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The Real Reason The Simpsons Shorts On Disney+ Star Maggie

"The Simpsons Season 33 and Beyond" panel during Comic-Con@Home 2021 was moderated July 24 by actress Yeardley Smith, who has voiced Bart Simpson for the show's entire 32-year run on Fox. Smith, along with the series director Mike B. Anderson, writer Matt Selman, producers Al Jean, David Silverman, and Carolyn Omine, and animator Debbie Mahan, gave fans a preview of the long-running show's Season 33 and allowed a mix of questions from fans about all "The Simpsons"-related projects, including those on Disney+. 

The panel addressed one question about the youngest member of the Simpson clan — infant Maggie – when a fan asked, "Are there more Maggie shorts planned, and what can you tell us about that?" When Smith commented that she adored the character because she felt Maggie spoke more in her silence than the rest of the voiced characters did with dialogue, Jean responded, "I think [the shorts] came up because Maggie is free, unlike you, Yeardley." 

Maggie is the star because she costs less money to produce

When the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019, "The Simpsons" became the property of Disney, which the major studio capitalized on when it launched Disney+, according to Variety. On May 4, it also released the popular animated short "Maggie Simpson in The Force Awakens From Its Nap" to promote and celebrate both the "Simpsons" and "Star Wars" franchises in a mashup.

During the Comic-Con@Home panel, the show's producers implied that the youngest Simpson was used because she didn't require paying an actor. Jean explained it was series creator James L. Brooks' idea to create original shorts for the streaming giant as mashups with the company's other owned properties. "The Good, the Bart and the Loki" was another Simpsons short that released July 7 in collaboration with Marvel Studios to promote "Loki" on Disney+. 

Producer Al Jean said more Simpsons shorts are in the works, but when producer David Silverman pointed out that the "Loki" short didn't feature Maggie, Jean joked, "She asked for a raise." 

"The Simpsons" has a history of satirizing itself, including during the Season 31's "Treehouse of Terror" episode in which Ned Flanders attempted to sacrifice Maggie, who bore not only the mark of "666" but of Mickey Mouse.