The Simpsons Movie

We have loved them for over 400 episodes and it is the most popular animated TV series ever. Now, America's most beloved cartoon family makes the leap to the big screen in the long anticipated wide screen, feature length event known as "The Simpsons Movie."

Laura's Review: B-

Robin's Review: B+

'Familiarity breeds contempt,' or so the saying goes but, with "The Simpsons Movie," familiarity breeds comfortable, familiar delight for the many fans of America's iconic animated TV comedy series. The denizens of Springfield have polluted its namesake lake to the point that they have created a toxic crisis for the town. With a environmental disaster looming, the townsfolk take Lisa's dire and band together to clean up Lake Springfield. They make the lake pollution proof, surrounding it with Jersey barriers to keep anyone from further contaminating the water. They are not prepared, though, for Homer Simpson. In keeping with the television series, Homer screws up big time after he rescues a pig from imminent demise. He makes it a porcine pet, treating it as (or better than) a member of the Simpson family. But what to do with the copious pig poop that Spider Pig/Harry Plotter produces? Why, dump it in Lake Springfield, of course! This one thoughtless act will have horrendous effect on the town when the EPA quarantines it from the rest of the world. Homer must go to extraordinary lengths if he is to save his hometown and his friends. "The Simpsons Movie" is, as I hoped, an epic version of "The Simpsons." Our favorite family is joined by a host of familiar faces, from Moe to Mr. Burns and the Bumblebee Man, as Springfield joins forces to 'kill, kill, kill' Homer for his travesty (even Grandpa sides with the vigilantes). Unless James L. Brooks and Simpson's creator Matt Groenig were willing to make a 3-hour monster (which would not have worked), short shrift is given to the hundreds of characters introduced over the years on the show. They made the right decision. Instead of showcasing many of the wonderful characters, Director David Silvernan and company focus on the Simpson family and the story of Homer trying to right his enormous wrong. As such, the first Simpson feature film is lean but not mean. The laughs are many, even if they are from humor that we have already seen on the TV show. But, free of the shackles of network television restrictions, the makers are able to mine more edgy material, including a noodle shot of Bart. "The Simpsons Movie" is both what I expected and hoped for and, while it does not strike me as brilliant, it does have brilliant moments.

Laura's Score: B-