If you ever liked the Simpsons TV series, you’ll enjoy The Simspsons Movie. It’s basically a long episode of the series, but the film never becomes boring. The animation looks fine, the characters are as we always knew and enjoyed them, and the humorous dialogue lines are as funny as ever.
There’s rather too much Lisa for my taste—Lisa represents the cause-y and sentimental sides of the program, which are the aspects I enjoy the least. Similarly, Bart is given an emotional crisis that takes away from his usual humorous role as a force of nature. He’s nowhere near as funny here as he was during the show’s early years, but Homer replaced Bart as the center of the program a decade and a half ago, so we probably should be used to it by now. But alas, anyway.
The Simpsons family is very much at the center of the narrative, which is to be expected, with the Flanderses having a more central role than usual, which is nice. (Rod and Tod are not given anything amusing to do, however.) In addition, a few scenes are given over to President Schwarzenegger and his EPA administrator, providing some nice satirical jabs about politics and power.
Unfortunately, all of this means that the townspeople of Springfield don’t get nearly as much screen time as they should. It works out to about one funny dialogue line per supporting character. That’s an unhappy decision, given that the subsidiary characters are often the funniest thing about the TV program.
There definitely should have been more Ralph Wiggum, in particular. I would certainly be delighted to see The Ralph Wiggum Movie, should such a happy event ever come to pass.
There is an environmentalist message in the story line, but this is The Simpsons, after all, so it’s not done to a severely annoying extent. Plus, the film does take a couple of potshots at environmental extremism. In addition, an even more explicit and pointed aspect of the narrative is the emphasis on the intrusive power of big government, which is a very appealing attitude for classical liberals such as your present correspondent.
All in all, the movie could have been better, but I’m not complaining. As mentioned earlier, if you like The Simpsons, you should enjoy The Simpsons Movie. That’s about all we could have hoped for.