Daily Archives: February 2, 2010

The Simpsons Movie

Directed by David Silverman
Produced by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Scully & Richard Sakai
Written by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer,
David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder & Jon Vitti
Starring Dan Castellaneta
Julie Kavner
Nancy Cartwright
Yeardley Smith
Hank Azaria
Harry Shearer
Albert Brooks
Tress MacNeille
Music by Hans Zimmer
Danny Elfman (Theme)
Editing by John Carnochan
Studio Gracie Films, Film Roman & Rough Draft Feature Animation
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) July 26, 2007 (United States)
Running time 87 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Simpsons celebrated their 20th anniversary on TV last year but I really wonder just how relevant they are in the 21st Century. It has been about a dozen years since The Simpsons was essential viewing while the last of the really classic episodes was made a decade ago. The big problem that I have with The Simpsons is that they have become mediocre and come to rely on clichés, celebrity guest voices and crudity. Where once this was the cleverest show on TV and you could view an episode several times and still be discovering new things, now there is no subtlety, the gags obvious and nothing is left to the imagination. The old shows had the ability to make the viewer think while now The Simpsons have become just like other animated shows like Family Guy, in that it’s best not to think about things too much. The fact is that to Matt Groening and Al Jean, the voice actors and the other creative staff who work on the show it doesn’t matter whether the quality of the show, Fox will never cancel them as long as it remains in syndication round the world. It was with this sense of trepidation that I watched The Simpsons Movie for the first time since I saw it at the cinemas in 2007.

To me The Simpsons Movie is like an extended episode of the show, although this would be one of the better episodes when compared to those aired in the last decade. Sure, we all know that Homer is going to do something stupid and cause mass chaos, as that is the clichéd plotline that the shows writers have been using for years, but there were a couple of funny scenes that made me laugh. (The one where Bart skateboards nude through Springfield and Spider-pig!) Considering most of the writers who made the show great (with the exception of Conan) returned to write the film it should have been funnier. The animation is first rate as is the direction from David Silverman. It is well worth watching but don’t expect it to be too deep or meaningful like The Simpsons was back in the 1990s.