Gracie Films

Gracie Films is an American independent film and television production company created by James L. Brooks in 1986. The company is primarily responsible for producing the long-running animated series The Simpsons, as well as the films Big, Broadcast News, and Jerry Maguire.

Gracie Films
IndustryFilm and television animation production
FounderJames L. Brooks
United States
Key people
Richard Sakai (President)[1]


James L. Brooks founded Gracie Films at 20th Century Fox in 1986, with Polly Platt as executive vice president. Named for comedian Gracie Allen, the company was established to "provide real writers with a vehicle to get their movies made".[2] Its primary distributor is currently Sony Pictures Entertainment, though it continues to produce The Simpsons at Fox's studio in Century City, Los Angeles.

According to Simpsons Confidential, Brooks gave The Simpsons' writing staff free rein, as he firmly believed they were the most important part of the process,[3] and "in the legal battles over The Simpsons, it was Fox that was being sued, not Gracie Films".[4] The company also coordinates international distribution and dubbing for The Simpsons,[5] "in Italy, in particular... [finding] voices for dubbing that would match those of the original American actors as closely as possible."[6]

Gracie Films' production logo depicts noisy patrons in a movie theater (which were the voices of then-CEO of Fox Garth Ancier and music composer Jeffrey Townsend double-tracked to sound like there were more people) being shushed by a woman in the back row (with the shush sound being done by Tracey Ullman) before the company's name appears on the screen. Audio variations exist on The Simpsons, often with dialogue from the episode or characters such as Homer responding to the shush. The most common audio variation is on the Treehouse of Horror episodes, where Tracey Ullman's shush sound is replaced with a stock sound of a woman screaming cowardly and the logo's music is played in a minor key on a synth-emulated pipe organ. Originally, the Roland D-50 PN-D50-00 Pipe Organ preset was used for that variant. The music was composed by Jeffrey Townsend on a tiny KORG synth rack using a custom programmed preset. Gracie Films’s main production office is at the Sidney Poitier building on the Sony Pictures Studios lot in Culver City, California.



Title Creator(s) Years active Co-Produced by
The Tracey Ullman Show James L. Brooks
Jerry Belson
Ken Estin
Heide Perlman
1987–1990 20th Television
The Simpsons Matt Groening 1989–present 20th Television
Sibs Heide Perlman 1991–1992 Columbia Pictures Television
Phenom Sam Simon
Dick Blasucci
Marc Flanagan
1993–1994 Columbia Pictures Television
The Critic Al Jean
Mike Reiss
1994–1995, 2000–2001 Columbia TriStar Television/Adelaide Productions
What About Joan? Ed. Weinberger 2001–2002 Columbia TriStar Television


Title Director(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Released Distributor Co-produced by
Broadcast News James L. Brooks December 16, 1987 20th Century Fox
Big Penny Marshall Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg James L. Brooks and Robert Greenhut June 3, 1988
Say Anything... Cameron Crowe Polly Platt April 14, 1989
The War of the Roses Danny DeVito Michael J. Leeson James L. Brooks and Arnon Milchan December 8, 1989 Jersey Films/Regency International Pictures (Uncredited)
I'll Do Anything James L. Brooks James L. Brooks and Polly Platt February 4, 1994 Columbia Pictures
Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson Owen C. Wilson and Wes Anderson Polly Platt and Cynthia Hargrave February 21, 1996 Indian Paintbrush/Boyle-Taylor Productions
Jerry Maguire Cameron Crowe Cameron Crowe, James L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, and Richard Sakai December 16, 1996 TriStar Pictures Vinyl Films
As Good as It Gets James L. Brooks Story by: Mark Andrus
Screenplay by: Mark Andrus and James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks, Bridget Johnson, and Kristi Zea December 25, 1997
Riding in Cars with Boys Penny Marshall Morgan Upton Ward James L. Brooks, Laurence Mark, Sara Colleton, Richard Sakai, and Julie Ansell October 19, 2001 Columbia Pictures
Spanglish James L. Brooks Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, and Richard Sakai December 17, 2004
The Simpsons Movie David Silverman James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, and Jon Vitti James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Scully, and Richard Sakai July 27, 2007 20th Century Fox The Curiosity Company/Rough Draft Feature Animation/Film Roman/AKOM/20th Century Fox Animation
How Do You Know James L. Brooks Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, Lawrence Mark, and Paula Weinstein December 17, 2010 Columbia Pictures
The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai, and Julie Ansell November 18, 2016 STX Entertainment Huayi Brothers Pictures/Tang Media Productions
Icebox Daniel Sawka Julie Ansell, James L. Brooks, David S. Greathouse, and Richard Sakai December 7, 2018[7] HBO HBO Films/Endeavor Content

Theatrical shortsEdit

Title Released Distributor Co-produced by Note
Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" July 13, 2012 20th Century Fox 20th Century Fox Animation/The Curiosity Company/Film Roman Short film, shown with Ice Age: Continental Drift
Maggie Simpson in "Playdate with Destiny" March 6, 2020 20th Century Studios 20th Century Fox Animation/The Curiosity Company Short film, shown with Onward


  1. ^ "Richard Sakai / Variety". Variety. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  2. ^ Alisa Perren, Indie, Inc.: Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, p. 159, at Google Books
  3. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential, p. 30, at Google Books
  4. ^ John Ortved, Simpsons Confidential: The uncensored, totally unauthorised history of the world's greatest TV show by the people that made it, p. 126, at Google Books
  5. ^ Michela Ardizzoni, Chiara Ferrari (eds.), Beyond Monopoly: Globalization and Contemporary Italian Media, p. 101, at Google Books
  6. ^ Chiara Francesca Ferrari, Since When Is Fran Drescher Jewish?: Dubbing Stereotypes in The Nanny, The Simpsons, and The Sopranos, p. 73, at Google Books
  7. ^ "HBO Films Acquires Immigration Drama Icebox". Retrieved December 21, 2019.

External linksEdit