The Simpsons

Season 8 Episode 9

El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jan 05, 1997 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
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  • The Simpons take a risk and it pays off

    When Homer arrogantly thinks he can handle any chilli, no matter how hot, he goes on a strange and mystical journey after going one pepper too far. When he returns to reality he realises that maybe he and Marge aren't meant to be so he leaves her.

    This isn't a typical Simpsons episode; it's semi - serious and insightful the whole way through and even its "comedy" moments have a deeper meaning.
    What affects the episode's poignancy is that we all know how the episode will end and if a movie was presenting these sorts of themes; an unpredictable ending is crucial. Because we know what's coming, rather than anticipation the final act comes off as just routine. The dream sequence is hands down not only the best part of the episode but i'm having trouble naming any scenes in The Simpsons that top this. The breathtaking animation which used a variety of methods coupled with the overall intrigue made it unforgettable and the fact that it was all animated by one man instead of sweatshop workers in Korea made it all the more personal. While in that fantasy land we had the rare feeling of wanting to see everything in it but at the same time being afraid of what we might find. When he wakes up we're given the "Wizard of Oz" routine of whether or not it was real but it's up to each viewer to make up their mind. When returning from Oz, it goes from color to black and white. Meaning that the amazing animation goes back to the standard one but the visual composition gives meaning to its appearence.

    Dan Castellaneta basically carries the episode single - handidly and does so superbly, nailing all the nuances and cadences that if we closed our eyes we'd think it came from a movie. Johnny Cash lends his vocals to the talking fox and it's great to have a voice actor who doesn't inherently try to be funny, his soulful voice adds a lot to the four - legged friend. This episode sees the show taking a break from convention and exploring deeper meanings and while it may not be as consistently funny or entertaining as previous and subsequent episodes the issues it addresses and the way they're presented in both a familiar and personal way is where the magic is.
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