For 18 years fans of The Simpsons have watched their beloved characters get in and out of trouble on a weekly basis. Now the longest running show on American television takes the leap to the big screen. The result is about what you’d exepect when a 21-minute episodic television show tries to turn itself into a full-length feature film. With some charm and funny moments the film will score big with hardcore fans, but the casual observer, by the end, will be looking for the remote to see what else is on.
The Simpsons Movie
“Why would you pay to see something you can see for free on TV?”
If you’ve watched thw show you know the basic formula of it’s 18 years of success: Homer (Dan Castellaneta) screws-up, Bart (Nancy Cartwright) gets into trouble, Lisa (Yeardly Smith) fights for a lost cause, Marge (Julie Kavner) gets angry, and by the end of the episode everything turns out fine. Not surprisingly the script for this movie version holds true to form.
The main story involves the obsessions of Homer with a new pig and Lisa with cleaning up Lake Springfield. When these two storylines converge Springfield is put in danger (guess who’s to blame) and the family finds itself hated by their friends and hunted by President Arnold Schwarzenegger and the EPA.
The film is enjoyable and fans will not doubt flock to the theaters to have a chance to see their favorite characters on the big screen. However one does have to ask why this film was made, and why was it made now while the show is still in production? In one of the better jokes (though it rips-off Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back read the review) Homer asks the very same question.
What makes the film work are some good jokes and some clever moments which include divulging the location of Springfield as it borders the states of Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky, and Maine. This humorous geography also comes in handy when the family leaves town to go over the hill to Alaska. The film is full of short moments that remind you of who these characters are and why they have remained so popular.
Though not as good as I hoped the film should make fans happy; to me it comes off as an over-long television special event instead of a feature film. The Simpson family and the town’s eccentrics go through their usual paces, provide some laughs, and have some fun. By the way, if you do go make sure you stay through the credits for the several bonuses which include the family in a theater and Springfield anthem. Is it worth the money to pay for something you can still see new on television? Well, that’s such an obvious question that even Homer raises it, but sadly the film never supplies a satisfactory answer.