The Simpsons Movie
starring Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry
Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Tress MacNeille, A. Brooks and Tom Hanks as himself
screenplay by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening and others
directed by David Silverman
The Simpsons Movie is good, but not that good. Qualitatively it is on a par with the TV show, so it is just like a long episode of The Simpsons, which is not a bad thing, because The Simpsons is so witty and clever it is always a gut-buster, and its humor is so multi-layered and witty that scholars could write many doctoral dissertations about it. But I expected more, better, and funnier from the movie than what I actually found. For starters, not every Springfield character was used - like my favorite character, Leopold from the Springfield Board of Education. I did not bust a gut laughing like I hoped I would. But my children did.
After moving to Alaska, the Simpsons family returns to save the town of Springfield from environmental disaster (that Homer is responsible for to begin with). I think the highlight of the movie for me came around the 18-minute mark when Homer sings his “Spider Pig” song to the tune of the Spiderman cartoon theme song. You know,
Spider Man, Spider Man
Does whatever a spider can.
Is he strong?
He’s got radioactive blood.
Look out! Here comes the Spider Man.
After a certain point in the film the Spider Pig is no long featured, or the relationship between Homer and his pig is abandoned. I kept waiting for Spider Pig to re-emerge in the plot as some kind of guiding Spirit, but it didn’t happen, though I still feel that Spider Pig represents some kind of angel, or perhaps a Greek commentator in the lives of the Simpson family members.