The Simpsons Movie
By Herve St-Louis
July 27, 2007 - 13:57
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Pamela Hayden
Directed by: David Silverman
Produced by: David Mirkin, James L. Brooks, Al Jean
Running Time: 1 hr. 25 min
Release Date: July 27th, 2007
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Distributors: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Comedy, Animation and Adaptation
The Simpsons’ movie is based on the longest playing sitcom in North America, about an animated dysfunctional family who lives in Springfield, somewhere in America. The television series has reached a total of 18 seasons, and is up for renewal for fall 2007. Starring the same voice actors from the television series, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Pamela Hayden, The Simpsons escape Springfield, after Homer, the father puts the town environment in jeopardy. But can either the Simpsons or Springfield exist without one another?
First, I’d like to comment about the audience that was watching this film with me, as it premiered at midnight. While most people were respectful, and limited their public outbursts to laughing at jokes, there were several hecklers in the theatre who robbed the audience of a good time. It was easy to draw some parallel with the hecklers and The Simpsons’ very own hard to please connoisseur, Jeff Albertson, The Comic Book Guy.
The hecklers, whose ears have probably been turned dim, by a lifetime of hearing loud music, kept shouting for the theatre operators to raise the volume. Whenever a joke was not to their taste, they would complain out loud. The only thing that was missing from all this, at the end of the film was one of Comic Book Guy’s quote “Worst movie ever,” although they did ask for their money back.
This is the type of movie goers and Simpsons’ fans that just can’t be pleased. Nothing the about the movie, could have made them change their mind. And instead of keeping their negativity to themselves, they felt compelled to ruin other attendees’ entertainment. Asking film goers acting like this to be courteous is a waste of my time, so I won’t.
For what it’s worth, I enjoyed the Simpsons very much. The plot moved quite fast, and just like a regular Simpsons” episode on television, introduced the key plot point and character development issues that would be explored throughout the film. Here, Lisa finds love, Bart longs for a better relationship with his father. Marge longs for a more loving husband, while Homer, has no goals at all and reacts to events in his life.
One problem with the movie lies with the line quality of the drawings. The thicker animated line works on television, but here, it almost had a Rugrats’ feel that was wrong for the film. It looked like the artwork had been expanded to fit on a movie screen. Perhaps checkers should have scanned the drawings at greater resolution or adjusted the vectorization of the lines to make them feel stronger.
Like sister series, Futurama, the Simpsons’ film had several cell shaded 3D animated elements, composited with the regular traditional 2D animation. While it added some dynamism to the film, it was not necessary. Thankfully, it was used rarely.
Another problem with the film were the slow motion sequences, where basically, the animators used a frame rate of 8 and probably lower to make the scenes move slowly. It made for jerky animation and added many stroboscopic distortions which is not a good thing coming from such an experience team of animators. Instead, they should have continued to animate at the regular frame rate, but add more in-between frames to slow down the motion. It would have been smoother and more professional looking.
While not the greatest film ever, some of the shots were memorable. My favourite was the one where Bart anticipated his “father” choking him. I could not stop laughing about that scene well after it had passed. The Simpsons’ Movie made me laugh very much, and that’s all it needed to do to be a good film.
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