As Lake Springfield
becomes more and more polluted, Lisa Simpson (Smith) campaigns for Springfield
to clean up their act but as Mayor Quimby bans all dumping in the Lake,
one man cannot heed that warning. That one last huge dump turns the lake
into the most toxic place in America, so the Head of the EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) Russ Cargill (Brooks) suggests to the President of the
United States that employ an unthinkable plan to stop the city contaminating
the rest of the country. The plan is to drop a giant glass dome over the
city and cut it off completely but as the government does exactly that,
the people of Springfield discover who the man responsible is and that man
is Homer Simpson (Castellaneta).
After almost twenty
years and over four hundred television episodes, the Simpsons head to the
silver screen but can its international fan base guarantee it becomes a
The Simpsons is
one of the most successful shows in television history and creator Matt
Groening has overseen the adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie
for twenty years. Moving from cult status to worldwide phenomenon, the Simpsons
is an unparalleled success not only for animation but for television in
general. With the an ability to pull in big name guests and to comment on
world situations with parody and social satire, the Simpsons turned from
a nightmare family to one that was renown for family values.
For years fans have
been clambering for their favourite dysfunctional family to make the move
onto the big screen but for almost two decades Matt Groening has resisted,
until now. With the restrictions of television now removed, the Simpsons
now had unparallel freedom of expression and ability to go places that they
simply couldn't on the small screen but unfortunately they don't go far
enough. Fans of the long running series and even casual viewers have noticed
that The Simpsons is simply not as funny or as cutting edge as it once one.
With the odd exception, the last three or four season have become slightly
mundane, strange and even too safe with fans dreaming of the good old days
when the series was the talk of industry. The movie was the opportunity
for Matt Groening and his creative team to reinvigorate the fans but sadly
the feature length Simpsons fails to do that.
The plot of the
movie is simple. Lake Springfield has been the dumping ground for everything
for decades and it cannot take anymore. If the dumping continues the lake
will become toxic and it is Lisa Simpson who wants to make the people of
Springfield stop before it is too late. Giving a talk called 'The Irritating
Truth', Lisa manages to convince Mayor Quimby and the rest of the population
of Springfield that dumping should be banned. Even with the ban in place,
on giant last dump into the lake pushes it past the toxic point and makes
Springfield the most populated place in America. This pushes the President
of the United States to take drastic action and under the advisement of
the Environmental Protection Agency they cut Springfield off from the rest
of the world and of course it is all Homer's fault. The problem is that
this plot would have been just as at home on the TV show as it would on
the big screen because there is nothing here that really pushes the envelope
or the characters.
is the film concentrates mainly on Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie and
new character the Head of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Russ
Cargill, voiced by Albert Brooks, forsaking most of your favourite characters
and reducing them to cameos. The villain of the piece should have been an
established character like Mr Burns or Sideshow Bob, not someone we don't
know or who has to be introduced. This also reduces the chances for real
laugh-out-loud comedy, with only one or two big belly laughs and most of
the best jokes given away in the trailer.
'The Simpsons Movie'
will be a disappointment to diehard fans of the series but there are still
some things to enjoy here. The main characters are still classic and the
sight of Homer and the rest of the inhabitants of Springfield on the big
screen are still a sight to behold and one that will bring a smile to your
face but those of you expecting a classic will be disappointed. This is
a good comedy but not the laugh riot we all wanted. Matt Groening and his
creative team should say a collective "D'oh".
Presented in Widescreen
2.35:1 Anamorphic with Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts soundtracks, the transfer
is very good, as you'd expect from an animated movie.
Creator Matt Groening, writers Al Jean and Mike Scully, director David Silverman
and vocal stars Dan Castellaneta, James L. Brooks and Yeardley Smith provide
a funny commentary for 'The Simpsons Movie'. This funny and informative
commentary allows the creators of the movie and its talented voice cast
to reveal why they finally wanted to make movie. They talk about the bigger
and slightly more dramatic plot, as well as the extremely funny moments.
This is a good commentary and one that fans of the Simpsons should really
Director David Silverman and sequence directors Mike B. Anderson, Steven
Dean Moore and Rich Moore provide a more technical commentary a week after
the film's release around the world. This fun track allows the director's
to talk about their input into the film and how the film was approached
differently to the TV show. This is another fine commentary and one that
fans should enjoy.
Entitled 'Levels', 'Springfield News', 'DMV', 'Sausage Truck', 'Emperor
Moe' and 'Slightly Alternate Ending', these deleted scenes are introduced
by writer Al Jean.
Entitled 'Homer's monologue on the Tonight Show', 'The Simpsons judge American
Idol', 'Homer introduces American Idol' and 'Let's go to the Lobby', see
your favourites on America's biggest shows.
A lot of Trailers
Watch the 'Announcement trailer', 'Bunny Trailer 1 & 2', 'The Line/Teaser
Trailer' and the full 'Theatrical Trailer'.
Previews of 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' and 'Futurama: Bender's Big Score'
The DVD treatment
for 'The Simpsons Movie' is one that fans should enjoy. The commentary tracks
are very good and the extra scenes are fun. The lack of a featurette or
interviews with the vocal cast is a little disappointing however but fans
should still enjoy this DVD.
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