’s Got A Brand New Badge“
“The Simpsons” in its thirteenth season was just as hilarious as ever and included the guest voices of folks like Ben Stiller, Carmen Electra, Delroy Lindo, George Takei, James Lipton, Jon Lovitz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Marcia Wallace, Matthew Perry, Richard Gere, Paul Newman, Pierce Brosnan, Reese Witherspoon, Stan Lee, Wolfgang Puck, as well as bands R.E.M. and Phish.
Video Quality on this release is in 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on THREE BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Discs) in the (4×3) 1.33:1 aspect ratio.
Now first thing to remember is that this (the thirteenth season) was 7 years or so before this show went Hi-Def and was in letterbox (16×9 widescreen), so you’ll get the black pillar bars on the sides on each of the episodes. Also, the show didn’t contain as much dark outlines and detail in the first 19 seasons of the show, and as a result some of the outlines don’t appear fully solid and inky like they should. There’s also a tiny bit of presence of this being 480i (640×480 interlaced) source material and being upconverted on a more complex fashion and that your Blu-ray Disc Player can do. They did remove about 99% of the remnants of this having interlacing but there is a 1% still visible, especially in some scenes or (freeze frames) pausing the show. That’s just a very minor gripe in all honesty I felt worth getting out of the way. This doesn’t mean I am unhappy with the video presentation on this release, in fact after the disc usage (below) I’ll continue on with my thoughts on it.
Disc 1 uses 38.3GB total. Disc 2 uses 42.1GB total. Disc 3 uses 36.4GB total.
Discs 1 and 3 contain SEVEN episodes each; whereas disc 2 contains EIGHT episodes total. Each episode uses roughly around 4 to 5 gigabytes.
This season does look good in Hi-Def but not anywhere as impressive as the HD episodes from the twentieth season. The close-up shots hold a good amount of sharp black outlines as well as some nice detail in the textures. The color palette is vibrant to say the least and does have that sort of “pop” to it; just not the same “pop” that the show gained more recently in season twenty. There’s no sign of any compression, as they seem to have made good use of the 3-disc set, as mentioned above in the disc usage. All and all this season of the show has a solid HD presentation worthy of a “4 Star Rating” for overall video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. Dialogue is the most important aspect of this 5.1 mix and I’m happy to say it is delivered perfectly throughout primarily the front center channel. The front left & right channels get most of the action in terms of sound effects and such. The music in episodes gets mixed rather well with a bit of rear channel presence. There’s also a bit of LFE (bass) present thanks to the music and sound effects. Overall this lossless 5.1 mix gets the job done and earns a slightly above average “3.5 Star Rating” for audio quality. Don’t expect to be “blown away” by this in terms of sound, as after all, it is just an animated sitcom.
Bonus Materials are presented in Standard Definition video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound.
Disc 1 includes:
- Audio Commentary on ALL SEVEN Episodes
- “A Token From Matt Groening” (1:52)
- Deleted Scenes on Episodes “Treehouse of Horror XII“, “The Parent Rap“, “A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love“, “The Blunder Years“, and “She of Little Faith“. These can be watched with the episode but you must hit the “ENTER” button on your remote when the pair of scissors icon appears in the bottom right-hand corner to see these deleted scenes.
- “Animation Showcase” on Episode “The Parent Rap” (7:20) allows you to use the “ANGLE” button on your Blu-ray Disc Player’s remote control to switch between storyboards and animatics as you get to see the final animation in the bottom right-hand corner.
- “Raplhisms” (2:40) are hilarious.
- “Special Language Feature” on Episode “Treehouse of Horror XII“.
Disc 2 includes:
- Audio Commentary on ALL EIGHT Episodes
- Deleted Scenes on Episodes “Sweets and Sour Marge“, “Half-Decent Proposal“, “The Bart Wants What it Wants“, “The Lastest Gun in the West“, “The Old Man and the Key“, and “Tales from the Public Domain“. These can be watched with the episode but you must hit the “ENTER” button on your remote when the pair of scissors icon appears in the bottom right-hand corner to see these deleted scenes.
- “Animation Showcase” on Episode “Sweets and Sour Marge” (6:24) allows you to use the “ANGLE” button on your Blu-ray Disc Player’s remote control to switch between storyboards and animatics as you get to see the final animation in the bottom right-hand corner.
- “The People Ball” (1:14)
- “The 13th Crewman” (1:40)
- “Blame it on the Monkeys” (1:39)
Disc 3 includes:
- Audio Commentary on ALL SEVEN Episodes
- Deleted Scenes on Episodes “I Am Furious (Yellow)“, “The Sweetest Apu“, “Little Girl in the Big Ten“, and “The Frying Game“. These can be watched with the episode but you must hit the “ENTER” button on your remote when the pair of scissors icon appears in the bottom right-hand corner to see these deleted scenes.
- “The Games” (8:01) takes a look at all the video games that featured “The Simpsons” — namely the arcade game, NES 8-bit games, Genesis and SNES 16-bit games all the way up to those on the more semi-modern consoles like PlayStation.
- “The Sweet Life of Ralph” (6:10)
- Commercials include:
- - Burger King “Lines Man“ (0:21)
- - Burger King “Trick or Treat“ (0:32)
- - Burger King “Springfield Hamburger“ (0:32)
- - Burger King “Simpsons Watch“ (0:32)
- - Sabritas (0:22)
Overall, the bonus materials this time around are MUCH more impressive in comparison to the debut of “The Simpsons” on Blu-ray Disc via the Twentieth Season (reviewed HERE). That season was almost totally void of any bonus materials, whereas this has commentary on every episode, deleted scenes (actually implemented into the viewing experience for the episodes that feature them) and much more. One of my favorite little things creator Matt Groening has included here on the Blu-ray is these HD animated menus featuring characters from the show, in particularly those from this season (obviously) playing arcade games which maintains the theme to the packaging and whatnot for this season of the show.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.