On the Big Board
|As a Simpsons fan, I was predestined to love it, but it exceeded my expectations by far.
|Like two really good episodes and one so-so one
|I'm pleased to say that's it is definitely not the Worst. Movie Ever. But it also misses the complexity and emotional heights of Classic Simpsons. Plenty funny though.
|Everything you hoped it would be. The first half hour is comedy gold.
|Almost great. Plenty of big laughs, just enough story to make it work. The middle sags a bit, but it's a short movie.
|There are a few laughs, but there are many episodes that were better than this movie.
A little over 20 years ago, a guy known for drawing hyper-literate cartoons about one-eared rabbits and a gay, fez-wearing couple found his work published almost exclusively in the free newspapers handed out at bus stands. Somehow, he managed to debut a cartoon series that appeared as bumpers on the fledging Fox television network's The Tracey Ullman Show. It should have been obvious that a world-bestriding cultural colossus was arriving.
I speak, of course, of The Simpsons, the Matt Groening-created behemoth that has set numerous longetivity records for TV and brought in billions of dollars of revenue world wide. It's a cultural touchstone for anyone from the ages of about 15 to 45, and its combination of pop culture references, social commentary and inspired lunacy has informed millions of senses of humor in its run. In a sense – it is the culture. Indeedily doodily, I know that I'm not the only person out there that can carry on a conversation entirely made up of Simpsons quotes. A lot of them are right here at BOP. It inspired a renaissance in prime time animation, added words to the dictionary, and made celebrities out of a few guys with talented voices.
Talks of a feature length movie have been ongoing since early in the 1990s. Groening and company always said this film would happen after the series ended. I doubt anyone involved with the show imagined it would continue another ten to 15 years with no end in sight. They seemed content to milk their cash cow dry (don't kid yourself, it'd kill you and your family if it had the chance). So, it was startling yet not entirely surprising last year when an announcement during an episode told us that The Simpsons movie was coming, and sooner than anyone thought – this summer. The most remarkable thing was probably that they had managed to keep the film under wraps up to that point.
Even at this date, details on the film are sketchy – through a series of mishaps, Homer apparently has to save the world from destruction (he's just not s-m-r-t) – with the biggest question being whether the Simpsons masterminds are up to creating a cohesive, 90 to 120 minute plot. The most they've done in one go is the 45 minute Who Shot Mr. Burns arc, which was admittedly pretty fantastic. The extended length of the film compared to an episode could be an advantage, letting them use the cast of hundreds that they've developed over the years to fuller effect. It's time for the Extremely Tall Man to shine!
In addition to the core cast, some of the confirmed returning characters include Sideshow Bob and Fat Tony, as well as a character voiced by frequent guest Albert Brooks, who plays the main antagonist, though apparently not as Hank Scorpio (meaning France is safe for now).
As Bart once anticipated the Itchy & Scratchy Movie, so do we at BOP count down the days for this film, and no crappy novelization will suffice. (Reagen Sulewski/BOP)
Vital statistics for The Simpsons Movie
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Albert Brooks
Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Mike Scully, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
|Twentieth Century Fox
|Click Here for Trailer
| Eric Hughes reviews The Simpsons Movie
Awards page for The Simpsons Movie
|Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture