Published Jul 27, 2007I saw Barts doodle. Thats about as far as The Simpsons Movie is willing to take its PG-13 rating in this long-awaited big screen adaptation of the longest-running animated sitcom in history Bigger, Longer and Uncut this is not, at least not in the South Park sense. But it is a successful balance of a big screen animation budget and old school Simpsons lore, built by an all-star team of writers, directors and producers. (Amongst them creator Matt Groening, current and former show-runners Al Jean and Mike Scully, and long-time writers room star John Schwarzwalder.)
The Simpsons Movie keeps its focus squarely on the immediate family Homers new best friend is a pet pig, and when he dumps accumulated pig shit into a lake, it sets off an environmental chain reaction that threatens the entire town of Springfield. The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (voiced by A. Brooks, in a nod to the shows first season) is evil, Arnold Schwarzenegger (not McBain) is president, Lisas in love and Bart wonders if Ned Flanders might not be a better dad after all.
The adventures are appropriately ambitious for this long-awaited big screen debut, and the animation gets an expected bump in 3D imaging and smoother transitions. However, both the joy and the slight disappointment are voiced early on by Homer while in a theatre to see a big screen Itchy and Scratchy feature: "why am I paying for something Im used to getting for free?
Its as worthy as any big screen adaptation could hope to be: occasionally hilarious, consistently funny, infinitely quotable and sure to prompt another slew of fan boy-related gripes. (Mine? No musical numbers and not enough Barney!) Stick around through the credits for Maggies second word ever. (Fox)