Retro pixel art Simpsons intro will charm you

Australian animators take the classic Simpsons intro and give it a pixellated makeover with some delightful retro references.

We'll admit that we were a little bit sceptical when we heard about this. Naturally we love pixel art and we still have a soft spot for The Simpsons, but a pixel art tribute to The Simpsons' intro? It's not the most exciting combination you've ever heard of, right?

"Pixel art is not real art." Discuss

Wrong! This pixel tribute, created by Paul Robertson and Ivan Dixon of Melbourne animation collective La Tigre Forte is a startling and accomplished piece of work that's not at all what we expected.

The look is more like a video game than a faithful reproduction

Instead of slavishly recreating the show's intro, Robertson and Dixon – backed by a glorious chiptune rendering of the theme music by Jeremy Dower – have created something that uses the limitations of working with a limited palette made of fat pixels to inject its own anarchic character and humour into a title sequence that we all pretty much know frame by frame.

There's plenty to spot; turn up the quality and be ready with the pause button

The characters are clearly the ones that we're all familiar with, but with more of a video game feel; big heads on small bodies, with every little movement tuned and amplified for maximum comic effect.

The traditional couch gag is where this tribute really goes in its own direction

Everything's there, and there's so much detail in the whole thing that it's very easy to sit and click through it frame by frame (to the extent that you can do that on YouTube) to see all the lovely little hidden touches and in-jokes.

Even Marge's portrait of Ringo Star gets a look-in

Our favourite bit, of course, is the extended couch gag, which starts off as a bit of a glitch in the Matrix that'll have you stabbing at the pause button to try and spot every single rapid-fire visual reference, then evolves into something much more surreal and psychedelic, featuring Mr Sparkle, Ringo Starr, a terrifying vision of Krusty and plenty more.

Of course it's not the first time that intro has been recreated in pixel form; anyone remember The Simpsons arcade game from 1991? That featured its own version; we much prefer this new one though.

Watch the pixel art Simpsons intro:

Words: Jim McCauley

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for children's parties.

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