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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Worth the Wait
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

Fans who waited 18 years for The Simpsons TV series to be made into a feature film will be delighted with The Simpsons Movie. Skillfully directed by David Silverman, this full-length animated comedy is well-written, entertaining and provides consistent laughs.

During the first part of the movie, Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta) receives a call from the Springfield police department asking him to pick up his son Bart (voice of Nancy Cartwright) at the local Krusty Burger. The police have handcuffed Bart to a pole outside the establishment after they caught him skateboarding totally nude because of a dare from his father. Naturally, Homer won't acknowledge his responsibility, for that would mean being forced to attend therapy sessions with his son.

Homer then ushers Bart inside Krusty Burger where they both scarf down food while Krusty the Clown (also voiced by Castellaneta) tapes an ad for the chain’s new pork burger. Having no use for the pig used in the commercial, Krusty gives the crew orders to butcher it.  Homer overhears this and insists upon taking the pig home to prevent its demise.

Meanwhile, Lisa (voice of Yeardley Smith) is irritated after spending her day canvassing Springfield while trying to educate its residents about global warming --  only to have doors constantly shut in her face.  However, she’s delighted to meet Colin (voice of Tress MacNeille), a recent arrival from Ireland. She discovers they share common interests after noticing Colin also banging on doors in his efforts to deliver a spiel about global warming.

Undaunted, Lisa and Colin get Mayor Quimby’s attention by delivering a lecture called " An Irritating Truth." The two dedicated youngsters warn Springfield that an environmental disaster will occur unless the town stops dumping toxins and other refuse into Lake Springfield. Mayor Quimby responds by putting up a concrete barrier designed to stop all illegal dumping into the lake. Too bad the mayor fails to consider Homer in his plan! What follows is an explanation of how our hero fouls things up.

Marge (voice of Julie Kavner) is disgusted to learn her husband has brushed his pig’s excrement into a silo erected in their backyard. She orders Homer to get rid of the silo by taking it to a toxic waste facility. But Homer becomes annoyed when he has to wait in a massive lineup to enter the facility. He decides to deposit the silo into Lake Springfield, then proceeds to a donut shop. Of course, Homer’s actions trigger an environmental catastrophe which is traced back to him. Why? Because he foolishly left his name on the silo.

The Simpsons are forced to flee Springfield when throngs of irate people set out to kill them -- but especially Homer. The rest of the movie deals with how Homer and his family deal with their catastrophic problem.

I especially enjoyed the voice performances by Castellaneta who had the difficult task of talking for over a dozen characters here. Also, I’m glad screenwriters James L. Brooks and Matt Groening realized not all moviegoers are diehard Simpsons fans. Aware that their film should appeal and relate to everyone, they definitely achieved this important goal.

(Released by 20th Century Fox and rated "PG-13" for irreverent humor throughout.)

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