The Simpsons Movie
So with the characters making their first outing to the big screen I felt I had to see if it had retained the frantic and off beat humour that the show had.
That's about as much as I'm prepared to give you, the rest, believe me, you want to see first hand.
The film seems to start off at a much more considered pace than a simple episode, and indeed it has the luxury of doing so with the expanded running time.
Now we have a bit more character development and back story, although to be fair not that much more as the story begins to move onwards rather quickly, after all most of us are already familiar with the characters, and if not then there's not a lot to catch up on.
The relationship between Homer and his family is soon established and stretched to breaking point, and the set-up delivered for the film.
What is really good is the way that Bart is portrayed in the film, and we see a slightly more vulnerable and troubled side to the character, with a deeper view of the father-son relationship, still managing to be Bart though.
Now a lot of this is sounding a bit serious, well let me fix that straight away, the film is very funny. There are quite a few laugh out loud moments and plenty of giggling humourous moments too.
Not only do we have the usual characters from the series and a lot of the usual jokes and setups, but we also see some great new characters and cameos.
The story is really good and carries some really inventive moments. It is undoubtedly the biggest story the Simpsons have ever entered into, and they pull it off very well. Come fifteen minutes into the film and you almost forget you're watching a film over an episode.
This is a bigger, longer, deeper and more involved episode of the Simpsons which does really well on screen and delivers some great laughs. It's not perfect though, and isn't the best Simpsons story I've seen, but the transfer to the big screen works well and provides plenty of laughs.
Dolby Digital 5.1
There's not a great deal to the audio track, there isn't a great need for audio coming from the individual speakers or walls of sound here. It does a good job and the music compliments the film really well.
At first I was concerned by the film starting in simple television framing, i.e. 1.33:1, or 4:3, but then just as the film really begins the picture widens out and we are treated to 2.35:1. There's nothing spectacular about the picture since this is the typical Simpsons animation, but you can easily spot the use of computer graphics in some of the scenes which produce a much sharper and more perfect image.
Audio Commentary with creator Matt Groening, writers Al Jean and Mike Scully, director David Silverman and vocal stars Dan Castellaneta, James L. Brooks and Yeardley Smith, Director's Audio Commentary with Director David Silverman and sequence directors Mike B. Anderson, Steven Dean Moore and Rich Moore, Deleted Scenes, Special Stuff (clips and television appearances), Trailers
Audio Commentary with creator Matt Groening, writers Al Jean and Mike Scully, director David Silverman and vocal stars Dan Castellaneta, James L. Brooks and Yeardley Smith
This is the funniest and most entertaining commentary of the two, and provides a number of laughs. It's also extremely informative about the film-making, the voice acting, and the Simpsons in general. This really is enjoyable and they utilise a feature I've never seen before, they pause the film to talk about specific sections, and that's a really nice touch.
Director's Audio Commentary with Director David Silverman and sequence directors Mike B. Anderson, Steven Dean Moore and Rich Moore
This audio commentary is a little more detailed and sometimes technical, it's not as funny either as all the comic talent has already been seen – no offence to the Directors intended! It really is one for the Simpsons and animation fans and there's a lot discussed about the film over the series.
There are only six deleted scenes, something I find surprising for an animated film, but nothing earth shattering or story altering, despite having an alternate ending in here.
These are clips of Homer introducing the Tonight Show, and a few spots on American Idol, amusing but nothing spectacular.
Well if you wanted to see every trailer for The Simpsons Movie that's been made then this is the place. There's also the horrendous Alvin and the Chipmunks and the superb Futurama: Bender's Big Score.
This is a fun and laugh filled film which really does stand close to some of the best of the Simpsons. They have tried to stretch things a little and look into characters and relationships more than they do in the series, so it's not just an extended episode. There are plenty of laughs for Simpsons regulars and newcomers alike.
I was disappointed that we didn't see more material from the animation process, or rather any material. There was a lot of talk about the boarding technique they use to show almost completed animation in a fraction of the time of the final film work, and we saw none of this. Nor did we see anything of the voice actors doing their work. Both these areas are essentials in animated DVD extras I believe.
Still, the film is great fun and there are two commentaries which are both interesting and entertaining. I would think this could make a great Xmas present for Simpsons and comedy fans alike.