The Simpsons

Q. What’s the best thing about The Simpsons Movie?
A. It’s just like the TV show.

Q. What’s the worst thing about The Simpsons Movie?
A. It’s just like the TV show.

Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but it does give you an idea of what to expect. The film is a throwback to the earlier days when it was less about Homer’s random antics and used to be a sharp dig at American culture (or perception of American culture) and naturally enough revolves around Homer bringing disaster on friends and family alike before saving the day and failing to learn anything in the process.

Surprisingly, the film does allow the other main characters room to expand. Lisa gets a boyfriend (which leads to some excruciatingly cute moments), Bart realises how bad is father can be and Marge…well, I won’t spoil that one for you. Even Maggie plays a pivotal role.

Away from that the gag rate is consistent, sometimes phenomenal – name another mainstream animation that references photographs of Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Poltergeist and the “tree rape” sequence from Evil Dead. There are more and I’m sure that further viewings will reveal all of the background jokes that I missed this time.

Is it worth seeing on the big screen? Now that’s the tricky one. We saw it on cheap Tuesday so didn’t have to pay full price for tickets and its hardly as if the effects are spectacular (although the animation leans more towards Futurama’s pans and zooms) but the joy comes from sitting with an audience and laughing, not always together, but seeing who else has your sense of humour.

That and of course, Spiderpig…

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