To celebrate the most exalted of days in the Star Wars universe — May 4th — Disney+ added the Star Wars-themed Simpsons short The Force Awakens From Its Nap to its library. The short centred on the youngest member of everyone’s favourite family — Maggie and provided fans of both franchises with a welcome cross-over.
Given that Disney owns the rights to both The Simpsons and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it seemed like the next natural to step to find a way to bring those two worlds together too. Not only that, but it provided a solution to the fact that Disney+ subscribers don’t see a Simpsons tile in the account, even though the streaming platform is now home to every season of the long-running animation ever made.
So, co-creator and executive producer James L. Brooks came up with the plan to permeate the other properties on Disney+ with a series of crossover short films.
“It was just the desire that we had to reach out to the viewers [of] the other branches of Disney Plus, to see if they would be interested in us — you know, if they hadn’t seen us as much,” The Simpsons‘ executive producer, Al Jean told Variety. in an interview.
Cue: The Good, The Bart, and the Loki — complete with Tom Hiddleston lending his voice to the trickster god who, in the short, has been banished from Asgard and landed (much to his chagrin) in Springfield.
Ralph as the Hulk? That’s Unpossible!
The Good, The Bart, and the Loki features several of the residents of Springfield being transformed into Avengers. For example, Patty and Selma as the Scarlet Witch and Agnes, Barney Gumble as Iron Man and Milhouse as Hawkeye.
For Jean though, his two favourites were clear. “My favourite was Ralph as the Hulk and Herman as Captain America — because he wears the Captain America shield on his shirt because he’s a gun store owner,” he said. “It was about 10 minutes to put that together. We would’ve had more — I mean, there’s 100 Avengers — but we were just trying to make sure that the production got done on time.”
Marvel Didn’t Meddle
According to Jean, Marvel was fairly hands-off when it came to bringing the episode to life and were “really were great and supportive”.
“The only note we had was we thought we could have a cameo by Stan Lee,” Jean said. “We’re putting as many cameos and post-credits sequences into a four-minute short as possible. But they said that their policy is that since he passed, they don’t use him in movies anymore, which I understood completely. And we had him on the show three times, so we had our shot.”
Down to the Wire
When it comes to the post-credits scene (because every film and TV show has to have one!) the team had very little time to pull it all together. In fact, Jean revealed that they made magic happen in just one week.
“It was really a nail biter,” he said. “(Co-creator and executive producer) Jim Brooks said, ‘Oh, we’ve got to do something with the series now that it’s on,’ because we were coming out July 7.
“So that was based on the first episode only. I hadn’t seen the other three, and obviously, I have no idea how it ends, either. I suspect Loki is up to no good. That’s my theory…So that whole ending, whatever, minute, is in a week.”
But Wait! There’s More
Jean and his team have no intention of stopping at just two cross-over shorts and they certainly don’t intend to stop at Stars Wars and Marvel, either. The executive producer said that there are Pixar properties and Disney classics that they have their eye on to do something with in the future.
“We’ll probably take a little more time on the next one,” he said. “We haven’t settled on what we’re going to do yet, but there are just so many things that are just so, you know — I mean, as a kid, I was a huge fan of Marvel. I started collecting when I was six. These are the things that we would want to crossover or parody, anyways.”
You can watch The Good, The Bart, and the Loki now on Disney+.