Fanboy ranting aside, I must say that The Simpsons Movie marked one of the better movie-going experiences I've had in a while. In addition to the Marge Simpson mask that I left the theater with, I can happily report that the film gave me a good 80 minutes of laughter — plus one moment of genuine concern when Julie Kavner surpassed the usual limitations of cartoon voice acting and, for a moment, really made me think Marge had decided to leave Homer forever.
I'm writing this now, when most of my readership has gone out and seen The Simpsons Movie, in hopes that I'd hear what you all thought. Though it amounted to as much as I could have hoped for from such a film, I have a few small critiques:
- The lack of Mr. Burns. Easily my favorite character on the show, Mr. Burns's unabashed evil is something I look forward to. He has perhaps an even smaller role than even Flanders, which is a bit of a shame.
- Other marginalized characters: Agnes Skinner, Moe, Apu, Patty and Selma, Groundskeeper Willy, Kirk Van Houten, Mrs. Krabappel, and Santa's Little Helper.
- General focus on the Simpson family at the expense of the supporting characters. I realize that though I've laughed more at Homer than anyone else, the supporting roles make the show — especially the ones I perceive as either "predators" or "prey." And some of the ones who received airtime instead? Very strange. Lindsay Naegle? Really?
- Total absence of Rainier Wolfcastle, as near as I can tell. Of course, President Arnold Schwarzenegger is basically the same character. But… you know.
- And what, for the love of God, happened to poor Spider-Pig (a.k.a. Harry Plopper)? Did he die with the collapse of the Simpsons' home? I need closure on the character whose theme song has been stuck in my head all weekend.
- Lamely, I read somewhere that the movie's creators tried to work in every character who has every been depicted as a resident of Springfield and therefore tried to catch as many non-speaking background characters as possible. Is it just me, then, or did I see Astrid Weller — Isabella Rossellini's character from the episode in which Homer makes outsider art — at a disproportionately high frequency?