Virtually the entire writing team from the television show put in their 2 cents to – finally – make The Simpsons Movie. The task of directing went to David Silverman, who also directed The Road To El Dorado, several Treehouse Simpsons episodes and co-directed Monsters, Inc. In addition to the TV team (Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardly Smith, Julie Kavner, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, etc.) were the voices of Albert Brooks, Tom Hanks and the members of Green Day.
Abe Simpson puts on a prophetic display in church predicting the fall of Springfield. Homer is the catalyst, whose lack of concern for anyone but himself is the propeller that sends Springfield into endangerment. As a result, the Simpsons are hunted by the townspeople and the government until an epiphany divinely grips Homer, thanks to an Eskimo woman. As you can imagine, the side stories in the film are plentiful, including Lisa and an environment-loving Irish boy, Marge and Homer’s thin marital foundation and Bart choosing Ned Flanders over the ever-disappointing Homer. Once Homer learns his lessons, he sets out to set things right between himself and his wife, his son, and his town.
Of course there are plenty of moments that force you to realize you are watching a PG-13 movie and not just another Simpsons episode. Bart, for example, not only gets drunk in a scene, but skateboards to Krusty Burger naked. And yes, there’s a little yellow package that makes its way to the screen. This movie is not intended for children, which is why it has the rating that it does and carries so much humor that children just aren’t going to “get”.
This is not the best thing to ever come out of the Simpsons team, but it is a funny movie that fans of the show will enjoy. It has its moments of less-than-amazing plot, but nothing to encourage passing this picture by. The main thing that kept me from loving the film was that some plot points were visited too long and others could have used a little extra time. I would have loved to see more with Lisa and her beau – perhaps something we haven’t seen in an episode. I would also have enjoyed seeing something more substantial come out of the Bart/Ned relationship – that we haven’t already seen in an episode. On the other hand, I could not have been more tired of scenes with Russ Cargill (voice by Albert Brooks). This character was funny in the first few scenes, but then got very dull.
In the humor department, this film definitely does not disappoint. The wit of the movie is very much the wit of the show and, I think, displays more siblingship with the 5th or 6th season than some of the not-so-funny later seasons (however, it is not nearly the calibur of the 3rd and 4th seasons, which I believe to be the best).
I’ve read some desparaging reviews on this movie, but I can’t agree with them. Anyone who loves The Simpsons (which is virtually everyone) should see this movie. It’s not going to blow your mind, but you’ll be glad you saw it.