The Simpsons Movie
(Fox, 2007) D: David Silverman, w/ Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNNNN
The absolute brilliance of the Simpsons Movie DVD package is that every so often creators Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and company want to dig a little deeper into a given topic, so they pause the movie and do so.
The first time, they explain the particular difficulties with the scene of Grampa’s seizure in church. It’s a key sequence in a plot that sees the entire town of Springfield sealed into a dome, then slated for bombing into oblivion. (It’s all Homer’s fault, of course.) It’s also vital to setting the tone of the movie, so it’s well worth the several minutes they spend on it. So is the time they spend on voice acting.
The commentator pause is a wonderful device. I’ve never seen it used before, but I’ve wished for it every one of the thousand times I’ve heard somebody throttle their thought flow because that person was wedded to the pace of the movie.
The movie itself is an okay Simpsons episode played large. There’s more complete animation and some very pretty backgrounds. Some of the gags are stale (the show, after all, is 18 years old), but some are hilarious. Bart’s nude skateboard ride is a classic, and Homer’s Spider-Pig song becomes inspired lunacy when it reappears during his mystic ordeal.
EXTRAS David Silverman, Groening, Brooks, Al Jean, Mike Scully, Dan Castellaneta, Yeardly Smith commentary; Silverman and segment directors’ commentary; deleted scenes. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio. English, Spanish subtitles.