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The Longest Daycare

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508 "Lisa Goes Gaga"
The Longest Daycare
"Moonshine River" 509
The Longest Daycare
The Longest Daycare poster.jpg
Special Information
Original Airdate: July 13, 2012 (USA, theaters)
February 17, 2013 (worldwide, television)
Length: 4:30[1]
Written By: James L. Brooks
Matt Groening
Al Jean
David Mirkin
Joel H. Cohen
Michael Price
Directed By: David Silverman[1]


Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare is an animated 3D short film starring Maggie Simpson. The short aired on July 13, 2012 onwards in the USA (though it was seen in some countries since June 25) before Ice Age: Continental Drift in theaters in USA. The short was re-released in February 2013 and played before the film Life of Pi in selected theaters in USA.[2] On January 17, 2013, FOX released the full short on their YouTube account;[3] however, after about a day, the video was made private. On February 25, 2013, the short was uploaded to ANIMATIONonFOX.[4] The short film was released on worldwide television on Sunday, February 17, 2013. The video was again published on YouTube on February 25, 2013.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

"Maggie returns to the Ayn Rand School for Tots, where she endures tests and ends up in a "Nothing Special" room. Maggie's arch-nemesis, Gerald Samson is there, who tries to smash a cocoon that Maggie is trying to save."


Plot[edit]

Marge, unaware of Maggie's doings at the last visit to Ayn Rand School for Tots, brings her there. Marge places her at the entrance to a security room, and Maggie watches her mother walk off. Maggie then begins the tests. She gives up her pacifier, bottle and keys before going through a security gate, and a lice detector, which Maggie passes, but Baby Gerald, who is also there, doesn't. Ms. Sinclair, after the tests say that Maggie has "average intelligence", places Maggie in room with "Nothing Special" children, despite Maggie liking the look of the "Gifted Children" room. Looking for something to do, Maggie goes to a table with paint pots, where some children are painting, but before she can pick up the paint pots she wants to paint with, all of the paint pots are taken by the kids, but leave two paint pots which Maggie picks up - Grey and Bleakest Black. Maggie looks over to a baby which is eating paste, who offers Maggie some. A butterfly passes Maggie, so she decides to sit down near it. However, Maggie has sat down near Gerald and he smashes the butterfly against the wall with a mallet and draws a square around it. He does this again with another butterfly.

A baby offering Maggie some paste.

Maggie then finds a caterpillar on the floor, and it crawls onto her hand. Maggie looks at it, and then Gerald walks towards her, thinking he has something else to smash. Maggie turns around, and when she does, the caterpillar is her eyebrow. Gerald then walks off. Maggie then sneaks into another room, which has books in a pile on the floor. On top of the pile is a book entitled Goodnight Cocoon. The caterpillar has crawled onto a plant leaf, and Maggie opens the book, and it is a 3D-picture book about cocoons. Maggie discovers from this that cocoons turn into butterflies, and finds a plant pot with a cocoon on a leaf, which the caterpillar has formed. Maggie remembers that Gerald will smash the butterfly, and so she decides to save it. Unbeknownst to Maggie, Gerald has also snuck into the room and when Maggie realizes this, she gets some dirt from the plant pot and throws it in Gerald's face. Maggie then runs off with the plant pot while Gerald is close behind with his mallet. Maggie runs into a room with a little train set and train tracks.

Gerald's serious face.

She jumps over the track, but Gerald has to wait while the train passes. Maggie gets to a telephone which is on the wall, but then realizes it is a toy after she fails to call for help. Maggie runs off again, with Gerald close behind. Maggie gets through a room with some babies who are in little cars, who block Gerald from entering the room. Gerald then kicks the little cars out of his way, and cars bump into other cars. One of the cars bumps into Maggie, who drops the plant pot, smashing it. The cocoon opens at that moment and the butterfly slides out into Maggie's hands. Maggie then attempts to throw it out of an open window, but as soon as it reaches the window, the blinds are shut by Gerald, squashing the butterfly. Maggie avenges the butterfly's death, with musical accompaniment from the band with some toddlers in it. Gerald looks on happily, while Maggie is on the floor, upset. Marge then picks Maggie up and puts her over her shoulder. They walk out of the center, while Gerald looks upon her from the other end of the hallway. In the room, Gerald draws up the blinds and finds that the butterfly is in fact Maggie's bow. Gerald is shocked at this, and the blinds shut on his head. In the car, Maggie's bow starts moving and it flies out of the car window, revealing that Maggie created a ruse to save the butterfly. As the car drives off, Maggie happily waves the butterfly goodbye.

Production[edit]

The producers decided to focus the short on Maggie as it is hard to make a 20 minute Maggie episode, but easy to make a 4-5 minute short. James Brooks came up with the idea of doing a short, similar to the Pixar shorts in March 2011.[6] The short is dialogue-free.[1] Richard Sakai came up with the idea to show the film in 3D. The animation process of the film started during the end of February 2012. The clean-up was done in Korea, and near the deadline the team in Korea had two weeks to draw ten scenes. They didn't change their normal animation pipeline per second. Some scenes were edited in After Effects. Every scene has about 350 levels of frame. All the background paintings were drawn in USA.[6]

On May 24, 2012, David Silverman's Twitter account posted a drawing from the short featuring Maggie,[7] and on August 12, 2012, his Twitter account posted a sketch for the paste-eating baby, which he drew after Al Jean suggested an Augustus Gloop type character for the short.[8] The Longest Daycare came about when The Simpsons executive producer James L. Brooks proposed the idea of making a short film and releasing it in cinemas in front of a feature film—similar to how the people at the animation film studio Pixar create shorts and release them in front of their films. He wanted the short to be a fun gift for the fans of The Simpsons, and according to the series' showrunner Al Jean, "We [the staff] just wanted to do this as a way of saying, 'We appreciate how much people have stayed with the show and watched it for 25 years.'"[9]

David Silverman, who has directed several episodes of The Simpsons as well as The Simpsons Movie, served as director for the short.[9]

A 2D animatic version was screened at San Diego Comic-Con International on July 14, 2012.[1][10]

An unused gag had Maggie take a Keaton-like fall next to some Raggedy Ayn Rand dolls.[11]

Reception[edit]

Thereelbits considered the animation in The Longest Daycare beautiful and that the fluid movements were noticeably more nuanced and richer than their television counterparts, "making us wish for a second theatrical outing for our favourite yellow people".[12] Filmdrunk said that they think a lot of Simpsons loyalists didn't want to see Ice Age 4, and are going to watching the short on the Internet.[13] The Herald Sun said that "The Longest Daycare, starring baby Maggie from The Simpsons, displays all the wit and creativity missing from Continental Drift".[14] inthekan.net argued that the best part of Ice Age 4 is the Simpsons themed short as the entertaining little sequence plays out like a silent film and squeezes out more laughs than the main feature.[15] Sydsvenskan said that the film is better than the Ice Age film,[16] and Active 3D said in a review of Ice Age that the short is worth the price of admission alone.[17]

Many film critics have said that The Longest Daycare was better than the film which followed it, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.[14][18][19][20][21][22] Claudia Puig of USA Today said that "the brief tale is far more clever and whimsical than any sequence in Ice Age."[23] San Francisco Chronicle writer Amy Biancolli commented that the short is "only a few minutes long, but those few minutes boast more imagination, pathos and suspense than the entire film that follows."[20] Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that while the short takes place in a daycare, it ironically features more "artistic maturity" than Continental Drift.[21]

The Longest Daycare has been praised for being humorous and emotional. Puig and Biancolli described the short as "hilarious".[20][23] Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic stated that the film is "terrific—sweet, sad, funny, surprising,"[24] and Kristian Lin of Fort Worth Weekly said it is "clever" and "surprisingly moving".[22] Writing for Pioneer Press, Chris Hewitt noted that Maggie's interaction with Gerald "is hilarious and, ultimately, poignant in an animated film that covers more territory, all without dialogue, than most full-length movies." He went on to call the short a "triumph of storytelling, pacing and big-hearted humor."[25]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the short a "charming 3-D cartoon" that is "witty and touching and marvelously concise". He added that it "cleverly blends the bright-colored flatness of the television show with the gimmickry of 3-D. It also upholds (more than the TV series itself) one of the golden rules of animation: no talking."[26] Tim Martain of The Mercury has also described the short as "touching".[27] Tom Russo from The Boston Globe thought the short was "a welcome throwback to the days when The Simpsons had more sentiment at its core, and wasn't so much about the latest batch of newbie Ivy League writers taking their cues from Family Guy."[28]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The results.

In December 2012, the short was nominated for an Annie Award for the Best Animated Short Subject; however, the short did not receive the award.[29] In early January 2013, the short was also nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film.[30]

Academy Awards[edit]

What Will Maggie Wear to the Oscars?

A lot of emphasis was placed on The Longest Daycare being nominated for an Academy Award with Fox releasing a lot of promotional material in the form of videos and images. Shorts of Maggie preparing her speech and telling people how she felt after finding out the short had been nominated were released on YouTube by Fox; these shorts being called Maggie Sucks and Oscar-Nominated. Three images showing Maggie trying on different outfits to attend the awards ceremony in were also released as part of a vote called "What Will Maggie Wear to the Oscars?". On Facebook, fans could vote for their favorite dress and the winning dress would be announced on Friday, February 22, 2013.[31] The winning dress was announced to be the "red dress" with 48% of the voters voting for it. 23,705 people voted and of the amount 48%, 11,304, voted for the red dress, 43%, 10,184, voted for the purple dress, and 9%, 2,217, voted for the black dress.

Maggie after losing at the Academy Awards

The Longest Daycare didn't win an Academy Award and lost to Disney's Paperman.

Academy Awards outfits[edit]

International releases[edit]

Title card Title Country Release date
The Longest Daycare.png Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare Australia June 25, 2012
Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare Sweden June 27, 2012
Finland June 29, 2012
The Longest Daycare German promo.png Maggie Simpson in: Der längste Kita-Tag Germany July 2, 2012
The Longest Daycare.png Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare UK July 13, 2012
The Longest Daycare.png Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare USA
The Longest Daycare Spanish promo.png Maggie Simpson en: Largo Día en la Guardería Spain

Television broadcasts[edit]

Note: The time corresponds to the time zone the country broadcasted the short in.
Network Date Country
FOX
FOX HD
February 17, 2013
after "Hardly Kirk-ing"
United States
FOX February 17, 2013 Worldwide
Channel 4
Channel 4 HD
February 17, 2013
1:30pm-1:35pm
United Kingdom
Channel 4 + 1 February 17, 2013
2:30pm-2:35pm
Sky1
Sky1 HD
February 17, 2013
9:55am-10am, 12pm-12:05pm, 2:55pm-3pm
Sky1 + 1 February 17, 2013
10:55am-11am, 1pm-1:05pm, 3:55pm-4pm
Sky 3D February 17, 2013
9:55am-10am, 12pm-12:05pm, 2:55pm-3pm, 4:55pm-5pm, 5:55pm-6pm
Antena 3 February 17, 2013
2:35pm-2:40pm
Spain
FOX8 February 17, 2013
5:25pm-5:29pm
Australia
TEN February 17, 2013
6:25pm-6:29pm (After Moonshine River)
FOX
FOX HD
February 17, 2013
9pm-9:05pm(?)
Italy
Sky 3D
Sky Cinema Oscar HD
PRO7 February 17, 2013
7pm-7:05pm
Germany
Sky 3D February 17, 2013
8:15pm-8:20pm, 9:55pm-10:05pm
February 18, 2013
7:05pm-7:15pm, 8:05pm-8:15pm
Sky Cinema February 17, 2013
8:15pm-8:20pm
Sky Cinema + 1 February 17, 2013
9:15pm-9:20pm
Sky Cinema + 24 February 18, 2013
8:15pm-8:20pm
Sky Hits February 17, 2013
10:15pm-10:20pm
February 18, 2013
12:05am-12:10am, 6:45pm-6:55pm
Sky Comedy February 18, 2013
8:10pm-8:15pm
Club RTL February 17, 2013
8pm-8:05pm
Belgium
W9 February 17, 2013
8:30pm-8:35pm
France
Prima COOL February 17, 2013
7:55pm-8pm
Czech Republic
Canal FOX February 17, 2013
8:30pm-8:35pm
Brazil
Viasat6 February 17, 2013
4:36m-4:41pm
Hungary

Gallery[edit]

The Saga of Carl - title screen.png Wikisimpsons has a collection of images related to The Longest Daycare.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Inside TV Entertainment Weekly
  2. Immersed in Movies
  3. Youtube favicon.png The Longest Daycare at YouTube (deleted)
  4. Youtube favicon.png The Longest Daycare at YouTube
  5. Youtube favicon.png The Longest Daycare at YouTube
  6. 6.0 6.1 Awn
  7. Twitter
  8. Twitter
  9. 9.0 9.1 Entertainment Weekly - 'The Simpsons': Exclusive details on the next big-screen adventure (it's short, silent, and in 3-D)!
  10. THE SIMPSONS at Comic-Con
  11. David Silverman's Twitter Picture
  12. Review: Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare
  13. WANT TO SEE ‘THE SIMPSONS: THE LONGEST DAYCARE’? YOU’LL HAVE TO PAY FOR ‘ICE AGE 4
  14. 14.0 14.1 Movie review: Ice Age: Continental Drift
  15. Review: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
  16. Förfilmen bättre än filmen
  17. Active3D
  18. New York Post - Latest 'Ice Age' doesn’t drift far from formula
  19. East Valley Tribune - Spake: May be time for 'Ice Age' to go extinct
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 San Francisco Chronicle - 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' review: mostly nutty
  21. 21.0 21.1 The latest 'Ice Age' deserves the cold shoulder
  22. 22.0 22.1 Fort Worth Weekly - A Fourth Ice Age
  23. 23.0 23.1 USA Today - Fourth 'Ice Age' adrift in the same old story
  24. The Arizona Republic - 'Ice Age: Continental Drift,' 3 stars
  25. Pioneer Press - 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' review: 'Drift' the operative word here, but some jokes are ageless
  26. The New York Times - The Chatty Cathys of the Prehistoric World
  27. The Mercury - Quite an ice touch
  28. The Boston Globe - Shivering their timbers in 'Ice Age'
  29. 2013 Annie Award Nominations Announced
  30. 'The Simpsons' Oscars Nomination: 'The Longest Daycare' Nominated For Best Animated Short
  31. People - "Maggie Simpson's The Longest Daycare Is Nominated for an Oscar"