Hey there everyone, and look what we have here. The goddamn Simpsons Movie. Hell yes. Not for a second did I doubt that I’d cover this on Lifetime of Simpsons, I just wasn’t quite sure how I was going to tackle it. I thought about doing it like a traditional Reel Talk article, but I decided that since this is just a really long episode, I would treat it as such. So buckle in folks! Sit back, relax, and let’s enjoy the movie that was 18 years in the making!
Things get fantastic right off the bat when we see a little Ralph hanging out in the 20th Century Fox logo, singing along with its fanfare, before tossing us into the real beginning of the movie, an Itchy and Scratchy short! It starts with the two of them on the moon, being astronauts, when Itchy of course smashes Scrathy’s helmet, killing him. Itchy then returns to Earth, becomes a celebrity, and gets elected President. But when the ghost of Scratchy begins harassing him from the moon, President Itchy does the only thing he can, and fires every nuclear missile in America to the moon, destroying Scratchy once and for all!
And after out fun little opening cartoon we get a huge, sprawling version of the opening credits. We whip all through Springfield, visiting the normal haunts of the traditional opening, but also checking in on some other characters. And it all culminates at a concert on Springfield Lake from Green Day. Which I had completely forgotten about, and instantly made me sad that they put fucking Green Day in this movie. Although when the band members try to talk to the citizens about the environment and pollution they do get rocks thrown at them until the barge they’re performing on sinks, dragging them to a watery grave.
This of course means that they have to hold a funeral for Green Day, which the entire town attends. The Simpson family slip into the church a little late, leading to everyone scowling at them. But they ignore that, and sit with Grandpa, suffering through a funeral. But things get a little interesting when Reverend Lovejoy asks for a volunteer to talk about their faith, and Grandpa decides to give it a shot. Except he does this because he’s suddenly having an insane religious vision. He begins babbling, talking about twisted tales, a thousand eyes, and being trapped forever before just shouting “eepa!” over and over.
Homer manages to grab Grandpa, and wrap him up in a carpet so that they can escape from the awkward situation, and they flee from the church. However, once they stick Grandpa into the car they quickly decide to drop all of this, and go get waffles. Marge is mad about this, and really wants to figure out what Grandpa’s ramblings were about, but she gets outvoted. So they go get waffles and then head back to the house so that Homer can get some chores done.
Homer ignores a sinkhole in the back yard and then gets to work re-shingling the roof with Bart. This does not end well, and almost instantly leads to Homer and Bart having a dare competition on the roof that results in Bart climbing onto their TV aerial, and being shook. Things are going to escalate, but before we check that out let’s see how everyone else is doing. Lisa is walking around town, trying to get people to care about the environment when she runs into a boy named Colin who is also passionate about pollution, and Lisa instantly gets a crush. Oh, and Marge is still trying to decipher whatever the hell Grandpa was talking about.
Anyway, back to the dare competition! Things have gotten ridiculous, like Homer carrying a back-full of bricks while getting shot with a BB gun. But all of this leads up to Homer’s final dare for Bart. Skateboarding through town naked. Bart hesitates, for a moment, and then strips down and heads into the town. It’s a weird sequence, where Bart flies all around town, horrifying people, until we get the weirdest part of this whole movie. Showing Bart Simpson’s nude junk. It’s uncomfortable, and that’s all we need to talk about it.
Bart’s little ride ends in disaster through when he slams, nude, against the window of the Krusty Burger, where Chief Wiggum, Eddie, and Lou happen to be eating. They run outside, and peel Bart off the window, arresting him and cuffing him to a light-pole until Homer can arrive to get him. Several hours later Homer finally arrives, and decides to not tell the police that he dared Bart, because that would get himself in trouble. So Bart has to take the heat, and Homer gives Bart some clothes (except pants), and they go into the Krusty Burger for food.
Bart is furious at Homer, and embarrassed at his continued lack of pants. But he gets aid from an unlikely source. Ned and the boys happen to be inside the Krusty Burger, and for some reason Ned carries around spare pants, which he gives to Bart. But Homer doesn’t really care about any of this, because he’s more interested in the fact that they’re filming a commercial with a real pig. However, when he overhears that they’re going to kill the pig, Homer decides to adopt it and bring it home with him and Bart.
And this instantly terrifies Marge, who realizes that this pig has a “twisted tail” just like in Grandpa’s ominous warning. But what she really should have been scared about was how weird Homer was about to get with this pig. Because he instantly starts treating the pig like a baby, doting on it. This also leads to Homer dubbing the pig Spider-Pig, which causes Homer to sing a “Spider-Pig” theme song, which is great. While this is going on we see that Bart is still pissed about the nudity incident, and he ends up speaking to Ned, learning what a good parent is actually like. They even agree to go fishing together.
So the next morning Bart and Ned head out to Springfield Lake, and have a great time together, fishing and bonding. Meanwhile, Lisa and Colin are hanging out at the Lake, being pissed about pollution. And this leads to Lisa somehow calling a Town Hall meeting to talk about the lake. And, not surprisingly, no one cares or understands what Lisa is talking about. But what is surprising is that Mayor Quimby decides to declare a state of emergency, and orders that the town stop dumping things in the lake, and start working to clean it.
The town of Springfield then joins together and cleans up their horrible little city. And after a lot of hard work, they manage to curb the pollution in the lake. Which is just when Marge begins to worry about what Homer is doing with all of Spider-Pig’s leavings. And it turns out he’s just tossing it all in a giant crap silo in the backyard. Marge is horrified at this, and tells Homer to get rid of the silo, but to do so responsibly. Which obviously doesn’t work. Homer and the pig, who he is now calling Plopper, head to a place to dispose of the waste. But when he gets a call from Lenny about free donuts, Homer decides they need to do this quickly, and he just drives to the lake, dumping the silo into the water. Which immediately causes a massive ecological disaster.
And things escalate quickly. Whatever was in Plopper’s crap instantly causes the lake to become some sort of mutagen, turning a squirrel into a multi-eyed monster. And this manages to catch the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency, headed by businessman Russ Cargill. Cargill looks at the facts and heads to talk to President Arnold Schwarzenegger about what to do. President Schwarzenegger decides not to actually read the plans though, and just picks one at random.
And what was the plan? Why it’s to drop a massive impenetrable dome around Springfield, sealing it off from the rest of the world so that its ecological disaster is contained. So Marge has seen a twisted tail, they’re trapped forever, and it was done by the EPA. Grandpa’s vision has come true. And Springfield is doomed. The town is terrified and baffled by this development, and get furious when a televised Cargill appears on the dome, explaining that they’re trapped forever.
Springfield then just kind of gets used to life in the dome, figuring out how to remain a functioning society now that they’re trapped. And one day Marge sees something incredible. Maggie is outside the dome. She runs inside to get Homer, but when they come back Maggie back inside the dome, and in the sandbox. So Marge decides she was just being crazy, and they go back inside the house. Which is when we establish that that sinkhole from earlier is active, and is a secret tunnel out of the dome.
But that’s not important right now, what is important is what’s on TV when Homer and Marge go back into the house. Because the police have apparently been checking out the Springfield Lake, trying to figure out what caused the disaster, and they come across the crap silo, complete with Homer’s name on it. So now the town knows that they’re been doomed to life under the dome because of Homer Simpson, and they get an angry mob ready to come kill him.
The rest of the Simpson’s family is furious at Homer too, but they know they have to save him from the murderous mob. They run through the house, being chased by the mob, when they see Ned across the alley, offering to help them. Unfortunately as they try and climb a board across to Ned’s house, Plopper knocks the board down, dooming them. The family fall to the ground as their house catches on fire, causing Marge to run inside and get her and Homer’s wedding video.
They then jump in the car and prepare to flee, only to be dragged out of the car by the town, and they’re brought to the back yard where they’re apparently about to be lynched. The family then escape their captors, climb up into the treehouse, and realize they’re doomed. That is until Maggie points out the sinkhole, bringing the family to safety. However, right as they go through the sinkhole, it becomes untenable, and ends up destroying the Simpsons house. But they’re outside of the dome and safe.
So the Simpsons are now free of the dome, and in the outside world. Which makes Cargill furious, because they’re the only people who know what he’s doing to American citizens. So he sets out a dragnet to find the family, who hole up in a sleazy hotel where Bart gets drunk and Lisa tries to convince Marge for the rest of them to abandon Homer. But Homer won’t give up, and tells the family that he has a Plan B for their life. They’re going to go live in Alaska!
Everyone is pretty wary about moving to Alaska, but Homer convinces Marge to agree, so they’re in. Which means they need to find a way to get to Alaska. But Homer has that covered, as is demonstrated by them going to a random carnival and attempting to win a truck by riding a motorcycle around a globe. Homer gives it a couple of pathetic tries, until Lisa uses physics to help him. He succeeds in racing around the globe, and the family are given a truck that they use to drive all the way to Alaska.
And after who-knows how long of driving, they reach Alaska and are are pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it is. So the family buy a house, and set up a new life in the wilderness, hoping to forget Springfield and its dome forever. Homer and Marge even get to have sex with the help of woodland creatures like they’re Snow White. Things seem to finally be looking up for the Simpsons.
However, things aren’t going well in Springfield. Mr. Burns is keeping all of the power for himself, causing things to get incredibly tense. And when a fight a book club erupts and spill out into the streets, the city suddenly finds themselves in a full scale riot. And after a bit of attacking each other, they decide to attack the dome, and actually end up cracking it a bit. Which terrifies Cargill enough to convince the President to sign off on another dangerous measure. Cargill is going to blow up Springfield so no one will every find out what the government did to them.
Unfortunately, the Simpsons still know what’s going on, so when they’re sitting around one day and see a commercial featuring Tom Hanks that talks about a new Grand Canyon that will be opening soon where Springfield used to be, they get worried. But where the rest of the family decide they need to do something to save their friends and family, Homer says that he’s fine with the town being destroyed. Everyone else is horrified at this, but Homer sticks to his guns and refuses to help the family save Springfield.
Homer then storms out of the house and goes to drink at Eski-Moe’s for a while, waiting for the fight to cool over. However, when he gets home he finds that the house is empty, and that his and Marge’s wedding tape is laying on the bed. Homer pops it in, and finds that Marge has recorded over the tape, and given him a message. She and the kids are leaving him, to go save Springfield. Marge claims that she doesn’t know who Homer is anymore, and that she doesn’t think she can love a man who is this callous. So she’s leaving and doesn’t plan on ever seeing him again. The tape then ends with some footage of their wedding, with them dancing to “Close To You,” and no, there’s nothing wrong, I must have something in my eye. Shut up.
Anyway, Homer runs out of the house, desperate to find Marge, and ends up passing out in the snow, leading to the great gag of the screen going dark and saying “To Be Continued….Immediately.” We then see Homer wake up and get attacked by a polar bear, only to be saved by an Inuit Medicine Woman, who brings Homer back to her hut. Meanwhile, Marge and the kids are aboard a train, heading to Seattle, when the EPA uses the NSA’s surveillance technology to find, and capture them.
Homer meanwhile is in the Medicine Woman’s hut, being told that he needs to go on a vision quest to find what’s really important in his life. So she gives him some herbs and they begin throat singing until Homer gets an epiphany. It takes a while, but eventually Homer is tossed into a psychedelic world where we get a creepy version of the Spider-Pig song, and where Homer is broken apart into pieces by some trees. And while he’s there, suffering, he realizes that other people are just as important as he is, and to save himself he’s going to have to save Springfield. So he’s put together, runs away from the Medicine Woman, and begins dog-sledding back to Springfield.
Homer then somehow manages to get back to Springfield, at the exact same time that an EPA van with Marge and the kids is approaching the dome. They’re going to put Marge and the kids back inside Springfield, just in time for it to blow up. So Homer gets to work trying to stop the van, by stealing a wrecking ball and trying to get it to smash the van. This backfires though, and just results in Homer being grievously wounded. But it’s okay, he’s a cartoon.
Meanwhile, Marge and the kids have been gassed inside the van, and lose consciousness. And when they wake up they find that they’re in the Town Square of Springfield, and that things have turn dire. The town has basically become post-Apocalyptic, and chaos is reigning. Which is when the screen of Cargill comes back, and he explains to the town that they’re going to destroy the town. A hatch at the top of the dome is then opened, and a bomb is lowered inside, hanging by a rope.
The people of Springfield decide that this is a terrible way to die, and create a plan to escape. They’re going to have Cleetus stay behind, and keep Cargill occupied while they climb up the rope with the bomb, and escape. Unfortunately while they’re planning this, Homer is outside and has gotten a hold of some super glue that he’s using to climb the dome. Homer then reaches the top of the dome, and falls down the hatch right as people are about to escape. He ends up falling, making everyone land back in the town, and causes the bomb to fall off the rope and land with them. Homer has doomed the town, yet again.
So the town is furious at Homer again, and everyone refuses to interact with him. Marge is off being mad, Lisa is looking for Colin, and Bart is off pretending to be a member of the Flanders family. Which is when Homer gets another epiphany, and realizes that with the motorcycle skills he acquired earlier he could grab the bomb and ride along the side of the dome until he reaches the hatch, so he could dispose of it.
Homer then grabs a motorcycle, and goes to apologize to Bart for being a horrible father. The two make up, and Bart agrees to ride with him. Bart grabs the bomb and they start racing up the sides of the dome, getting closer and closer to the hatch. And after some close calls they manage to throw the bomb out of the hatch, just as Martin beats up the bullies an Otto take a hit from a bong. The bomb lands just outside the dome, and explodes, causing the dome to shatter.
Homer and Bart ride down the falling chunks of dome, which largely explode into tiny fragments. Except for one massive piece which appears to kill Dr. Nick. But other than him, everyone is safe! Homer and Bart eventually land near Springfield Gorge, happy that they’ve saved the day. Until Russ Cargill shows up with a shotgun, ready to kill Homer and Bart. Luckily though Maggie was there for some reason, and she drops a boulder of Cargill, saving Homer and Bart. So, the town is safe, Colin and Lisa find each other and go on a date, Bart respects Homer, Homer is a hero, and Marge is done being mad a him. Oh, and the town gets together and rebuilds the Simpson’s house. The movie then ends with the fantastic credit sequence where we see the voice actors along with pictures of everyone they voice, which is great.
So, there we have it! The Simpsons Movie! I probably hadn’t seen this movie in at least six year, and I have to tell you, it held up. I still remember how massively excited I was for this movie, even though I had tapped out of actually watching the series at this point. But how could I not be excited? I loved the Simpsons, and to finally see it on the big screen was something I was never going to miss. Let me tell you a ridiculous story. This film came out on July 27, 2007. My birthday is July 28th. I chose to take work off on the 27th instead, so I could see this movie on opening night, and ended up working on my 18th birthday. That’s the kind of dude I am. And I don’t regret it for a second. This movie is a hell of a lot of fun, and is a really interesting combination of classic Simpsons, with some of the better parts of the then contemporary ones. There’s some things I don’t like about the movie, like the fact that Lisa barely has a role in it, but over all this movie is some solid and tremendous Simpson’s. I love the central premise of Springfield being locked inside a giant dome, and it all being Homer’s fault, and the redemption of Homer Simpson is a perfect thing to base a Simpson’s movie on. The gags are on point, and there’s some truly wonderful jokes in this movie. Plus, it has a serious emotional heart. That scene of Marge’s videotape telling Homer that their marriage is over, and that he’s not the man she fell in love with is so devastating, especially when they follow it up with “Close To You.”It’s a big, crazy Simpson’s episode that tries to outdo a normal entry to the series, but tat the same time it relies on the characters and their strengths, that’s been building for the entire series. It somehow manages to be a spectacle and character driven, which is a hell of a feat to accomplish. I could go on and on about this movie, but I’ll just leave it at this. This is a delight of a movie, it’s exactly what I would have wanted from a Simpson’s movie, and it maybe should have been where the series ended. But they didn’t, which means you can join me tomorrow as we enter Season 19 in this Lifetime of Simpsons. See you all then.
Take Away: Don’t turn a blind eye to the environment, otherwise evil businessmen posing as politicians will go out of their way to destroy you. But surely that would never happen in real life….
The Simpsons Movie was written by (deep breath) James L Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, and Jon Vitti, directed by David Silverman, and released by 20th Century Fox, 2007.