Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Fate of Spider-Pig?

This is my belated review of The Simpsons Movie.

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?
Ralph Wiggum, however, appeared in precisely the amount he needed to. And Dr. Nick Riviera joining the likes of Maude Flanders, Bleeding Gums Murphy, Snowball II and Bea Simmons? A very welcome touch.

5 comments:

  1. Remember in Homer's hallucination when all the trees were applauding him and one of them did finger guns?

    Amazing.

    Love loved. My major point of confusion was the Irish kid. What the hell was that all for. A reference to the general suckiness of her storylines?

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  2. Well since it's the first Simpsons movie, I think the creators were going for a back to basics approach. That's probably why few supporting characters got much screen time. Remember, the supporting cast didn't start to get rounded out or have whole episodes for themselves until later seasons. As for Spider-pig, I hear he'll be appearing in the new season. Or at least one of the writers mentioned that there will be references to the movie.

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  3. Remember at the end, when Bart asks Santa's Little Helper how he survived? The subtitles to his response said he it was horrible and had to do things that will haunt him forever. Add that to SpiderPig last being seen in the window of the Simpsons house...I'd say SLH had to kill and eat Spiderpig.

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  4. Scrapperman2:05 PM

    I just got this: PLOPPER THE PIG IS COMING BACK AS REGULAR CHARACTER ON SEASON 19, STARTING SEPTEMBER. THE PREMIERE EPISODE WILL EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM IN THE MOVIE. Our dear pig is not dead. C'mon, SLH couldn't eat him, is the Simpsons, not Silent Hill, you know? =D

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  5. Anonymous11:46 PM

    i just got the dvd and if you look at the slightly auterted ending spider pig is painting the dog house plus in one of the new simpsonsepisodes was on and it showed a special start where springfield is gettting cleaned up and when the simpsons get to there sofa spider pig is on it

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