By LeeAnn Sharpe
After 18 seasons, 400 episodes, 23 Emmys, and a Time Magazine’s award for “Best Television Series of the 20thCentury” The Simpsons is now an animated full length feature comedy movie based on the animated television series. Once again Homer must save the world from a catastrophe he created.
For 18-years we have followed the wacky exploits of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie in the town of Springfield. But until now Springfield was located in the minds of the creators, not actually in a state on the US Map. But a contest won the state of Vermont the “right” to premiere the movie and become the official home state of the “The Simpsons Springfield”.
The trailer and commercials give you a good idea of a general feel for the movie, much like the television series. Homer’s new pet pig not only leaves hoof prints on the ceiling with Homer’s help, he insures Homer can create the usual number of monumental blunders to put the world in peril and Marge angry. It’s a wonder Marge has stayed with Homer all of these 18 years. She has been on the verge of leaving and actually left once or twice only to be lured back into his zany web. Maybe Marge is there to teach us the deeper meaning of love in marriage and true forgiveness. Nah.
Directed by David Silverman the film was produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Scully, and Richard Sakai and written by eleven of the television series' most prolific writers: Scully, Jean, Brooks, Groening, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti, Ian Maxtone-Graham, and Matt Selman. It stars the regular television cast of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, and Tress MacNeille and features Albert Brooks in a prominent guest role, as well as Tom Hanks and Green Day in smaller ones.
There had been previous attempts to create a film version of The Simpsons, but they failed because of script length and lack of staff. This movie’s production began in back in 2001 when plot ideas were conceived, re-written about a hundred times, resulting in "two films' worth” of finished material cut, including cameos from Isla Fisher, Minnie Driver, Erin Brockovich and Kelsey Grammer. Promotions with 7-Eleven, who transformed select stores into Kwik-E-Marts, MySpace, and Burger King the flick has to be a winner before it even premiered in Springfield, Vermont.
Basically, if you enjoy The Simpsons, you will enjoy the movie. If you’re not already a fan it’s unlikely the movie will convert you to the fold.
The plot includes the band Green Day performing on Lake Springfield ending up killed because of the polluted lake, Grampa has a vision, Lisa holds a seminar entitled "An Irritating Truth", Homer adopts a pig, dumps pig's waste into the lake. Russ Cargill, head of the EPA, tells President Schwarzenegger that Springfield is extremely polluted and the government must take drastic action and the EPA places Springfield in a giant glass dome. It gets even crazier from there when the Simpson's flee to Alaska, see a television advertisement with Tom Hanks promoting a new Grand Canyon, to be located where Springfield is and Marge and the kids decide that they must save the town from government destruction, but Homer refuses to help the town that tried to kill him. Not to give away any big secrets, (SPOILER) the film ends with everyone restoring Springfield, including the Simpson's house, back to the way things were. They had to, of course, or their world would come to an end. And who would want to have a world without The Simpsons.