Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

Staring the voices of: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria

Surprisingly, the Simpsons film was surprisingly good, and for the most part, a coherent film! The biggest problem going for it is that the writers treated it almost no differently than a regular length episode, causing much strain to the main plotline towards the middle of the film, plotlines that ended up nowhere, and a “quick fix” resolution. Perhaps I should not berate the film for it’s faults, as these are generally keynote aspects of the series itself now that I think more about it.

It could very well be that I went into this film with such low expectations that I was pleasantly surprised with the end result. For quite some time I was excited with the prospect that this film was going to be released, but as the film’s opening date approached I became less and less convinced with it. The constant “Spider-Pig” cues in the commercials, the same jokes used time and time again for weeks on end in the commercials, and so on and so forth made me question this even further.

The film starts with probably the most brilliant scene of the film – albeit somewhat lifted directly from the South Park film. It starts with Itchy and Scratchy’s “big screen” debut and ends with Homer calling out the audience for going to pay for a film we could watch on TV. The best bit is that I watched two episodes on TV at dinnertime before heading off to see this.

I’d have to say the biggest problem with the film is the lack of characters. Sure most of them show up, but they’re there for one or two lines. I understand that they only have so much time to fill 85 minutes, but that’s almost 4 entire episodes (at 22 or so minutes each without commercials). Alternatively if you select 4 episodes of the series it is enough time to spend on just about all the secondary characters (with even enough time for ancillary characters which show up once in a while – Cletus and Dr. Nick for example). Oh well. Perhaps with the success of this film they can do more.

With the obvious heavy use of computers to aid the animation, it’s pretty sickening that the film could have honestly cost around $75 million to make and months and months to “animate.” I guess it’s just too much to ask for, especially considering that an entire season of South Park can be animated in about the same time it takes for one regular episode of The Simpsons to be animated from scratch.

Heck, it could have been worse; it could have been the terrible Family Guy “movie.”


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