A seemingly ageless animated classic.
Since The Simpsons Movie is about to be released on Netflix in Australia, I decided to give it another watch and judge if it still holds up compared to the last time I saw it back when it was released in 2007. Whilst the animation is outdated in contrast to the heavily computer-simulated environments currently used on the show, I still believe it holds up quite well a decade on. And to make a movie based solely on a TV show is a feat that has been attempted by many who did not do very well in the process. The most recent was last year’s Netflix adaption of the great Japanese anime Death Note, which was just god awful. But The Simpsons Movie remains faithful to the humour that made me fall in love with the first 10 seasons of the show and is a period that I still see as the golden age of The Simpsons. And watching 10 years later, the jokes still make me laugh.
Ultimately what makes a great Simpsons episode is the writing. And I was glad to see that this translated very well into the movie format, with a story that fitted the setup for most of the jokes. By this, I mean centering the focus on who I believe is the funniest character from the family, Homer Simpson. Yes, the decision to explore a scenario where Homer’s ignorance causes the family to despise him isn’t necessarily new if you’re a fan of the show, but the emphasis of seeing it unfold with a larger runtime and in particular between the relationships with his wife and son created a bundle of laughs.
Homer’s journey to try and win back the respect of his family is best described as a chaotic and willfully naive mess, but one that still has many jokes that hold up. From the little things of seeing him whip a herd of snow dogs whilst they fall asleep to the bigger gags of him falling in love with spider-pig, I can’t help but smile when I watch them again. Maybe it’s the whole nostalgia of taking me back to those moments when I first saw the movie, but unlike a couple other childhood classics that I rewatched later, The Simpsons Movie hasn’t ruined any of those feelings that I once shared. And watching it now as an adult, I can see why the movie is still funny to me because of the writer’s smart choice of focusing on the funniest character from the family. If this was a story about Lisa (although there is a somewhat necessary but not very funny side plot with her), I wouldn’t have loved it that much.
This film is nowhere near some of the comedic gems the show has put out like Last Exit to Springfield or Homer Goes to College, but it still does justice to what the series has created and provides another great addition to the massive Simpson anthology. I even enjoy the fact that the animation does look outdated because one of my main gripes with the series nowadays is that it looks completely computer animated and overly polished, which to me is somewhat uninspiring as an art form. I enjoy the look of the originals seasons, especially when you could freeze frame it at certain points and notice any mistakes in the characters drawings because they were actually done on real paper and not fixed up later in the editing process.
To wrap up this review, I will be again recommending you give The Simpsons Movie a watch, just like I did so as a young kid seeing it for the first time on the big screen. I remember being stuck in the front row because of how packed it was, and it still was one of my favourite experiences that I’ve had at a cinema. So, whilst I can never relive that same feeling watching through the eyes of an adult, I’m glad to say that it still holds up and is worth you checking it out once more, especially since it out on Netflix everywhere this month. See it.