The Simpsons Movie Review - Screening and Q&A With The Show Creators

I recently attended a special screening of The Simpson’s Movie at the DGA sponsored by Twentieth Century Fox and ASIFA (The International Animated Film Society). The evening began with a coffee and dessert reception boasting strawberries and whipped cream, Crème Brulee’, Lemon tarts and of course, glazed donuts with pink frosting and multi-colored sprinkles (prominently displayed on the movie’s poster).  With that kind of sugar and caffeine rush, everyone was alive and kicking for the start of the film.

The movie begins with an “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoon, which was a movie within a movie. For those of you who don’t know, “Itchy and Scratchy” cartoons along with the Simpson’s were interstitial animated segments on The Tracey Ulman Show debuting in 1987. Because of the Simpson’s popularity, they were “spun off” into a television series of their own in 1989 and the rest is history.

The movie itself is packed full of jokes and social commentary as is the series, although it’s PG-13 rating has given the filmmakers a chance to be a lot edgier with their gags. One such gag involves showing Bart’s private parts when Homer dares him to skateboard naked to Krusty the Clown’s local Burger Joint and back.

There is also a Green Day message when the Simpson’s hometown of Springfield’s lake gets so polluted with waste; they have to put a barricade around it. Of course Homer dumps a silo of pig manure (don’t ask) into the lake making it completely toxic and spawns a mutant cat. This gets the attention of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) headed up by Russ Kargill played to the hilt by comedian/writer/director Albert Brooks.

Mr. Kargill presents the looming ecological disaster to the President who is Arnold Schwarzenegger. When Kargill provides “Ahnold” with five choices to contain the problem, the president points to option #3. When Kargill asks “Don’t you want to read the proposal first”? President Schwarzenegger replies, “I was elected to lead, not read!” Proposal #3 calls for military helicopters to fly in a giant clear dome to cover the city and trap the inhabitants and the polluted lake inside.

Unbelievable, outlandish, politically incorrect you say? Well that’s the Simpson’s for you. If you love the series, you’ll love the movie. If you don’t watch the TV series, you’ll still love the movie.

There was a terrific Q & A session after the film with creator Matt Groenig, the films director David Silverman (who was one of the original animators), writer/director/producer James L. Brooks and staff writers Al Jean and Mike Scully. They let loose some dirt on an upcoming episode of the series where Jack Black will be introduced as the owner of a Comic Book Store and he’ll sing the Tom Jones classic, “What’s New Pussycat” in Korean.

There are still plenty of surprise left for the series which is pretty amazing when you realize the show has been going for nineteen straight seasons without a break, which makes it TV’s longest running comedy. Will there be a Simpson’s Movie sequel? Stay tuned.

For more information on "The Simpson's Movie" go to The official Simpsons movie website, www. simpsons

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