Guillermo Del Toro Directs 'The Simpsons' Opening Sequence, For Halloween

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Pans Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro has directed The Simpsons opening sequence for Sunday's Treehouse of Horror episode. The Mexican director has reportedly made over 100 references to classic horror movies in the sequence, including The Birds and Blade.

The SimpsonsThe Simpsons Returns With Its Latest Treehouse of Horror Episode on Sunday

In-keeping with the horror theme, Del Toro's effort sees Chief Wiggum turn into a giant Cyclops inspired by the creations of the late Ray Harryhausen, the man behind the classic skeletons scene in Jason and the Argonauts. The director told Reuters that his sequence was "a love letter to things that I love, both in The Simpsons and the [horror] genre."

There's also references to contemporary films including Ridley Scott's Prometheus and the director's own movies Hellboy, Pacific Rim and Pan's Labrynth, with Lisa Simpson taking on the role of Ofelia. 

"I integrate[d] Lisa falling through the couch like Alice in Wonderland but in the dress of the girl from Pan's Labyrinth, and instead of landing next to the giant toad in Pan's Labyrinth, she lands next to the Hypnotoad from [other Matt Groening creation] Futurama," Del Toro told Entertainment Weekly.

The Treehouse of Horror episodes - originally known as The Simpsons Halloween Special - have been airing since 1990. They often mimic the work of gothic writer Edgar Allen Poe, though Saturday's episode will include a twist on Dr Seuss' classic Cat In The Hat tale. 

"There's a lot of stuff in the title sequence that's pretty graphic" Del Toro added, "but it would be great to make a Treehouse of Horror that is really scary - that actually makes you shiver."

The original opening sequence is one of the most memorable hallmarks in television history and begins with the camera zooming through the show's title towards the town of Springfield. It follows all the members of the Simpsons family heading home, before settling on their couch to watch television. It features the distinctive theme composed by Danny Elfman. 

Executive producer Al Jean told reporters this week how he and the writers were planning to kill off a major character in the new episodes. It prompted bookmaker Paddy Power to offer odds, with Abe Simpson, Comic Book Guy and Sideshow Bob the favorites. 

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror airs on Sunday (October 6, 2013) on Fox.

The SimpsonsThe Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Poster


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