With its sweeping sweeping sweep of animated history, The Simpsons has become the definitive voice of the 21-century generation.
The show, a beloved favorite among its younger viewers, is about family, friendship, ambition and, yes, family values.
But its legacy also includes a vast swath of other media that continues to inform the way we talk about and create stories in our world.
And while many of the stories that we tell ourselves and the stories we tell others may differ, the way they are told has consequences for the way people see themselves, says Lisa Hinson, a professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the new book, “The Simpsons: How a Family History and an Animated History Changed American Culture.”
Hinson says that the legacy of the show will be important in shaping the future.
“I think the Simpsons is going to be a model for how to look at history and how to think about stories, but also how to talk about it,” she says.
The Simpsons was the first television show to take the concept of “family” to the mainstream.
The first animated film, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was based on the book by Charles Dickens.
The series also spawned a huge cult following and became a landmark for children’s television.
The Simpsons’ enduring appeal and impact have had a lasting impact on American culture, says John Deutsch, professor of American literature at the California State University at Long Beach and author on the new history.
“In a way, we’re not so much celebrating the show as we are celebrating a very particular form of storytelling,” Deutsch says.
“The very idea that this was a children’s show was a key component to its success.”
Hannibal Buress, a producer on the show, says the legacy can be seen in the way audiences react to his animated films.
“It’s always the same reaction,” he says.
When you’re watching a film, you are in a very different place, he says, where you’re looking at a different set of people, with different expectations.
He believes that this is the kind of storytellers and creators who can create a new narrative and a new aesthetic for the medium.
“I think that’s why it’s so special and why it was such a hit in the first place,” Buress says.
But he acknowledges that there are plenty of challenges that lie ahead for the animated series.
“This is the first generation to grow up in a time when video games were all the rage,” he adds.
“People are looking at their phones and they’re watching cartoons and they see their parents and they know their teachers.
But it’s going to take a lot more time, and a lot of people are going to have to be patient.
It’s not like kids who are now 12 years old are going, ‘Well, I want to be in the game, I don’t want to play.'”
Buress says he believes that as the years pass, the storyteller will get better at creating new stories that can stand on their own.
“We’re going to see the stories of today and the ones that were written 100 years ago,” he predicts.