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The Simpsons Movie

Those of us unable to attend San Diego Comic-Con this year were given the treat of being able to attend the screening of The Simpsons without having to wait in long lines and elbow through a crowd of nerfherders to get tickets.

Long time fans know that the Simpson family first debuted in 1987 as a series of short sketches on the Tracie Ullman Show. Most of the people reading this review already know that, but they are these things out there called "kids" who, believe it or not, were not born yet in 1987.

Given its longevity, I'm always amazed that the creative team behind The Simpsons continues to find new stories to tell despite the fact that none of the characters has aged or matured in 20 years. Homer still neglects his wife in favor of donuts while Bart still walks the fine line between mischievous boy and wanted criminal. Coming up with 22 new episodes a year, every year, for these ageless characters where character arc can't last more than 22 minutes must be constricting.

That's why on paper The Simpsons: Movie must have seemed like a great idea. The writers would be unchained from the 30 minute sitcom confines of network television. Finally, they would be able to let loose and tell a story so grand, so hilarious that it could only be told in 90 minutes of glorious Dolby Surround Sound. As a bonus, they could show Bart's wiener and Otto lighting up a bong. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work out that way.

The Simpsons: Movie is both charming and funny for long time fans and just about anyone else with 10 bucks burning a hole in their pocket. The visuals, the voice talent and the jokes are all the same top notch quality that we've come to expect over the years.

My only problem with the movie is that it really is just a long version of the television show. The laughs come at the same size and pace. There is almost no focus given to characters other than the Simpson family. All the other residents of Springfield just drop in for a quick laugh and then scurry along.

Rather than take The Simpsons to the next level, like South Park did with their movie, The Simpsons: Movie tells an humorous story while maintaining the status quo.

It's a good thing their status quo is so good.


Michael Goodson

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