The Simpsons Movie (2007)
The Simpsons became one of the most successful TV shows of the 90s very quickly. After about a decade, some fans began to feel that the show was beginning to be past its best somewhat, with several comments that the first nine series or thereabouts was the peak, and the quality was now beginning to fall. For several years though there were rumours that there would be a film version.
In 2007 (it’s a surprise to realise how long ago this is now), although this definitely isn’t considered to be a golden era of the show, the film was finally announced as being confirmed, and there was still much anticipation about what direction this would go in. This was an opportunity to go really all out, do something ambitious and big-budget, and squeeze in as many of the best jokes that they still had.
The film starts off fairly normal, with the Simpsons enjoying their regular family life, that mostly consists of Homer having some doughnuts, and also doing something silly and receiving multiple head injuries. But then things start to take a turn. Grampa fears something is coming. A large dome is placed over Springfield, meaning that nobody can get in or out, this lasts for a very long time, and eventually the residents have had enough.
Of course, there are opportunities for the wide range of other characters to appear, including neighbour Ned Flanders, and many more, and just about rises above the “turn up, do your catchphrase, and go away” direction that they could’ve easily gone down. And guest stars Green Day sink into the sea. Homer also makes good friends with a pig who “does whatever a spiderpig does”. And somehow, despite everything, he does come to the rescue.
And there’s a scene with an angry mob. I noticed Disco Stu among them, I always thought that he was supposed to be a one-off character, but he always turns up in the background in crowd scenes, because the show has developed an “everybody knows everyone” style. Maybe they should just do an episode where he follows the Simpsons around and they don’t know why, looking through their window when they’re at home and all that. If they’re struggling for ideas by the 47th series, they can use that idea if they want.
Despite rumours of a sequel, there hasn’t been one yet, the most ambitious episode of The Simpsons since this being the crossover episode with Family Guy. Overall critics felt that this wasn’t too bad and they definitely earned their big moment. There was some merchandise released for the film, including comics and a computer game, and the DVD extras include some deleted scenes and fancy trails.