‘The Simpsons’ Style Guide From 1990 Reveals Certain Rules For Animating Characters And It’s Fascinating


Running since the fall of the Berlin wall, this animated show probably needs no introduction. The yellow, round-eyed characters of The Simpsons are surely not to be mistaken for any other cartoon family. While the way the show is drawn may not be the main reason behind why the show became such an integral part of pop culture, its consistency is something to be admired.

Recently, a former writer and producer for The Simpsons revealed just how consistent the show is in adhering to its drawing style. Josh Weinstein, who has been working on the show for some 20 years, shared two excerpts from a 500-page style guide for the animators of The Simpsons, which was released back in 1990. Scroll down below to examine them!

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Josh Weinstein—a former writer and producer for The Simpsons—has shared an early drawing style guide for the show

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

Josh has only shared two pages from the 500-page style book so far, but wrote on Twitter that as soon as “the virus crisis is over, if there aren’t any more of these still around, I’ll make you a full 500-page copy!” How exciting is that? Make sure you follow Josh’s Twitter in order not to miss out.

The 500-page style guide dates back to 1990

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

The style guide received a lot of attention after it was originally posted on Twitter. “I love this. The wrong versions are genuinely distressing,” one user commented. “Agree,” Josh Weinstein wrote, “the Simpsons could’ve become Bizarro Simpsons with any of these choices.”

And includes rules and “no no’s” for drawing the characters for the show

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

It depicts guidelines for even the tiniest of details

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

Like teeth, eyelids, ears, and even the number of points of hair

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

Which goes to show how much effort is put into making the show consistent visually

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

Even after 30 years, the rules for animators haven’t changed much

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

In the second guide shared by the former showrunner, you can see the rules laid out for how Lisa’s hair should look. Apparently, it always has to have eight points of hair clustered in groups of either two or three. Also, the line for her neck and body should be the same.

And probably for the best, as the way the characters are drawn is an essential element of the iconic show

Image credits: Joshstrangehill

Here’s what people online had to say

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