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Simpsons Movie, The


Stars: Voices: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Pamela Hayden, Tress McNeille, A Brooks

Director: David Silverman

“I can’t believe we’re paying to see something we did on TV for free” complains Homer as he and his family watch Itchy and Scratchy at the cinema. I know what he means (personally I’d have paid to miss Transformers) but in this case – and as usual – Homer is wrong. The yellow-faced cartoon legends jump to the big screen with consummate skill in a gag-packed comedy that for my money – and, yes, I’d pay to see it again – is the funniest cartoon ever. It would be understandable if Bugs leapt to his death or Popeye packed his spinach with cyanide after being so comprehensively upstaged by Matt Groening’s crazy creations.

Homer, Bart (skateboarding naked through Springfield), Marg, Lisa (cruelly spoofing failed politician Al Gore with her tedious presentation ‘An Irritating Truth’), Marge and Maggie are there along with all your favourite TV characters. Homer pollutes Lake Springfield with his pet pig’s fetid droppings, causing the government to isolate the town in a giant glass dome, but then saves the day by saving the city, taking time off to bond with Bart again. The plot’s not important though. What makes it a must is the near non-stop torrent of great gags and unkindly funny send-ups – Mickey Mouse is described as “the mascot of an evil corporation”, Arnold Schwarzenegger is President (“I was elected to lead, not to read”) and Tom Hanks looks drawn. If you don’t find yourself laughing helplessly, then check your pulse. You might just have died - killed by the noise or by the tedium or by both - watching Transformers.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by de Luxe.
87 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 25 Jul 2007