As soon as Ralph Wiggums appeared on the 20th Century Fox logo, and hummed the Fox opening theme, I knew “The Simpsons Movie” would be enjoyable for me.
Taking advantage of a school holiday (St Ignatius Day), I went off to the Block to catch the movie. And it was a barrel of laughs for me from start to finish. Who would’ve thought that the Simpsons would be able to evoke such mirth, even after 18 solid years of entertainment? But evoke mirth it did.
Once more, the story revolves around the dysfunctional Simpsons family and its bumbling patriarch Homer. As always, it’s one of Homer’s shenanigans which sets off the story on its rollicking path. And, as always, Homer finds a way to extricate himself from his predicament.
In between, the jokes fly fast and furious, too many to take note of. There are a few familiar gags that rear their hilarious heads, notably, Itchy and Scratchy, Springfield’s location, the Fox Network send-up, and Nelson’s mocking “Ha, HA!” There’s even a tribute to one of the earlier episodes where Homer tried to stop Bart from skateboarding across the Springfield Gorge; watch carefully near the end of the film.
If there was something lacking with the film, it seemed as if the story wasn’t able to cover all the bases. Somehow, I would’ve liked the town cast to play a bigger role, although I realize that’s impossible, given the movie’s length. Maybe, with the success of this movie, there will be others coming out, and we’ll get to enjoy more of the likes of Apu, Mr. Burns, and the rest.
One of the things I find amazing about “The Simpsons” is that the voice cast has remained unchanged after 18 seasons. And it is the same cast which makes its appearance in the movie; this time, during the credits, the characters attached to each actor/actress is shown. Strangely enough, only Yeardley Smith, who plays the voice of Lisa Simpson, has one voice to play, the others, particularly Hank Azaria, having three or more to voice.
One word of warning, though: even though it’s a cartoon, “The Simpsons Movie”, like the TV series, is NOT for young children. The show has always dealt with more mature stories, and parents may not be prepared to explain some of the racier jokes in the movie.
All being said, “The Simpsons Movie” is a worthy addition to what has become a very enduring franchise.