Chances are she won't be saying much on the red carpet but Maggie Simpson is up for an Oscar! Yes, that Maggie Simpson. The eternally silent, pacifier-sucking toddler from Fox's long-running series The Simpsons is the star of a four-and-a-half--minute, 3D animated film called Maggie Simpson in: The Longest Daycare. It's one of five 'toons nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Animated Short Film category. Fox will show the short this Sunday following The Simpsons episode airing at 8/7c.
"It's such a surreal thing to be nominated — a truly pinchable moment — and people are definitely looking at us differently," says the short's exec producer-cowriter Al Jean. "The Simpsons has been a huge success for 25 years but it's like we've suddenly arrived!"
Free of dialogue and scored by the great Hans Zimmer (The Lion King), The Longest Daycare was directed by David Silverman, who also helmed the hit 2007 feature The Simpsons Movie. The plot finds Maggie being dropped off by mom Marge at the Ayn Rand School for Tots where she has a series of unfortunate encounters with her unibrowed nemesis Baby Gerald.
"It was difficult to get the money to make this because none of us could explain to the Fox execs how it could possibly show revenue," says Jean. They needn't have worried. The short was paired in theaters last summer with Fox's Ice Age: Continental Drift and together they pulled in nearly $900 million worldwide!