The Simpsons Movie (8/11/12)

The Simpsons MovieMovie One Hundred Eighty Seven

The Simpsons Movie takes the long-running television series to the big screen for the first time.

The opening scene has the band Green Day performing on Lake Springfield when the pollution eats away at their floating stage. During a memorial church service, Grandpa Simpson has a vision of the town’s demise. Homer Simpson gets a pet pig and dumps a silo full of its feces into the lake, causing the EPA, led by a crazed man named Cargill, to put a dome over the entire town of Springfield. When the town finds out that Homer is to blame for this mess, the Simpson family escapes the dome and travels to Alaska. Back at home, the residents of Springfield begin to destroy the dome and Homer has a vision that he must save the town before Cargill destroys it.

After nearly 20 years on the air (now up to their 24th season), The Simpsons has been the animated comedy show to topple and it has had stiff competition over the years. I have been a fan of the show since the beginning and, for me, comedic television doesn’t get much better than the 4th and 5th seasons of The Simpsons. The show had been in decline for years before The Simpsons Movie came out and I was cautiously optimistic at the time of its release that it would revive The Simpsons and bring them back into my life. Luckily, The Simpsons Movie is largely a success in restoring The Simpsons brand.

My usual complaint with TV shows billed as full-length movies is that they are usually just a three part episode of the show with no commercial breaks. The Simpsons Movie feels like one single thought instead of one thought chopped into three ~22 minute segments, like it was truly written as a movie first. The runtime is under 90 minutes and the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome but the pacing isn’t frantic either. As with all comedies, the humor is subjective, but if you’ve ever seen an episode of The Simpsons, you know what you’re in for here. The laughs keep coming even if you aren’t a die-hard fan of the show.

The production values for The Simpsons Movie are pretty amazing, the animation itself in particular. It’s weird to think that just a few years ago all animation was actually done cel by cel by hand, but now it’s all accomplished digitally. The Simpson family and Springfield has never looked better, and the blu-ray is actually spectacularly done.

While The Simpsons Movie didn’t herald in a complete resurgence of The Simpsons I remember, it did bring the franchise back above water. When the show’s run finally comes to a close it will be strange, but in addition to the mountain of DVDs I have of the series, I will still have The Simpsons Movie too.

I give it 4 Spider-Pigs out of 5.

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