The Simpsons Movie

I know, I know — I still have a pile of reviews to write, but I am going to write this first…

1989 was an interesting year.  It ushered in the era of Macaulay Culkin, the beginning of Tim Burton’s vision of Batman, and the beginning of a 6-year hiatus for the James Bond series.

1989 was also the year I discovered Fox TV programming.  Due to a series of unfortunate events, I found myself in a hospital where Fox was one of the stations.  It had only been a national network for about three years, marking success with Married….With Children and The Tracy Ullman Show.  In watching The Tracy Ullman Show, I, along with the rest of the country, was introduced to an animated family that seemed to take the antics of the Bundys a step further.

After returning home, I was greeted with two pieces of news that would have a huge impact on my TV viewing habits: 1) Fox was finally being offered in Panama City; and 2) The Simpsons would become its own series in December, 1989, with a Christmas special.  Over the next two years, the country was caught in Simpsons mania, with its merchandising battling New Kids on the Block for parents’ hard earned dollars.

As with all things, the hype died down and most people expected the show to only last another season or two.  After all, The Flintstones had only lasted 4 seasons and that was considered the hallmark of animated, prime-time series.

Fast-Forward to 2005…

Seven years after the release of the South Park movie, based on the show that could be the heir to the Simpsons’ crown, it was announced that a movie would be finally made of Bart and the gang.  A lot of fans went into worry mode.  I asked one friend what the worst that could happen and they reminded me of the Flintstones/Jetsons animated movie featuring Tiffany as Judy from years ago.  I simply shuddered.

Fast forward to last weekend…

Due to other commitments, I had to delay seeing the movie.  I finally was able to head to Altamonte AMC to check out the first showing of the day.  I walk in just as the trailer for the live-action Chipmunks is playing and I shake my head.  Jason Lee — where has your movie career gone?  Better not walk away from TV anytime soon.

The movie starts up and for the next hour and a half I am with the residents of Springfield.  Lots of sight gags, movie parodies, and they even got Green Day to perform the theme song.  The animation was beautiful and the story was actually fairly strong.  My fears were for naught — Groening and company delivered.

My advice: see it on the big screen — to wait for DVD is idiotic.  This one is good for everyone and worth the time in the theater…

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