Das Bus

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"Das Bus"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 9
Episode 14
Directed by Pete Michels
Written by David X. Cohen
Production code5F11
Original air dateFebruary 15, 1998
Guest appearance(s)
Episode features
Couch gag The family is portrayed as frogs on a lily pad. [1]
Commentary Matt Groening
Mike Scully
George Meyer
David X. Cohen
Pete Michels
Episode chronology
 Previous
"The Joy of Sect"
Next 
"The Last Temptation of Krust"
The Simpsons (season 9)
List of The Simpsons episodes

"Das Bus" is the fourteenth episode of The Simpsons ' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 15, 1998. [2] In an extended parody of Lord of the Flies , Bart, Lisa and other students from Springfield Elementary School are stranded on an island and are forced to work together. Meanwhile, Homer founds his own Internet company. It was written by David X. Cohen and directed by Pete Michels. Guest star James Earl Jones narrates the final scene of the episode. [1]

<i>The Simpsons</i> American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.

<i>The Simpsons</i> (season 9) Episode list for season of animated series

The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Plot

The Springfield Elementary School Model United Nations club is going on a field trip. On the bus, Bart, Nelson, Ralph, and Milhouse play a game by racing fruit down the aisle. Milhouse rolls a grapefruit that gets stuck under the brakes. When Otto tries to press down on the pedal, it squirts juice into his eyes, causing him to lose control and drive the bus off a bridge.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches participants speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. Usually an extracurricular activity, some schools also offer Model UN as a class. It is meant to engage students and allow them to develop deeper understanding into current world issues.

Bart Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional character in the American animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed Bart while waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip, Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. While the rest of the characters were named after Groening's family members, Bart's name is an anagram of the word brat. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family received its own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989.

Nelson Muntz Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Nelson Muntz is a fictional character and the lead school bully from the animated television series The Simpsons, best known for his signature mocking laugh "Ha-ha!". He is voiced by Nancy Cartwright and was introduced in Season 1's "Bart the General" as an antagonist but later became a close friend of Bart Simpson.

Otto tries to swim for help, but gets swept away by the current and picked up by Chinese fishermen. The students swim to a nearby tropical island, where Bart tries to tell everyone that being stranded is fun and imagines a lavish lifestyle there. Reality sets in when the island is found to be largely barren and the kids lack survival skills. With no food or adult supervision, the kids rely on snack food retrieved from the sunken bus by Bart, while Lisa sets up a ration system. They awake the next morning to find the snacks all gone. Suspecting Milhouse because of his pot-belly and nacho cheese breath, the students put him on trial and he blames the loss on a mysterious island "monster".

China Country in East Asia

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.

As there is insufficient evidence to prove Milhouse ate all the food, Bart acquits him. Upset, the other students attempt to kill Milhouse along with Bart and Lisa, who tried to intervene. They chase them into a cave, where it's revealed that Milhouse's "monster" is actually a wild boar. On one of the boar's tusks is an empty bag of chips, revealing that the boar was the culprit who ate all the snacks. Lisa notices that the boar has survived by licking slime from the sides of rocks and proclaims they can likewise live off the slime. The other kids instead kill the boar and eat it, while Lisa adheres to her vegetarianism by licking slime from the rocks. A deus ex machina narration by James Earl Jones says the kids are eventually rescued by Moe Szyslak. [1]

Lisa Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Lisa Marie Simpson is a fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. She is the middle child and most intelligent of the Simpson family. Voiced by Yeardley Smith, Lisa was born as a character in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Cartoonist Matt Groening created and designed her while waiting to meet James L. Brooks. Groening had been invited to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic Life in Hell, but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the elder Simpson daughter after his younger sister Lisa Groening Bartlett. After appearing on The Tracey Ullman Show for three years, the Simpson family were moved to their own series on Fox, which debuted on December 17, 1989.

Wild boar species of mammal

The wild boar, also known as the wild swine, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia, North Africa, and the Greater Sunda Islands. Human intervention has spread its distribution further, making the species one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world, as well as the most widely spread suiform. Its wide range, high numbers, and adaptability mean that it is classed as least concern by the IUCN and it has become an invasive species in part of its introduced range. The animal probably originated in Southeast Asia during the Early Pleistocene, and outcompeted other suid species as it spread throughout the Old World.

"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode in the seventh season of the American animated television series The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo. Her schoolmates and family members ridicule her for her beliefs, but with the help of Apu and Paul and Linda McCartney, she commits to vegetarianism.

Back at home, Homer discovers that Ned Flanders has his own home-based Internet business and decides he wants to start his own company. His business is later dismantled by Bill Gates and his goons.

Homer Simpson fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox that debuted December 17, 1989.

Ned Flanders Fictional character from The Simpsons franchise

Nedward Flanders Jr. is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Harry Shearer, and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire". He is the extremely religious, good-natured, cheery next-door neighbor to the Simpson family and is generally envied and loathed by Homer Simpson. A scrupulous and devout Evangelical Christian, he is among the friendliest and most compassionate of Springfield's residents and is generally considered a pillar of the Springfield community. Ned Flanders appearance is based on Great Britain's Stuart Parker.

A dot-com company, or simply a dot-com, is a company that does most of its business on the Internet, usually through a website on the World Wide Web that uses the popular top-level domain ".com". The suffix .com in a URL usually refers to a commercial or for-profit entity, as opposed to a non-commercial entity or non-profit organization, which usually use .org. Since the .com companies are web-based, often their products or services are delivered via web-based mechanisms, even when physical products are involved. On the other hand, some .com companies do not offer any physical products at all.

Production

According to the DVD commentary for The Simpsons'  ninth season, the couch gag was suggested by Dan Castellaneta's niece. [3] The film True Lies was the inspiration for the bus crashing against the bridge. [4] To get the fisherman's Chinese correct, Cohen called his friend. When the Chinese actors came, the actors felt Cantonese would be more appropriate for the fisherman than Mandarin, so it was changed. [4] Moe was picked to rescue the children, because the writers thought it was funny. [3]

DVD Optical disc

DVD is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

Dan Castellaneta American actor, voice artist, and comedian

Daniel Louis Castellaneta is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, producer and screenwriter, best known for his long-running role as Homer Simpson on the Fox Broadcasting Company animated sitcom The Simpsons. He also voices many other characters for the show including Abraham "Grampa" Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Sideshow Mel, Groundskeeper Willie, Mayor Quimby and Hans Moleman. Castellaneta also had roles in several other programs, including Futurama for Fox Broadcasting Company, Sibs and Darkwing Duck for ABC, The Adventures of Dynamo Duck for Fox Kids, Back to the Future: The Animated Series for CBS, Aladdin for Toon Disney, Taz-Mania for Warner Bros. Animation and in Hey Arnold! as Grandpa Phil for Nickelodeon.

<i>True Lies</i> 1994 action comedy film directed by James Cameron

True Lies is a 1994 American action comedy thriller film written, directed and co-produced by James Cameron. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tom Arnold, Art Malik, Tia Carrere, Bill Paxton, Eliza Dushku, Grant Heslov and Charlton Heston. It is a remake of the 1991 French comedy film La Totale! The film follows U.S. government agent Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger), who struggles to balance his life as a spy with his familial duties.

Cultural references

Most of the episode's plot, namely a group of children trapped on an island and the breakdown of law, order and civility, is a reference to William Golding's 1954 novel Lord of the Flies . [4] The title comes from the 1981 film Das Boot , although it would be "Der Bus" in German. [1] When the children are squabbling in the classroom, Principal Skinner restores order by banging his shoe on the desk. Skinner's actions are a reference to the shoe-banging incident by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at the UN in 1960. [3] When escaping from the other children, Bart, Lisa and Milhouse have to swing across a gap on a vine; Milhouse goes across first, but refuses to throw the vine back in a reference to the opening scene of the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark , where the same thing happens to Indiana Jones. [5]

Reception

In its original broadcast, "Das Bus" finished 17th in ratings for the week of February 9–15, 1998, with a Nielsen rating of 9.9, equivalent to approximately 9.6 million viewing households. It was the third highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following The X-Files and King of the Hill . [6]

In a 2006 article in USA Today , "Das Bus" was highlighted among the six best episodes of The Simpsons season 9, along with "Trash of the Titans", "The Last Temptation of Krust", "The Cartridge Family", "Dumbbell Indemnity", and "The Joy of Sect". [7] The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, Warren Martyn and Adrian Wood, called it a "fantastic episode", adding: "Ignore the Internet business side, and wallow in the cleverness of the children trapped on the island. Bart has never been cleverer, Nelson more menacing, and Milhouse more geekish. Great stuff with a delightful ending that is so witty and obvious, that it's annoying you never imagined they'd get away with it." [1]

The episode has become study material for sociology courses at University of California, Berkeley, where it is used to "examine issues of the production and reception of cultural objects, in this case, a satirical cartoon show", and to figure out what it is "trying to tell audiences about aspects primarily of American society, and, to a lesser extent, about other societies". Some questions asked in the courses include: "What aspects of American society are being addressed in the episode? What aspects of them are used to make the points? How is the satire conveyed: through language? Drawing? Music? Is the behavior of each character consistent with his/her character as developed over the years? Can we identify elements of the historical/political context that the writers are satirizing? What is the difference between satire and parody?" [8]

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Milhouse Mussolini Van Houten is a recurring character in the animated television series The Simpsons, voiced by Pamela Hayden, and created by Matt Groening who named the character after President Richard Nixon's middle name. Later in the series, it is revealed that Milhouse's middle name is "Mussolini." Milhouse is Bart Simpson's best friend in Mrs. Krabappel's fourth grade class at Springfield Elementary School, and is insecure, gullible, and less popular than Bart. Milhouse is often led into trouble by Bart, who takes advantage of his friend's naïveté, and he is also a regular target for school bullies Nelson Muntz and his friends Jimbo Jones, Dolph Starbeam, and Kearney Zzyzwicz. He also has a crush on Bart's sister, Lisa, which is used as a plot element in many episodes. Milhouse is one of the few residents in Springfield with visible, in fact rather thick, eyebrows.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Martyn, Warren; Wood, Adrian (2000). "Das Bus". BBC. Archived from the original on 2007-05-26. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  2. "Das Bus". The Simpsons.com. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
  3. 1 2 3 Scully, Mike (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for the Deleted Scenes (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  4. 1 2 3 Cohen, David (2006). The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD commentary for "Das Bus" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  5. Bates, James W.; Gimple, Scott M.; McCann, Jesse L.; Richmond, Ray; Seghers, Christine, eds. (2010). Simpsons World The Ultimate Episode Guide: Seasons 1–20 (1st ed.). Harper Collins Publishers. p. 443. ISBN   978-0-00-738815-8.
  6. Associated Press (February 20, 1998). "CBS wins; olympics disappointing". Sun-Sentinel. p. 4E.
  7. Clark, Mike (2006-12-22). "New on DVD". USA Today . Gannett Co. Inc. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  8. Thomas B. Gold (2008). "The Simpsons Global Mirror" (PDF). University of California Berkeley. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-04-07. Retrieved 2011-07-18.