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Ali Ghadamkheir
Ali Ghadamkheir

The Simpsons Movie: Why It Took So Long to Make and What's Next for the Franchise


The Simpsons Movie: A Hilarious and Heartwarming Adventure for the Whole Family




If you are a fan of The Simpsons, the longest-running animated sitcom in history, you probably have seen or heard of The Simpsons Movie, the 2007 feature-length adaptation of the show. But if you haven't, you are missing out on a great comedy that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer for your favorite yellow family.




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The Simpsons Movie follows Homer Simpson, who accidentally pollutes the lake in Springfield, causing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enclose the town in a giant dome and declare it a disaster area. Homer and his family manage to escape, but they are branded as fugitives and hunted by the ruthless EPA agent Russ Cargill, who plans to destroy Springfield with a bomb. Homer must find a way to redeem himself and save his town from annihilation.


In this article, we will explore how The Simpsons Movie was made, how it was received, how it influenced the show and other media, and what its future might be.


The Making of The Simpsons Movie




The Simpsons Movie was not an easy project to complete. It took almost 20 years from conception to release, involving many challenges, changes, and collaborations.


How the film was conceived and developed by the creators of the show




The idea of making a Simpsons movie dates back to 1991, when James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, and Sam Simon discussed it during an episode commentary. However, they decided to focus on the show instead, as they felt they did not have enough material or time for a movie.


In 2001, Brooks, Groening, Jean, Mike Scully, and Richard Sakai revived the idea and assembled a team of writers from the show's history to brainstorm ideas for a movie plot. They came up with hundreds of ideas, but Groening's suggestion of Homer polluting the lake and causing an environmental disaster was chosen as the main storyline.


How the script was written and rewritten over a hundred times




The script for The Simpsons Movie went through many drafts and revisions before it was finalized. The writers had to balance humor, emotion, action, satire, and fan service in a coherent and satisfying story. They also had to deal with censorship issues, as they wanted to push the boundaries of what they could do in a PG-13 rated film.


The script was constantly tweaked even after production began in 2006, as new jokes were added or removed based on feedback from test screenings or creative decisions. As a result, many scenes were cut or altered in the final version How the animation was done and what challenges were faced




The animation for The Simpsons Movie was done by Film Roman, Rough Draft Studios, and AKOM, the same studios that work on the show. However, the film required a higher level of quality and detail than the show, as well as a widescreen format and a 3D environment. The animators had to use new software and techniques to create the film's visuals, such as Maya for the dome and the crowd scenes, and Adobe After Effects for the compositing.


The animation process was also complicated by the constant changes in the script and the storyboard. The animators had to redo many scenes or create new ones to accommodate the revisions. Some scenes were very difficult to animate, such as the mob scene outside the Simpsons' house, which involved hundreds of characters and props, or the scene where Homer falls through a sinkhole, which required a realistic simulation of dirt and rocks.


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How the voice actors reprised their roles and what new characters were added




The voice actors for The Simpsons Movie were the same as the show's regular cast, with some exceptions. Marcia Wallace, who voiced Edna Krabappel, had her scenes cut from the final version of the film. Russi Taylor, who voiced Martin Prince, died in 2019 and was replaced by Grey DeLisle in subsequent episodes of the show. Phil Hartman, who voiced Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz, died in 1998 and was not replaced.


The film also featured some new characters, such as Russ Cargill, the main antagonist voiced by Albert Brooks, who had previously voiced several guest characters on the show. Tom Hanks voiced himself in a cameo role, as did the members of Green Day. Other celebrities who had voice roles in the film include Minnie Driver, Isla Fisher, Edward Norton, and Kelsey Grammer.


The Reception of The Simpsons Movie




The Simpsons Movie was released on July 27, 2007 in the United States and Canada, and on various dates in other countries. The film received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, who praised its humor, satire, animation, and story. The film has an approval rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 223 reviews, with an average rating of 7.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, \"The Simpsons Movie contains the hearty laughs, biting satire, and honest portrayal of an American family that makes the show so popular. And it boasts slicker animation and polished writing that hearkens back to the show's glory days.\"


The film was also a huge commercial success, grossing $536.4 million worldwide against a budget of $75 million. It became the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2007, the second-highest-grossing traditionally animated film (behind Walt Disney Animation Studios' The Lion King), and the highest-grossing film based on an animated television series. The film also won several awards and nominations, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film and an Annie Award nomination for Best Animated Feature. The Legacy of The Simpsons Movie




The Simpsons Movie is not just a one-time event, but a lasting achievement that has left its mark on the show and the culture. The film is widely regarded as one of the best animated films of all time, and has a loyal fan base and a cult following.


How the film is regarded as one of the best animated films of all time




The Simpsons Movie is often ranked among the top animated films by critics and fans. For example, it was ranked #14 on Empire's list of the 50 Best Animated Movies, #21 on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 100 Best Animated Movies, and #25 on Time Out's list of the 100 Best Animated Movies. The film is praised for its witty and clever humor, its sharp and relevant satire, its emotional and heartfelt moments, and its faithful and respectful adaptation of the show.


How the film has a loyal fan base and a cult following




The Simpsons Movie has a devoted fan base that loves and appreciates the film for its quality and its contribution to the Simpsons franchise. The film has spawned many memes, quotes, and references that are popular among fans and internet culture. Some examples are Spider-Pig, Homer's epiphany on the roof, Bart's skateboarding scene, and Marge's video message to Homer.


The film also has a cult following that celebrates and honors the film in various ways. For instance, some fans have recreated scenes or locations from the film in real life, such as building a replica of the dome or painting a mural of Homer on a silo. Some fans have also organized events or festivals to commemorate the film's anniversary or to raise awareness for environmental issues.


How the film spawned merchandise, tie-ins, and parodies




The Simpsons Movie generated a lot of merchandise, tie-ins, and parodies that expanded the film's reach and impact. The film had a wide range of merchandise, such as toys, games, books, comics, clothing, accessories, and collectibles. Some of the most notable items are the Spider-Pig plush toy, the Homer Simpson talking mug, the Bart Simpson skateboard, and the Marge Simpson hairbrush.


The film also had many tie-ins with other media and brands, such as Burger King, 7-Eleven, JetBlue Airways, Vans, Apple, Xbox 360, and The National Football League. Some of these tie-ins involved changing the name or appearance of the products or services to match those in the film, such as transforming 7-Eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts or offering pink-frosted donuts with sprinkles.


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