Starring the voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer, The Simpsons Movie may not just be the best comedy of the year, this charming and at times, uproariously funny cartoon could be the best movie of the summer.
That is a pretty bold statement given the bombardment of big budget blockbusters that haven’t exactly grazed, more like infected the theaters this summer. I wasn’t too pleased with the way Spider-Man 3 turned out. The badly recreated comic book adaptation was out of theaters here in the U.S. faster than any film I’ve seen of its kind. I was a little more impressed by end of the Pirates of The Caribbean Trilogy with At World’s End, but notice how I say ‘a little’. It’s surprising how much money the hectically told pirate story and over-the-top effects extravaganza has pulled in overseas. The Simpsons Movie blows them away in terms of storytelling, pacing, character development, and effectiveness.
Not only was I rolling in the aisles, laughing my butt off – no pun intended – when Bart was bearing all, everyone else in the theater was too. The movie kicks off much like one of the episodes. We get an introduction scene in which Homer questions the credibility of seeing something for nothing compared to something that’s relatively expensive. We see a montage of people in Springfield. Watch for the quick shot of weak, old Monty Burns and his assistant, Waylon Smithers (Shearer). Then the story gets underway. Homer Simpson (Castellaneta) has a list of chores to do. He… gets them done. One of his chores includes getting rid of a sink-hole in the backyard. It’s acts almost like quick sand. The only way Homer stop this sinking is by clogging it with his baby girl, Maggie. But, that’s Homer for you. If he doesn’t get something done, Homer destroys everything trying to do it.
The infamous nude scene goes by before you know it. You’re trying to catch a breath and then, you look up, and see a shockingly funny image on screen. My voice may have been growing hoarse by this point, but the single nude shot delivered and I was laughing out loud again.
Special note: Keep your eyes open for your favorite characters from the TV show. We’ve got Apu (Azaria), Krusty, Carl, Lenny, Moe, Chief Wiggum, Mayor Quimby, and even Gabbo making appearances in this comedy extravaganza.
Lisa Simpson (Smith) is as always trying to make Springfield or the entire world, a better and cleaner place to live. True to form, the little 8-year-old get everyone in town to clear out all of the deadly, dangerous things that makes the lake of Springfield an acid bog. It takes the lives of everyone in visiting band, Green Day. Homer, however – true to form, brings a pig home. Here’s where all the trouble starts. See, the man needs a place to put all of that “Pig Crap”. He and the pig fill an entire silo. His wife, Marge (Kavner) demands he dump the leaking – or “over-flowing” waste somewhere – properly. Guess where Homer decides to dump the pig crap.
You guessed it, Homer drops his topped-off with crap silo into the now-clean-as-ever lake. Everything gets worse as the lake turns into an even more deadly and mutating bog than ever. This brings the U.S. Government in to investigate. They bring in a gigantic, almost unbreakable glass dome to encompasses the entire town of Springfield and trap the people inside. The Simpsons are to blame and the rest of the people of Springfield are all but happy to hang the entire family by their necks. They get away. Want to know how? Too bad. I’m not spoiling that much of the story. The Simpsons leave for a new place to hold up until everything blows over. Things get worse for Springfield, forcing the family to return. They may have to save every thing and every one in their hometown. In the mean time, Homer must figure out what matters most to him and we’re treated to more hilarious jokes along the way.
The Simpsons writers have out done themselves once again. Not only are we given some of their best self-reference jokes, cultural cracks and human relations jokes ever, we’ve got it all on the big screen. I never knew Springfield superstar, Wolfcastle looked so much like President Schwartzenegger. What? “President Schwartzenegger?!” you say. Yes, the hypothetical president makes an appearance. There are a few moments when the writers are pushing the limits of censorship, but it’s no longer television. It’s the movies. The film is just chalked full of brilliant, hilarious and tasteful humor that has made The Simpsons America’s favorite TV family for the last 18-19 years.
Make sure you stay through the credits. What The Simpsons creators add to an already phenomenally funny movie is nothing spectacular, but cute for sure.
If there’s any movie you see this summer, make sure The Simpsons Movie is one of them. You won’t be disappointed. Of course, if you need to know more about the show and characters, I’ve written a few articles on the subject that should help you find what you’re looking for.