Length: 87 minutes
Director: David Silverman (Monsters Inc.; “The Simpsons”)
Writers: James L. Brooks (As Good As It Gets; Terms of Endearment), Matt Groening (“The Simpsons”; “Futurama”), Al Jean (“The Simpsons”; “The Critic”), Ian Maxtone-Graham (“The Simpsons”; “Saturday Night Live”), George Meyer (“The Simpsons”; “Saturday Night Live”), David Mirkin (“The Simpsons”; “Newhart”), Mike Reiss (“The Simpsons”; “The Critic”), Mike Scully (“The Simpsons”; “Everybody Loves Raymond), Matt Selman (“The Simpsons”; “Seinfeld”), John Swartzwelder (“The Simpsons”; “Saturday Night Live”), Jon Vitti (“The Simpsons”; Alvin and the Chipmunks)
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Albert Brooks, Tom Hanks, Joe Mantegna, Green Day, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, Marcia Wallace, Russi Taylor
I came home sick from work today and tried to make it through two movies while resting up. I wasn’t exactly trying to stay awake, per say, but I was looking for something to get my mind off being ill. I passed out during my first two choices and decided that if I was going to fall asleep, I might as well put on something that I had seen before that would be pleasant to nod off to. I put on “The Simpsons Movie” for what has to be my fourth or fifth viewing and found myself awake for the entire thing. When it was over, I even felt a little better. Is the movie the cure for the common cold? Nah, but it sure helps. I’d be lying if I said to you that after my first screening of the film that I wasn’t slightly let down. I still thought it was a great movie, but like most “Simpsons” fans, I couldn’t help but wonder how super great it would have been had it been made during the series’ heyday back in the early ‘90’s. Watching the film today, I realized that it was silly to think that way. The film is, for the time of it’s release, is worthy. If you still watch the series, (most of the fans I know still do, thanks mainly to the magic of TiVo), you’ll know that despite what you hear, it’s still one of the funniest shows on television. It will never be back on the level it was in it’s prime, but for it to be on as long as it has and to still be delivering is saying a lot. To make a motion picture that is as entertaining as this while the series is still continuing is nothing short of amazing. Sure, it’s tamer than “Family Guy”, which seems to has taken it’s place as the edgy animated series of the moment. Yet, it’s more tactful and has more of a heart. There’s a reason the “Simpsons” movie got a theatrical release and the “Family Guy” one went straight to DVD (though admittedly it was pretty damned funny too). More people can identify with the Simpson family. It’s funny that when the show first came out, I remember kids at school that weren’t allowed to watch it. Churches protested it because they deemed Bart a bad role model for kids. Now, decades later and it seems to have taken a 180. I read somewhere recently that some church rated it the most “morale” show on television. Times sure have changed haven’t they? Yet, we can rely on the “Simpsons” every year and it looks like they aren’t slowing down anytime soon (Fox has said they’ll run it as long as the creators want to keep it going). When the end credits of the film roll and the Simpsons family come back onscreen and sit in the aisle in front of the screen and Maggie says “sequel”, it always makes me smile. I can’t wait. Hopefully, it won’t take as long.