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The Simpsons: What It Looked Like In The Beginning vs. Today

Who doesn’t remember the incredible and most loved animated sitcom? Of course, we are talking about The Simpsons. The cartoon has marked its presence for over 30 years now, and it is still in our hearts. The journey for this cartoon started in 1987 as minute-long shorts on The Tracy Ullman Show. Who knew then that the characters appearing for just a minute would be loved so much and transform into having their own series with 30 min long episodes.

The Simpsons is the most-watched animated sitcoms ever to exist and most adored too. The original show, The Good Night, was animated by David Silverman, Wes Archer, and Bill Kopp and created by Matt Groening. The Simpsons first aired on Fox in 1990, with its first Bart The Genius, 30 min long episode. But if you’ll look at both the shows’ animations, there is a whole lot of difference in the characters’ appearance. The cartoon’s journey is notable through these differences:

The Simpsons, then and now.
The family’s transition, then vs. now

It’s evident that the animation in the original show was very rough and primitive. Matt Groening explained the process by saying that he assumed that the animators would change his crude drawings into professional-looking characters. Still, instead, they traced the picture, and thus the characters came to life.

The animation changed a lot later for The Simpsons. The characters had pointy hair, protruding faces, and bulging eyes, which later changed to rounded-off heads and 3-D structures. The number of characters in The Simpsons is enormous compared to the shorts aired in The Tracy Ullman Show.

The Lead, Homer Simpson

The Simpsons In Their First Episode Vs. Now
The changes is his appearance are minor, but notable

The character in the show is the main protagonist. Dan Castellaneta voiced him. Homer in The Tracey Ullman Show was a much angrier and stern character and had a deeper voice. But later in The Simpsons, he was portrayed as more lazy, dumb, and careless. His voice changed to be higher. 

Matt gave the character its name after his father. The audience very much appreciated the character even after undergoing changes over the years. It was regarded as the most influential character, and a British paper described him as “The Greatest Comic Creation of Time.”

Homer’s wife, Marge Simpson

23 Cartoon Characters Then Vs Now
She has the same hair but a rounder face

In the short show, the character was voiced by Julie Kavner. She also voiced some more characters on the show Good Night, like Marge’s sisters and their mother, Jacqueline Bouvier. The character gained its name from Matt’s mother.

There wasn’t much change in her character; she’s still the moral force and keeps the family grounded. Her appearance, although, changed for the better. Her face is more round and less edgy, guess the credit goes to the advancement in animation technology. 

Homer and Marge’s daughter, Lisa Simpson

Lisa with really long spiky hair vs Lisa with shorter spiky hair and a white necklace
The hair and face is so much different

Lisa’s character also hasn’t changed from the original show, except the chemistry between her and Bart has changed with increasing fights. This also caused the character to go under a lot of development, from being a bookworm to an adventurous kid. Yeardley Smith voiced the character. 

While designing her character, the animators used a three-three-two arrangement. Pete Michels and David Silverman considered it the most difficult one to draw.

Homer and Marge’s son, Bart Simpson

The difference in hair and face changes the character’s impression

The character was a brat and had the most fun pulling out pranks on people. While other characters’ names were related to Matt’s family members, his name was an anagram for a brat, explaining his personality. While designing the character earlier, Matt gave him spiked hair. He first wanted to provide him with uneven spikes but finalized it as him having nine tips all of the exact sizes. The character later received a 3-D design, reducing the spikiness of the hair. Nancy Cartwright voices the character, and the casting remained constant.

The youngest, Maggie Simpson

Maggie with longer spiky hair vs Maggie with shorter spiky hair, but both have red pacifiers and a blue bow
The hair is more like Lisa but the pacifier hasn’t changed

Maggie hasn’t really changed except for her appearance. The color of her clothes kept changing but the pacifier remained the same. Being an infant, she doesn’t speak yet but makes a peculiar pacifier-sucking sound. Maggie has been voiced by many, like Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, and currently by Nancy Cartwright. While designing the girls’ character, he did not bother giving them a hairstyle. He simply created a starfish-like hair for both of them.


Matt Groening made these designs so that every character is recognized distinctly in silhouette. These characters later became a legend by marking their existence for over 30 years and 700 episodes. The cartoon series is still the most beloved animated sitcom.

What do you think of them? Let us know in the comment section. 


Written by FandomWire Staff