When I started this project, I didn’t think I would get this far. I really, truly didn’t. 400 episodes in the can, and now the movie.
And man, this is a pretty fun movie.
Normally when I do one of these, I do a plot recap and toss in as many lines that amused me as I can with whatever commentary of my own that seems amusing to me and know Jimmy will catch up sometime in the year 2525.
See, that’s the kind of thing I normally do. I don’t want to do that this time, so let’s just go for a general discussion.
I’m actually pretty impressed by The Simpsons Movie. Giving each main member of the family something to do (even if most of it obviously went to Bart and Homer), we see what could be a standard episode of The Simpsons in that Homer screwed up, got at least one relative mad at him, then does something big to make it up to whoever.
In this case, Homer basically got the entire city of Springfield mad at him, but it has repercussions with Marge and Bart. Marge loses all faith in Homer due to his selfishness and overall refusal to leave the relative safety of Alaska to save the city from a power-mad EPA head voiced by reoccurring Simpsons guest star Albert Brooks. It’s Marge, so we don’t generally expect much, though she does get the strongest swear word in the movie. Bart realizes Ned Flanders is a better father and takes a liking to Flanders over Homer. Lisa has her moments but mostly has a thing for new kid in town, a young Irish musician who is not Bono’s kid. As for Maggie, she just proves when necessary to be the most dangerous Simpson on the planet, whether it’s stopping armed government officials or fending off a chimp with a broken bottle.
But the plot was basically kicked off by a simple premise: what happens when Homer falls in love with a pig? Yes, Plopper the Pig may not be the most exciting character, but he may be Spider-Pig complete with hyphen. Along the way are guest appearances by folks like Tom Hanks, Green Day, and briefly Joe Mantegna’s Fat Tony.
What elevates the movie is the sort of stuff The Simpsons does so well. Weird character work. Cutaway moments that show things like Martin Prince finally standing up for himself. Meta-humor mocking the audience for paying to see something they get for free on TV. I mean, it does posit a Celebrity Apprentice host could be elected president, but that’s insane.
And the obviously increased budget shows. The animation is better than usual, and those crowd shots show probably just about every resident of Springfield to ever appear on the show.
Does everything work out for the Simpsons? Yes. Yes, it does. I’m happy.
I guess it’s on to season nineteen now…