The Simpsons Movie

Starring (voice): Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: PG
Available 10 December 2007

It takes a wide screen to fully capture Homer Simpson's stupidity, and
The Simpsons Movie does it. In the eagerly-awaited animated feature film based on the hit TV series, Homer must save the world from a catastrophe he himself created...

In The Simpsons Movie, based on the hit television series, Homer must save the world from a catastrophe which was his fault in the first place. What began as an act of charity, rescuing a pig from certain death, soon turns into a bit of a nightmare. When Homer designs his own silo to contain the pig's droppings, he doesn't realise what an ecological disaster is waiting to happen - one the likes of which Springfield has never experienced. As Marge is outraged by Homer's monumental blunder, a vengeful mob descends on the Simpson household. The family makes a narrow escape, but is soon divided by both location and conflict.

The Springfield citizenry has every reason to be out for Simpson blood. The calamity triggered by Homer has drawn the attention of US President Arnold Schwarzenegger and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Russ Cargill. It soon becomes apparent that to contain the disaster the EPA will need to erase Springfield from the map - by placing a huge dome over the town.

As the fates of Springfield and the world hang in the balance, Homer embarks on a personal odyssey of redemption - seeking forgiveness from Marge, the reunion of his splintered family, and the salvation of his hometown.

The Simpsons Movie has been eagerly anticipate by the show's fans for quite some time, and while the end result is far from poor, it was never really going to live up to the expectations placed on it. Personally, I was doubtful that the writers could sustain a 20 minute animated show for a feature length outing. I'm happy to report that I was very wrong. The gags are well polished and the animation (some of which is computer generated) still retains the look and feel of the TV show.

Apparently, although I didn't check this claim out, every single Simpsons character is included somewhere in this movie.

Extras include two audio commentaries (one with cast and crew and one with the directors); Deleted Scenes (5 mins); Special Stuff (a handful of promotional Simpsons clips); and A Lot of Trailers (five different The Simpsons Movie trailers).

Highlights on the audio commentaries include the fact that this was the first time I've seen the speakers being able to pause the movie while they talk in length about a segment; the revelation that the Russ Cargill character went through a huge change, so that the finished version looked nothing like the originally conceived character - however Burger King had already made thousands of plastic figures; and talk of the missing scene that sees Rev. Lovejoy setting fire to Maggie's cot.

At the end of the day, Simpsons fans will enjoy this movie - just don't be expecting too much.

Pete Boomer

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