The Mysterious Voyage of Homer is a terrific episode of The Simpsons because it combines an excellent story with beautiful animation.
Plot: The Simpsons go to the Springfield chili cook-off where Homer tastes every batch of chili made for the event, which includes a recipe made by Chief Wiggum containing incredibly spicy peppers from Latin America. This results in Homer having some hardcore psychedelic hallucinations.
Why is it a great episode? To put it simply, El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer) is a stunning example of what animation can achieve. The hallucinations Homer has are nothing short of beautiful to observe. While The Simpsons is known for it’s cutting edge satire and ability to reflect American culture, it’s important to remember how the show has also changed animation as an art form.
Before The Simpsons premiered, virtually every sitcom on the air was live action. Part of the reason why the series has endured for so long is because The Simpsons animated style has allowed it to move seamlessly from generation to generation, thus making it not dependent on any one character being a certain age. As a result, the show’s animated nature allows the characters to transcend the actors voicing them and gives the entire series a unique sense of agelessness despite it currently being in season 30. While the early episodes certainly look different from the current ones, they are all still impressive works of animation.
As if that were not enough to make The Mysterious Voyage of Homer a stand out episode, it has a terrific story and one of the all time greatest guest stars in the show’s history. The fact that the Space Coyote is played by the legendary Johnny Cash is reason alone to give this episode a look. Cash seems perfectly at home in the character of the wise coyote trying to help Homer.