The Simpsons Movie

Plot: OK, let’s pretend the plot matters: Springfield is on the verge of being an environmental wasteland, and Homer pushes it over the edge. With that, the government decides to seal up the town in a giant dome. Now, with the town against him, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) after him, and his family having their doubts, Homer must save everyone.

Who’s it for: If you have seen a handful of “The Simpsons” episodes, and laughed the majority of the time, then this film is for you. They don’t really push the envelope with language, but we do see an animated Bart naked.

Expectations: I pretty much just watch reruns, and not that often anymore. I decided to expect a solid episode and nothing more, even though they’ve had 18 years, so it should be good.

SCORECARD

Characters:

Homer: This is his story, no doubt about it. And if one character should be the focus of the first “Simpsons” movie, it’s the yellow man, and this time he’s brought a pig along for some laughs.
Grade: 8

Bart: Bart decides to turn to Flanders for a little father companionship. It’s actually a little sad watching the dysfunction of Homer through the eyes of a disappointed Bart.
Grade: 6

Lisa: At first it seemed Lisa would have a funny plot with the emergence of Colin, a boy perfect for her. But they were quickly separated when she had to go on the run, and it never resulted in enough jokes.
Grade: 5

Talking: The one-liners fly and they even get Tom Hanks to join in. Be sure to read all the billboards and signs, my personal favorite was the Duff sign that read “Binge Responsibly.”
Grade: 7

Sights and sounds: They definitely spend a little more money on the animation in this film, and the song “Spider-pig” should be one of the bigger hits of the summer.
Grade: 7

PLOT SPOILERS

Best Scene: It’s the very first scene of the film … Ralph Wiggum belts out the 20th Century Fox theme song through the zero, and you know you’re in for a treat.

Ending: Will Homer save the day and Springfield? Or will Springfield and the Simpsons be destroyed and thus end the longest running animated show in the history of TV? Wow, can you imagine? Me neither, Homer saves the day.

Random Thoughts: During the end credits, when Maggie says her “first word,” will die-hard fans scream that her actual first word was “Daddy” from a pervious episode years ago? Yes, of course they will; they’re nerds.

Rewatchability: There seems to be good repeatability with this film, there are tons of tiny one-liners so I can’t imagine I caught every joke the first time through.

OVERALL

As always, “The Simpsons” work best when they make fun of our worst. When Homer dumps too much waste in the lake, it results in 12-eyed squirrels, a giant dome and Albert Brooks as an egomaniacal government official. It’s good, and worth the wait, but nothing is mind blowing here. The envelope is pushed with a hilarious scene of Bart skating naked through the town, and the animation is definitely a step up from the TV version. But we barely get a line from Mr. Burns, Moe, Lou and the rest of the bunch. Still but following Homer J. Simpson is not a bad way to spend an hour and a half of your summer.

Overall Grade: 7


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