It wasn't a matter of if, but when. Disney's purchase of Fox for $71 billion has already resulted in one lame attempt at synergy with May's "The Force Awakens from its Nap", a three-minute short featuring Maggie Simpson in a Star Wars-themed daycare. So an Avengers parody seemed inevitable.
Disney Plus just announced that "The Good, The Bart, and The Loki," an animated Simpsons short parodying The Avengers, will premiere on July 7. Not only will it feature characters such as Ralph Wiggum as The Hulk, but Tom Hiddleston will voice Loki.
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Disney is pinning this as the "ultimate crossover event," potentially greater than Avengers: Infinity War itself. In it, the god of mischief teams up with Bart to go on some kind of adventure in The Simpsons universe.
The title itself is an homage to the Clint Eastwood movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" from 1967. Although, we suspect there's no deeper reference to the classic spaghetti Western.
This is the third such Simpsons animated short to come from Disney Plus. The first was "Playdate with Destiny," which was shown ahead of the Pixar film Onward while that movie was in theaters. The second was "The Force Awakens from its Nap," a mishmash of nonsensical hijinks between Maggie Simpson and a never-ending barrage Star Wars references.
Considering Maggie rarely speaks, these shorts were largely based on physical gags and other bouts of silly adventure. With "The Good, The Bart, and The Loki," there's more room for a narrative, one that could appeal to adults as well as children.
In the case of "The Force Awakens from its Nap," it left many of us asking "why?" There seemed to be no greater significance other than that Disney owned both properties and found a benign way to mash them together. Overall, it was a vapid exercise in seeing how many Star Wars citations could be crammed into a three-minute short. And existence for the sake of existence seldom makes for clever programming.
We wouldn't be too surprised if the story in "The Good, The Bart, and The Loki" is nothing more than a contrived attempt at jam-packing as many Simpsons characters in MCU cosplay as possible. Because, as has been the trend for The Simpsons this past decade, references alone make up for the lack of clever and inventive storytelling.
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Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.