Western Animation: The Simpsons Movie
EPA Official: Sir, I'm afraid you've gone mad with power.
Russ Cargill: Of course I have! You ever tried going mad without power? It's boring! No one listens to you!The Simpsons Movie
is a 2007 theatrical film adaptation
of, well, The Simpsons
. The film's production was famously stuck in Development Hell
for most of the series' run, with the film having been commissioned around 2001 and movie plans going back as far as the episode "Kamp Krusty" in 1992
. The plot of the film centers on Homer essentially being an idiot (what else is new?), but this time it actually comes to bite him in the behind when he becomes responsible for nearly destroying the entire town of Springfield
. This being The Simpsons Movie
, the entire Simpson family becomes entangled in the plot of the Big Bad
(power-hungry EPA agent Russ Cargill, who is hell-bent on saving the world from pollution
); he first encases the town in a dome, then decides to turn it into a second Grand Canyon with a small nuke.
This film provides examples of:
- Badass: The family gets their moments. Homer knocking out a soldier in one punch and climbing up the side of a dome with just glue is fairly badass.
- As is motorcycling up the dome to stop the nuke.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Homer's apology to Bart: "Of course I care about you. What father wouldn't care about... [sees Spiderpig in the corner of his eye] A PIG WEARING A HAT!"
- When Marge is lecturing Homer on being environmentally friendly, Homer is distracted by a mental image of a toy monkey playing the cymbals. The monkey notices that Homer is distracted and sternly points to Marge.
- Marge also gets in on the act. "The most important thing, Lisa, is that he listens to you, and nothing means more than for a man to how did these pig tracks get on the ceiling?"
- Big Bad: Russ Cargill.
- Big "NO!": The DVD contains a deleted scene where Homer takes a ride on a sausage truck. After he leaves, the driver checks his cargo. Anyone who knows Homer probably expected the driver's reaction.
- Bilingual Bonus; There's a scene that shows for roughly two seconds with a bunch of signs in different languages. For example, the Korean sign says "Learn to speak English with a Texan accent".
- The Russian sign says: "Learn to speak English or, get out"
- Binocular Shot: Parodied, when we see the POV of someone looking through binoculars and ZOOMING IN, complete with blurring and refocusing, before cutting to reveal Homer's just looking through his hands. And rotating them to activate the zoom effect.
- Black Helicopters/Black Vans: Both used by the EPA.
- Book Ends: The family sitting in the cinema, and also Homer repairing the house's roof.
- Bowdlerization: "In the name of American squeamishness," the TV version of this movie that aired on FOX, the cable channel FX (but not the spin-off channel FXX during the "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon), and the Canadian channel Global have edited the following scenes from this movie:
- Bart's naked skateboard ride through town: On FOX and Global, the sequence is shortened so we don't see Bart riding through the hedge with his genitals covered, then uncovered when he skates past the open section nor do we see Bart crash into the restaurant at which Ned Flanders and his sons are eating and say "Bountiful...PENIS!" as they're praying. On FX, the sequence was shown, only the open space where Bart's genitals are shown is covered with a Censor Box that reads, "EUROPEAN VERSION ONLY."
- Homer getting stuck in the sinkhole: On FOX and Global, the part where Homer flips off the townspeople as he's sinking has the middle/ring fingers removed, making it look as if Homer is shaking his fists in anger (or some weak form of defeat).
- The bomb: Marge's line, "Somebody throw the goddamn bomb!!" was changed on FOX and Global to "Somebody throw the bomb!" with a scene splice. FX altered the line to "Just throw the damn bomb!" (the "God" part was muted out).
- Otto smoking marijuana through a bong near the end of the movie was cut on FOX and Global.
- Homer's line, "That could be anyone's pig crap!" after watching the news report about the dumped silo had "pig crap" changed to "silo."
- FOX (for reasons unknown) shortened Homer and Marge's conversation about how Homer mistook 4:00 pm for 7:00 pm (which is when Access Hollywood comes on).
- When the movie aired on FX on June of 2012, the "Bountiful penis" part was left in (but the nudity was still covered with the "European Version Only" bar), Homer's middle fingers weren't digitally removed during the sequence where Homer is stuck in the sinkhole, Marge's line "Someone throw the Goddamn bomb!" wasn't altered, and Otto smoking a bong was left uncut.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Homer's attempt to manufacture an epiphany: "Bananas are an excellent source of potassium! Americans will never embrace soccer? More than two shakes and it's playing with yourself?"
- Bully Hunter: Martin, after thinking everything is going to hell.
- Butt Monkey: During the opening of the film, Green Day play an environmental concert on a floating barge in Lake Springfield (it's also been established that this was a free show). Three-and-a-half hours into the set, they try to talk about the environment. The crowd immediately turns on them, pelting them with garbage and shouting derisive things about them. Even better, the lake is highly polluted (as in, "more corrosive than hydrochloric acid"), and eventually the barge/stage begins to break down and sink. Green Day goes down with the ship (parodying the sinking of the Titanic, with Mike Dirnt saying, "It Has Been an Honor" and the three members of the band playing violins as they sink to their deaths)
- Homer is at his most heroic, and he also suffers from the most painful and humiliating injuries imaginable, even in his epiphany.
- Callback/Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag:
- Numerous cameos by supporting and lesser-known characters of the show, especially in crowd scenes.
- When Bart skateboards in the nude, he swings around a pole in a shot replicated from the theme song sequence on the show.
- President Schwarzenegger is modeled after, and has the voice of, Rainier Wolfcastle — a character from the show created to parody Schwarzenegger.
- The police shooting into the sandbox, which then turns into something of a black hole, is reminiscent of Chief Wiggum doing the same with the alternate dimension in "Treehouse of Horror VI."
- Some of Russ Cargill's lines (see page quote) evoke Hank Scorpio ("You Only Move Twice"). Both characters are voiced by Albert Brooks, who improvised heavily in each role, and are insane men in authority positions (Word of God reveals that Hank Scorpio was supposed to be the villain in the movie, but it was changed to Russ Cargill since Hank Scorpio's last appearance was over a decade ago).
- Homer's epiphany begins with a Couch Gag.
- Moe, in a Running Gag from the series, thinks Marge's name is "Midge."
- The crashed ambulance from the end of "Bart the Daredevil" is still seen near Springfield Gorge in the climax.
- When entering church at the start of the movie, Homer says, "Praise Jebus!" Homer had previously used the name "Jebus" a few times in the episode "Missionary: Impossible".
- When Homer and Marge's wedding is shown on the tape the song "Close to You" begins to play, following Homer as he flees outside. "The Way We Was" used this same song when they first met in high school.
- The Cameo: Tom Hanks, and boy, is it lampshaded.
- Captivity Harmonica: Hibbert plays it briefly.
- Carpet-Rolled Corpse: Fat Tony and his thugs arrive at Lake Springfield with a rolled-up carpet. Police Chief Wiggum deters them, stating that no further waste dumping will occur at the lake. Though his fellow officers are suspicious, Chief Wiggum points out that Fat Tony mentioned "yard waste," so there couldn't be a corpse in the carpet roll.
- Cassandra Truth: The page-topping quote. While it seems like blatant Hypocritical Humor, you have to step back to think about it: would a random person listen to the ramblings of a psychotic who is just lying on the street, or would they rather obey someone that went off the deep end of a Moral Event Horizon while still being extremely successful and highly influential?
- Chekhov's Gun: More like Chekhov's Motorcycle, Wedding Tape, Sinkhole, and Lake.
- Also, there's Chekhov's Crumpled "P" (from the Springfield Sign).
- Comically Missing the Point: By the truckload.
- The town meeting is more concerned about the scissor lift not working than the environmental problem.
- Homer finds a jetpack, but his sight is drawn towards a more convoluted "climbing the dome with superglue" plan.
- "We have a wedding tape?"
- Conspicuous CG: The vehicles and many of the backgrounds are noticeably cel-shaded, unlike in the main series.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: While not head of a corporation during the events of the movie, Russ Cargill used to run a Fortune 500 company.
- Cutaway Gag: Two.
Cargill: We've found a way to permanently take Springfield off the map.
(Cut to man driving on highway, looking at G.P.S. Springfield appears larger than the other markers on the G.P.S.)
Female G.P.S. Voice: Coming up on your right... (The "Springfield" icon disappears) ...nothing.
(Man stares at G.P.S., confused)
Flanders: Now, whenever my boys bake up a batch of "frownies", I take 'em fishin'. Does your dad ever take you fishing?
(Bart thinks about the answer as the scene cuts to Homer attaching a bug zapper to a car battery)
Bart: Dad, it's not fair to use a bug zapper to kill the fish!
Homer: Now, son, if you like fish as much as I do, you want them to die with dignity!
(Homer inserts zapper into lake, sending current along entire surface)
(Several different marine species, including a diver, all rise to the surface, dead)
Homer: I think I have a nibble!
(Touches fish, is electrocuted, and bites down, proceeding to eat the fish and getting zapped viciously)
- Criminal Doppelgänger: Inverted. Bart draws over a wanted poster so that it looks like a different family... who happen to be real people and get caught instead of The Simpsons.
- Creative Closing Credits: A number of short sketches take place during the ending credits.
- Dark Reprise: A creepier version of "Spider Pig" plays in the background when Homer is having his hallucination/nightmare. It's also in the credits. Sleep tight!
- Hell, even the theme song gets this a couple times!
- Deconstruction: In the movie, Homer's normally idiotic, selfish behavior create some realistic problems with his family for the first time in years. Bart begins to despise his own father because of Homer's lack of care and hilarious abuse for him and tries to find a father figure in Ned, and Marge eventually leaves him for being a selfish, apathetic dick, taking the children with her.
- The issue of pollution. While normally Springfield seems perfectly fine, in here it becomes so deadly the United States are willing to lock away and later destroy Springfield to prevent it poisoning the planet. It could be considered a Mythology Gag, due to the Simpsons' long running gag about the Nuclear Power Plant (remember the three-eyed fish?).
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: "I will not illegally download this movie". Nuff' said.
- Disney Creatures of the Farce: The sex scene in the movie is an obvious send up of classic Snow White and Sleeping Beauty moments.
- Doomed Hometown: Springfield, after the EPA decides to put a dome on it and later destroy it.
- Drunk with Power: Happens to Russ Cargill.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Homer's pig-waste silo, which he marked "PIG CRAP."
- Face Palm: Maggie, after failing several times to point out her sinkhole escape.
- Fan Disservice (or plain 'ole Squick): Bart's naked scene ain't much until he rides past a fence with a hole in it, showing a (rather lengthy) shot of 10-year old Bart's penis and testicles.
- Flanderization: Surprisingly averted (given the recent episodes from the TV series); pretty much all the characters act closer to their early-to-mid-nineties portrayal, particularly Ned Flanders with Bart, and Marge arguably reaches emotional depth unexplored in the series. Though Homer is still a Jerk Ass, he actually realizes that his latest boneheaded plan is the worst thing he's ever done... so far.
- Although there's a literal Flanderization that may be Lampshade Hanging: Bart draws Ned's trademark mustache and hair on a picture of Homer to show his disapproval at Homer's parenting.
- Flipping the Bird: Homer flips off the Angry Mob with both hands as he escapes down a sinkhole. Then he gets stuck and tries to use the fingers to dig himself out.
- Fiction 500: The never-mentioned company to which Russ Cargill belonged, and still belongs, before being appointed head of the EPA. From what we've seen of its resources so far, they have enough funds to produce a dome to permanently seal in a giant metropolis like Springfield, set up extremely hi-tech security cameras all around said metropolis and produce a bomb powerful enough that, when detonated, can leave a crater the size of the Grand Canyon.
- Foreshadowing: Grampa warns the Simpsons about the upcoming crisis and who are going to cause it.
- Forgot Flanders Could Do That: Ned Flanders himself had this happen, as Bart becomes annoyed with Homer's Jerk Ass ways, and begins viewing Flanders as a better father figure who's very caring, if still quirky.
- Fugitive Arc: After the authorities are after the family for escaping from the dome.
- Fun with Subtitles:
"TO BE CONTINUED"
- Geographic Flexibility: Evergreen Terrace is at the very edge of Springfield, and Moe's Bar (which usually doesn't have that sign) is suddenly next to the church. The hill Mr. Burns' mansion is on is at a much higher altitude as well.
- Goggles Do Nothing: At the end of the movie, Homer continues to re-shingle the roof, but Bart hands him a pair of goggles so he doesn't hammer himself in the eye like he did earlier. This protects his eyes, but doesn't stop him from nailing the shingles into his leg and falling off the roof.
- "Good Luck" Gesture: Homer hopes that Ned Flanders confesses to being gay. He intensely crosses his fingers.
Ned Flanders: The Good Lord is telling me to confess to something...
Homer Simpson: [his fingers crossed] Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay, gay...
- Girlfriend in Canada: Played with and inverted.
Lisa: Oh wait, I didn't tell you the best part: he loves the environment. Ooh wait, I still didn't tell you the best part: he's got an Irish brogue! No no, wait wait, I still didn't tell you the best part: he's not imaginary!
- Government Conspiracy
- Green Aesop: Played straight and subverted. Although there is a green message, the villain of the movie happens to work for the E.P.A., and is perfectly happy to kill everyone in Springfield in the name of protecting the environment. Oh, and in case you forgot this is The Simpsons, so both sides are mocked.
- Groin Attack: When the crowd is booing Green Day for trying to preach the environment, Moe throws a rock which passes through one of the drums and is implied to have hit the drummer in the crotch.
- And again with Homer's epiphany, when a tree kicks him in the crotch for his attempted masturbation epiphany.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Lisa to Colin.
- Heroic Team Revolt: When Homer refuses to help Springfield, the rest of the family goes back without him.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Homer has a "vision quest" when he was given some kind of (apparently spicy) herbal tea by an Inuit woman and did throat-singing with her. He ends up getting ripped apart by trees until he figures out that he's been totally selfish.
- Impossibly Compact Folding: At one point, Homer folds up a billboard sized poster of Alaska down to the size of a business card and places it in his pocket.
- Internal Retcon: Springfield is removed from GPSes by the government, and Tom Hanks' advertisement for the "second Grand Canyon" states that nothing ever existed east of Shelbyville or south of Capitol City.
- Irony: The "trapped forever" prophecy, the third of Grandpa's prophecies, comes true thanks to President Schwarzenegger choosing the third solutionnote of Russ Cargill's five initial solutions to the pollution problem in Springfield.
- I Will Show You X: "I'll teach you to laugh at something that's funny!"
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Homer actually starts out in more of his Mike Scully-era persona. However, this time, his jerkish behavior winds up causing his family to abandon him in Alaska, makes him the target of the town, and turns him into a federal criminal. Once he realizes that Marge and the family are leaving him, Homer quickly realizes that his family kept him going, and he tries his hardest to repent.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Double subverted with Russ Cargill. The only reason he was ever trying to blow up Springfield was to prevent the pollution from spreading, but he went out of his way to try and nuke the townspeople as well, tricked the president into approving of this plan, didn't even attempt to find another solution, and is clearly Drunk with Power.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: CARGILL. There was no need for him to nuke Springfield after sealing it in the dome.
- Juggling Loaded Guns: Provides the page image, Chief Wiggum can't carry enough donuts, so he stacks them on the barrel of his gun, and eats them straight off it. The gun goes off while he's between bites, blowing a hole through his hat. He says "Whoa, that was close!" and continues eating
- Kill 'em All: Cargill ultimately plans to do this to Springfield with a timed nuclear bomb.
- Knight Templar: Russ Cargill.
- The Key Is Behind the Lock: Prof. Frink has invented a drill that could cut through the dome and free them all. "It's right there, out... side the dome."
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The DVD Commentary notes that the Bambi-like forest creatures in Marge and Homer's love scene still have that distinct Simpsons overbite.
- Little Miss Badass: When the mob breaks into the Simpsons' house, Maggie scares off Mister Teeny (the chimp) with a broken bottle and a glare. Near the end of the movie, she drops a rock on the head of Russ Cargill, knocking him out, just when he's about to shoot Homer.
- Mega Corp.: The EPA... ironically.
- The Millstone: Homer is this to his family and the entire town.
- Moment Killer: Lisa has a romantic moment with Colin (Window Love variant), during which Bart immediately mocks, "Lisa has a boyfriend... that she'll never see again." *PUNCH*
- Mood Whiplash: This movie likes to switch up very fast between slapstick, regular Simpsons humor, drama and black comedy.
- Mouth Cam: Homer before he meets Plopper.
- Mustache Vandalism: Bart mustaches a Wanted Poster of Homer - now it looks just like Guy Incognito, who gets beaten & arrested.
- Negative Continuity: Other than a few brief cameos by Plopper/Spider-Pig and the Inuit Boob Lady and the season 19 première after the movie's release having modified opening titles, and a still wrecked Springfield, the movie's impact has rarely been brought up on the show, though the The Simpsons episode "The Fool Monty" Mr. Burns attempts to put a giant dome over the town; however, everyone complains that It's Been Done and decides not to do it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Homer near-immediately subverts Lisa's clean-up efforts, and gets the town a nice, big lockdown dome around it. Near the end, he tries to break into the dome and foils the town's attempt to escape before they're nuked. He quickly makes up for that though with his motorcycle stunt.
- No Animals Were Harmed: Lampshaded. Lisa wouldn't leave the theatre until she saw this message. Strangely enough the text itself is played completely straight.
- No Endor Holocaust: The dome around the city is destroyed, and the only person to die is Dr Nick. Even then, he gets better.
- Off the Chart: Lisa's graph illustrating the lake's pollution is like this.
- Oireland: Colin.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Schwarzenegger is the President Buffoon kind: "I was elected to lead, not to read."
- To be fair, Schwarzenegger did end up having second thoughts and was reluctant to pick an option randomly and even said he should read over the options. Not that it mattered anyway, since Russ Cargill tricked him into picking at random (kind of) again.
- Precision F-Strike: In quite possibly the only time Marge Simpson has ever uttered any swear in her life...
Marge: SOMEBODY THROW THE GODDAMN BOMB!
- Rule of Cool: Homer and Bart saving the town by driving a motorcycle across the dome's walls.
- Scenery Censor: Subverted. Boys, before we eat, don't forget to thank The Lord for this bountiful... PENIS!!!
- Also subverted when Bart was riding naked on his skateboard, and for a solid 10 seconds, at least five parts of the scenery conveniently cover Bart's genitals. That is, until Bart passes behind a shrub with a gap to conveniently ONLY show Bart's genitals while the rest of his body is shrouded.
- Scenery Gorn: The ruined Springfield, particularly the town square.
- Scenery Porn: The Alaska scenes.
- Self-Deprecation: The two "bunny trailers" lampshade this movie's relative ugliness in comparison to all the CG films on the scene.
- Sequel Snark: When the family is watching the credits at the end, Maggie's first word (that they've heard, at least) is "Sequel?".
- Sexy Discretion Shot: The sex scene with Homer and Marge in the Disney spoof scene.
- Shout-Out: President Arnold Schwarzenegger says "I miss Danny DeVito"'.
- Smug Snake: Russ Cargill is a pretty big one.
- Starting A New Life: After the entire Simpson family is run out of Springfield, they go to Alaska to start anew
- Take That:
- Right at the beginning, Homer lampshades his own movie when he calls everyone in the theater a "giant sucker" for paying to see something they get on TV for free. "Especially you!"
- Bart, wearing a bra like Mickey Mouse ears. Doubles as Hypocritical Humor.
- Many toward the US Government and the EPA, notably when the government apparently surveillances everything and when Tom Hanks states that the US government has so little credibility that they have to borrow from him.
- There's a Take That toward oil drilling companies destroying Alaska's beauty when the family reaches the Alaskan border.
- Russ Cargill's plan is a Take That towards environmentalists who take their ideology too far and value "saving the planet" over human life.
- In The Stinger, a Squeaky Voiced Teen is sweeping away gum at the theatre. It's implied that he's the film's assistant manager, and this is where four years of film school lead him.
- The DVD Commentary confirms that the Grand Theft Walrus sequence was a Take That toward the Penguin craze started by March of the Penguins and Happy Feet.
- The first Simpsons Movie trailer takes a comical jab at 3D animation by stating "In a time where computer animation brings us worlds of unsurpassed beauty, one film dares to be ugly." Unfortunately, the cute bunny involved in the trailer didn't make it.
- This Is No Time for Knitting: When they are in the treehouse surrounded by the angry mob, and they don't know how to get out, Maggie keeps pointing to the sandbox, but Marge assumes she wants to play in the sand and tells her "Not now!" and "We'll play later!". When Maggie finally jumps, Marge realizes that she wanted them to jump into the sinkhole beneath the sandbox so that they'll reappear on the other side of the dome, where the mob can't see them.
- Time Bomb: At the end.
- To Be Continued: Parodied with an "immediately" around the beginning of the third act.
- Token Romance: Let's be honest — would the plot have been significantly different if Lisa hadn't been given a random new Love Interest?
- Took a Level in Badass: Martin Prince of all people.
Martin: This feels good! No wonder you do it!
- Trailers Always Lie: While a Big Damn Movie in of itself, the "world" isn't really at stake, only a single town and the movie is a lot more gag-based and emotional than the trailers imply. A scene from the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon at the beginning of the film is included in a trailer as if it was part of the plot the film proper. Also, Reverend Lovejoy at no point says "here comes the money shot".
- Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers also spoil that Springfield is going to get nuked if the Simpsons don't stop the EPA.
- Trailer Spoof: Several examples.
- An early trailer pretended to be for Superman Returns, but it was just Homer wearing a Superman shirt.
Homer: I forgot what I was supposed to say!
- A later Simpsons trailer used the Spider-Man font before revealing... Spider-Pig.
- Yet another spoofed the first teaser for The Da Vinci Code, with Homer's face in place of the Mona Lisa.
- One trailer does it a bit differently by not being based on any particular movie:
- Trash the Set: First the Simpsons' house, then all of Springfield (Except Springfield Elementary School) three months later.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Springfield gets domed all because Homer decides to adopt a pig. Of course, other entities are to blame, including the Springfield Police Department for bringing up that donut sale within Homer's earshot just as he was about to dispose of the pig crap properly...
- Villainous Breakdown: Lampshaded by Russ Cargill:
Russ Cargill: [Aiming a shotgun at Homer] There's two things they don't teach you in Harvard Business School; how to cope with defeat, and how to handle a shotgun. I'm gonna do both, right now.
- Visual Pun: The wrecking ball sequence has one where Homer on a wrecking ball is hit by many things, such as a rock and a building marked A Hard Place.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Spiderpig. As soon as the family is chased out of town this plot thread is forgotten about. It's not the only one, either, just the most notable. Hell, he's only showed up in a couch gag and another minor plot in the main series.
- In a deleted scene, he was helping rebuild the Simpson house with the rest of the pets.
- However, The Simpsons' individual episodes have a tradition of the plot going off in an entirely different direction at the end of the first act, so arguably this is a good use of the trope.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Russ Cargill starts as this. Sure, sealing Springfield and its citizens in a dome was pretty over the top, but he did it to keep the town's pollution from spreading. This doesn't last though, as he quickly goes off the deep end into considerably more power-hungry and sinister territory.
- Where the Hell Is Springfield?: It borders Kentucky, Maine, Nevada and Ohio. Also it's east of Shelbyville and south of Capital City, and not in Alaska. As usual, it still doesn't help.
- According to the credits, the film was filmed on location in Springfield, ______.
- If the contest prior to the movie's release is to be believed, Vermont.
- Springfield also features a Hollywood-esque sign and a dry river bed which looks suspiciously like Down L.A. Drain.
- Window Love: see Moment Killer above.
- You Monster!: Lisa calls out Homer after learning that it was he who caused the ecological disaster that got Springfield placed under a dome.
- You Would Do the Same for Me: Ned starts to say this about Homer, and Bart just gives him a look.
Ned: "Point taken. Now hustle your bustles!"