|1995's computer animation, everyone!|
The annual installment returns with three more tales that, well, are a step down from earlier tales.
Attack of the 50 Ft. Eyesores
Homer is largely disappointed when the 'colossal' donut from Lard Lad Donuts turns out to be much smaller than he thought. Vowing to get his colossal donut, Homer returns that night, as an ionic storm hits, and steals the giant donut fixed onto the Lard Lad statue. Just as Homer taunts the Lard Lad when driving away, an ionic bolt of lightning hits the Lard Lad, bringing him to life. A similar occurrence begins with many other advertising icons as well.
As Homer enjoys his newfound donut (though all he can really do is sit in it), the advertisements wreak havoc across town. The Lard Lad eventually finds Homer, who denies having taken the donut. Marge urges Homer to give him the donut as the chaos will end. Homer does so, but the chaos continues anyway as the Lard Lad now uses the donut as a destructive aid.
Lisa notices the name of an advertising agency on the Lard Lad's footprint, and goes there to investigate. There, she learns from that company's head that, like with all advertising, the icons will go away once they're ignored. Given that the icons create attention with destruction, Lisa and the company head enlist Paul Enka to sing a tune to Springfield asking them to "just don't look". The ploy works (though Homer is the last to listen as Lard Lad gains his attention with a "now with sprinkles" sign), and the icons all become lifeless.
Individual Score: +1.2
Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace
Bart's dream is violently interrupted by Groundskeeper Willie, who tries to slash him with a rake. Bart wakes up to find scars from the attack on his physical body as well. He confirms that other kids have had close calls with Willie in their dreams, though Principal Skinner tries to quell them by saying there's nothing suspicious about Willie's mysterious disappearance, nor the cover up behind it. The situation comes to a head when Willie is able to kill Martin in his sleep, leaving Bart and Lisa to learn the truth from their parents.
Some time ago, parents were brought to school for a meeting on a cold "Smarch" night (the meeting was to talk about misprinted calenders). Homer turns up the heat despite Willie's warning not to, engulfing the furnace with flame, as well as the nearby Willie. Willie's efforts to seek help are hindered by the parents' self-absorbency, and as he burns away, Willie promises to attack their children in their sleep.
Knowing they could die the next time they sleep, the Simpson kids try to stay awake, but they can't hold out for long. Bart decides to confront Willie in his dream for a final showdown, asking Lisa to stay awake in the meantime. In the dream, Bart is able to trick Willie and seemingly defeat him, but Willie rises from the trap, and grabs Bart (as well as Lisa who fell asleep anyway). Just then, Maggie appears in the dream and finds a way to defeat Willie, saving Bart and Lisa and possibly ending Willie's threat for good, though in the morning Willie appears in front of them after they've awoken to taunt them.
Individual Score: +1.4
With Patty and Selma coming over for what ends up being seashell cleaning, Homer desperately hides behind a bookshelf, where he notices an odd portal in the wall. Taking his chances with it rather than his sisters-in-law, Homer stumbles upon an odd dimension where he appears in CG 3D. His voice now booming over everyone else, Marge and the others get help to figure out where Homer is and how to get him back. As Homer explores the 3D world, which he tries to explain is like Tron, some sort of cone pokes him in his ass. As he tosses it away, the pointed end hits the ground, creating a hole which slowly expands, swallowing anything around it like a black hole.
Professor Frink reveals to everyone that Homer has wandered into the "third dimension", full of such oddities like "cubes", but as Homer's new world begins to collapse upon itself, Bart desperately tries to go into the dimension to rescue Homer. However, the effort fails, and Homer falls into the hole as Bart gets pulled back. With Marge worried sick about Homer's fate, Homer ends up in the real world, unsure of what has happened and people staring at him, though he finds momentary comfort when he stumbles upon a store with erotic cakes.
Individual Score: +1.0
Overall, the quality of these segments is a bit less compared to the Treehouse of Horrors prior to it. Homer^3 is more of a showcase of 3D technology at the time and as such its attempts at humor are lessened. Its still a solid installment to the series, but its not as good as it could've been.
Final Score: 8.6