Over time, all cartoon characters evolve their look. For the Simpsons, entering its 26th season, the difference between how Homer Simpson and family first appeared (and sounded) when they debuted on The Tracy Ullman Show is staggering: Compared to the present-day Simpsons clan, they’re crudely drawn, paler, misshapen, and vocally forgettable. As part of The Simpsons‘ annual “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween special this year, today’s Simpsons will meet the Ullman Simpsons…and then massacre each other.
“We’ve implied that they were murdered and buried under the house, so this is expanding that thought,” producer Al Jean told EW about the Ullman Simpsons. “If people want a real Halloween bloodbath, they get it.” The old school Simpsons had made tongue-in-cheek cameos on the show throughout the years, but this is the first time the two versions of the same family will interact at length.
The Halloween episode will also sport the characters’ original voices. According to Jean, the voice actors had to remember how their characters originally sounded during the Ullman years and resurrect that, sometimes in conversation with their present-day counterparts. “It was really funny to get the interplay [between the two versions of the Simpsons] and for the actors to see the voice evolution,” Jean said. “The great thing is we didn’t have to ask — we already had the cast hired for the Tracey Ullman Simpsons.”
The Ullman Simpsons aren’t the only unlikely family the Simpsons will meet this season: As previously reported, this season will feature a Simpsons/Family Guy mash-up.