Viewed – 25 December 2007 DVD
Now I have been a fan of those yellow folks of Springfield for a long time, even if my lack of Sky One has meant I am constantly watching re-runs on Channel 4 (It’s a UK TV-thang), but I certainly can appreciate the overwhelming anticipation that these much loved character’s having their own feature film might bring, and in some ways I was hoping it might never happen. How can a 20-something minute show really extend into film-material, will it seem over-stretched? Are the characters themselves appealing enough to make a genuinely long-remembered movie?
In many ways the answer to that should be yes, and series creator Matt Groening gathered together some of the shows best writers to come up with – a story about Homer causing Springfield to be cut off from the rest of the world after an ecological disaster. OK, its very relevant to today’s issues, and the environment etc, but is that it? Surely this kinda thing has been done in the TV show dozens of times, and little Lisa Simpson is always banging on about global issues. Yet focusing the whole deal on Homer goes without saying – he is after all, probably the funniest, most likable character of all time, and he headlines some of the film’s best gags – even if the much talked about Spider-Pig thing is beyond me.
Making the government the villain, instead of the excellent Mr Burns, was a mistake, but I also think they didn’t want to tread old ground -and really, these days Montgomery Burns has become a bit of a joke. At the end of the day though, it is still razor sharp like the show can be at its best (a few viewings will be needed to spot all the in-jokes, although the Rock And A Hard Place one is a personal fave), and the animation seems a step up from the show with quality CGI to enhance the already vibrant colour pallet – and a treat for the eyes is guaranteed. So OK, its has a simple story, some of the best supporting characters are over-looked, but at its heart – this is still very much The Simpsons, and it delivered for me.
Verdict: 3 /5