Thoughts on The Simpsons Movie

I finally got a chance to see The Simpson Movie on Saturday night. I was itching to see it, and had planned on seeing it first thing in the morning, but my wife talked me out of it. Something about spending time with her family whom we haven’t seen in months. She was right, so I spent the day with her parents and slipped out late Saturday night on a solo mission. I took in the final showing at the Galleria in Middletown. Compared to the spacious stadium seating of Tinseltown in Rochester, the Galleria is a bit of a dive – but at least it wasn’t too packed.

As far as the movie goes, what can I say? It was pretty good! As a long time fan of the show I was very satisfied. I don’t think I went a full 30 seconds without laughing out loud during the entire film. The opening sequence (aka the mother of all Itchy and Scratchy cartoons) was hilarious and the laughs just kept coming from there.

Highlights for me included:

    – “Why can’t I just worship God in my own way, like praying like hell on my death bed?” (See also: “This book doesn’t have any answers!”)
    – The “Bart’s doodle” sequence
    – “No offense Carl”
    – Tom Hanks loaning his credibility
    – The “Asian animators” part of the credits

I don’t want to talk about the film too much here so as not to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t seen it yet. But be forewarned that the comments to this post are fair game and will most likely include spoilers.

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11 thoughts on “Thoughts on The Simpsons Movie

  1. Shane, I share your distaste with the show’s last several seasons. I also share your enthusiasm for the movie. It was good. The plot goes all crazy in the last act, a problem that’s plagued the recent run of the show, but you’re right that the laughs just keep coming. It is completely hilarious.

    Best joke in the movie: upon hearing about the impending destruction of Springfield, the parishioners of the First Church of Springfield trade places with the customers at Moe’s. (Much funnier to watch than to read.)

    I had the good fortune to see the Simpsons panel at Comic-Con, and Groening, Al Jean, and the others were rightfully giddy about the movie. They couldn’t wait for fans to see it. They showed a deleted scene that explains how Homer gets back to Springfield after his time with “Boob Lady.” (He hitches a ride in a sausage truck. Guess what happens to the all the sausage?)

    PS – I think those were the real animators in the credits, by the way. Nice to finally see them get their due.

  2. There had to be some fake names in there. Every single one of them was hyphenated, and when I read some of them phonetically I thought I was sounding out non-Asian names I was familiar with. Maybe a handful were thrown in as a “Treehouse of Horror” type gag? If they actually put the work into giving them credit that’s a class move.

    That sight gag with the church folks changing places with the folks at Moe’s was pretty funny.

    I really thought they handled the scene with Bart’s “doodle” really well. They’ve gone to great lengths to hide nudity on the show over the years (my favorite being the one where the little guys are sawing the log right in front of a nude Homer), and to have them pay tribute to that with that really long sequence only to have it exposed by a hole in the bush was pretty ingenious.

  3. I don’t believe so. I also don’t recall Smithers saying anything either.

    That’s one of the few complaints I’m hearing. There were several major characters that didn’t really come into play that much.

    I would’ve taken a “Thank you, come again” over Ralph’s one line any day.

  4. You know what I would have really liked? If they could have some how gone into the archives and pulled out a bunch of Troy McLure audio and found a way to work him into the script. I have no idea what kind of legal ramifications there might have been for doing something like that post-humously, but not hearing Phil Hartman’s voice just didn’t feel right.

  5. I’m with you on Hartman. That would have been something special. Albert Brooks was a great choice for the villain. Made it feel more like classic Simpsons.

    From what I gather this movie was edited and tweaked more times than any other movie, and has literally dozens of deleted scenes and alternate versions. At Comicon they said that there were exactly 166 drafts of the script, with new drafts being written up until mere weeks before the release. That’s usually a bad sign, but I suppose not with a Simpsons movie.

  6. Matt Groening and James L Brooks were on Charlie Rose last night. I had to DVR it because it was so late, but during the little bit that I did see they said they worked on the script for four years.

    I’m sure we’ll start seeing a longer list of gripes once fans start seeing it more than once. People will notice more characters missing, etc. But whatever. I think it would have been impossible to present 20 years of characters, storylines and gags in a way that satisfied the desires of every Simpsons fan. And for what it’s worth, I think they did about as good a job as they could have.

    One question though. Has anyone heard anything about why they went with Arnold S. as the president and not Ranier Wolfcastle? That seemed terribly inconsistent to me.

  7. I thought that was very strange. Not necessarily the idea of Arnold becoming president (which is very funny/scary), but the fact that they basically used the Ranier Wolfcastle design and voice and just called it Arnold Schwartzenegger. Would have fit better in the Simpsons universe if they just went with Wolfcastle. (“I vasn’t elected to REEEEAD, I was elected to LEEEEAD!”)

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