"Turns out the movie version was exactly like an episode of the TV show, only longer." -- Millions of unimpressed moviegoers after wasting thirty bucks on yet another failed TV-to-movie experiment.
And those moviegoers are usually unimpressed because projects like these exist as little more than franchise exploitation. Seriously, was the universe actually demanding a movie version of Inspector Gadget or The Beverly Hillbillies? Most definitely not. But in certain (generally rare) cases, a successful TV show makes the leap to the silver screen in exceedingly fine form. Star Trek certainly did it. So did South Park, The Addams Family, The Fugitive and Firefly. But lately all the worlds' media attention has been focused on one specific series, a comedic juggernaut that's been chugging merrily along for the last 18 years. It's more than a classic, more than an institution. Heck, I hate to think of television without it. Yep, Springfield fans, it's (finally) time for The Simpsons Movie.
What an amusing novelty it is to see America's favorite yellow family up on the big screen -- doubly so because the magic of the series has translated quite excellently into cinematic form. Aside from a few editing gaffes (the DVD version will probably run 110 minutes!), The Simpsons Movie is quite a GOOD movie: a colorful little treat that's sly enough for the grown-ups, silly enough for the kids and funnier that just about anything found in the multiplexes these days. It's as if someone pulled a forgotten episode out of a vault marked "Simpsons Seasons 4 - 9," stretched the thing out into a tight 85-minute package, and gussied up some of the animation and special effects. So yes, The Simpsons Movie is exactly like a feature-length episode of the Sunday night staple. And in this case, that's a really big compliment.