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The Simpsons Movie 435

Posted by michael
from the prepare-for-disappointment dept.
girish writes "Eonline is reporting that, finally, after more than 10 years since Matt Groening said that a Simpsons film 'is way down the line', a movie based on The Simpsons is being made. It's still in its early stages and is being planned to be debuted in the summer or during Christmas time of 2006. The Simpsons has been on FOX for 15 seasons and averages 12.9 million viewers this season."
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The Simpsons Movie

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  • by davejenkins (99111) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavejenkins.com> on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:04AM (#8257909) Homepage
    Will there be any shark-jumping?
  • by dr_steel (692882) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:04AM (#8257915)
    Conan O' Brian and some of the earlier writers are involved.
    • by ArmenTanzarian (210418) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:11AM (#8258014) Homepage Journal
      I read an article on this quite some time ago saying that they were going to pull in a few of the old writers. They also mentioned that the voice actors had been contracted for 3 movies. I thought it was posted on Slashdot, but I can't seem to find it. Either way, here's [snpp.com] an interesting page that discusses some of the rumors and has a fairly insightful interview.
      • The article, as far as I can see, just says that they've "signed" to do the movies. That doesn't necessarily mean they've been contracted to actually do the movies. More likely, I'd imagine they've signed a contract saying "if these movies happen, we'll do them for thus and such amount of money, but if they don't happen, then we won't," which is known as an option, because it gives the studio the option to do or not do the movies at their discretion. Sometimes in the case of book rights, they'll pay a ce
    • by sbma44 (694130) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:19AM (#8258101)
      as a Simpsons writer. While he's a brilliant talk-show host and did some good writing for the Simpsons, he is far too often given all the credit for the Simpsons' golden years. I think if you look at the writing credits you'll see that George Meyer's presence on staff is more closely correlated with Simpsons quality. He is attached to the movie, according to comingsoon.net [comingsoon.net].

      With that said, he came back to the show a few years ago and the show didn't get much better. So I still don't have very high hopes for this movie. The thing that made the Simpsons great was its loving, hilarious-yet-almost-plausible depiction of a small town and all of its quirky inhabitants. It stopped doing that a long time ago and started sending the main characters on ludicrous adventures crammed full of celebrity cameos -- in a nutshell, situational humor rather than character-based humor. It became just another cartoon. There have been ups and downs in quality, but I think it's pretty clear to everyone that the series has never been as good as it was during seasons 3-6.

      I would like to believe that a feature length film would allow the series' greatest contributors to sit down and really focus on their craft again, and create a legacy that can be used to put the series to bed. More likely it will be used as an excuse for a plotline that's even more outlandish than usual. I'm not looking forward to it.

      • by Avumede (111087) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:59AM (#8258465) Homepage
        Interesting point. I actually have been thinking that the Simpsons has been getting better the last few years. Perhaps it is Meyer's influence after all.
      • by hambonewilkins (739531) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:20PM (#8258673)
        Let me see if I get your argument: Both Conan and George were writing during the golden years of the simpsons. Both left. Show gets bad. Later, George came back and the show failed to right itself. Hence, Conan is overrated as a writer? On the contrary, Conan, having written for SNL and the Simpsons, is a very good writer. I DO credit him with the golden years.
        • by sbma44 (694130) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @01:25PM (#8259443)
          From snpp.com [snpp.com]:

          Conan O'Brien wrote or cowrote:

          • [9F06] New Kid on the Block
          • [9F10] Marge vs. the Monorail
          • [1F02] Homer Goes to College
          • [1F04] Treehouse of Horror IV (wraparounds)

          All very fine episodes, and obviously a staff writer will contribute to others' episodes. But that's just 3.3 episode credits. Conan was a contributor, but not a driving creative force.

          George Meyer wrote or cowrote:

          • [7G13] The Crepes of Wrath
          • [7F07] Bart vs. Thanksgiving
          • [7F22] Blood Feud
          • [8F01] Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington
          • [8F02] Treehouse of Horror II
          • [8F15] Separate Vocations
          • [9F01] Homer the Heretic
          • [1F05] Bart's Inner Child
          • [AABF08] Sunday, Cruddy Sunday
          • [AABF22] Brother's Little Helper
          • [BABF19] Behind the Laughter
          • [CABF22] The Parent Rap

          That's a much larger contribution. He's also probably got the most cameos on the show of any simpsons writer (he's the dirty looking bearded guy with the gilligan-style hat found in the unemployment line, in the writers' office at I&S studios, etc). And his tenure at the show is considerably longer.

          But my best advice is to go here [snpp.com]. It's an archive of a new yorker article profiling Meyer. Conan is a great, talented guy. But don't assume that just because he's the only famous name on the Simpsons writing staff that he's the funniest one.

      • plausibility (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sacrilicious (316896) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @02:52PM (#8260269) Homepage
        I think it's pretty clear to everyone that the series has never been as good as it was during seasons 3-6.

        "Me too", i.e. that's certainly their golden age as far as I'm concerned.

        The thing that made the Simpsons great was its loving, hilarious-yet-almost-plausible depiction of a small town and all of its quirky inhabitants. It stopped doing that a long time ago and started sending the main characters on ludicrous adventures crammed full of celebrity cameos -- in a nutshell, situational humor rather than character-based humor.

        I think you've stated the stylistic change accurately, and I agree that the quality (or at least my interest) flagged in tandem with that change. It's interesting to muse on Futurama in this light. I like Futurama a lot; I suppose that could be because it's plausible in the sense that it's so far in the future that nobody can really argue that such things won't come to pass. Another possibility is that through its outlandish characters and depictions of technology and culture, the show never tried for a premise of plausibility... so it never transitioned to less plausibility and therefor never fostered the resentment of an audience that had come to appreciate plausibility. Food for thought.

    • by Pond823 (643768) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:27PM (#8258726)
      That Conan, slayer, destroyer, king, theif, script writer. What a guy
  • by alenm (156097) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:04AM (#8257918)
    Does anyone have a good candidate?
  • Oh yeah (Score:5, Funny)

    by savagedome (742194) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:05AM (#8257924)
    According to Reiss, Fox has wanted to do a Simpsons movie since President Bush (news - web sites)'s father was President Bush.

    Now, if they only get this quote in the movie somehow ;)

  • Make it stop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SpiffyMarc (590301) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:05AM (#8257929)
    Have the people who OK'd this movie actually SEEN and COMPARED newer episodes of Simpsons to ones that aired back in its' glory days?

    Jumped the shark a few seasons ago at least, as much as I hate to say it. This is one of those shows I wish they'd take off the air for its' own good.
    • Re:Make it stop (Score:4, Insightful)

      by j0217995 (597878) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:10AM (#8257994)
      I disagree, last week's episdoe with Marge telling the various history stories was classic. I thought it had everything some of the old episodes had and is perhaps the best so far this season. There were way too many good parts in the episode to list, but perhaps the greatest was when Lisa tried to grow a penis. I laughed so hard I was crying.

      While last season was pretty terrible, this season has improved. Hopefully it will continue

    • Re:Make it stop (Score:4, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) * on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:15AM (#8258046) Homepage
      to be replaced by what? More re-runs of "The Show About Nothing"? No thanks.
    • Re:Make it stop (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Laur (673497) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:20AM (#8258107)
      I agree, I stopped watching the Simpsons about four or five years ago when they stopped being that funny. Know what, I STILL get all the Simpsons references people (on /. and elsewhere) make, because they're all from older episodes!
    • by gosand (234100) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:33AM (#8258238)
      Have the people who OK'd this movie actually SEEN and COMPARED newer episodes of Simpsons to ones that aired back in its' glory days? Jumped the shark a few seasons ago at least, as much as I hate to say it. This is one of those shows I wish they'd take off the air for its' own good.

      Ahh, but tell me exactly where they jumped the shark. That is the key. They haven't. They CAN'T. The nature of the show makes it impossible. Some would say that they did it when they did the 3D Homer episode - or it could be considered a classic! Maude dies? Risky, but no shark there. The rake scene? Classic.

      Here is why the Simpsons amazes me. When I see a show in first run, I think it is OK or good, and sometimes bad. But it seems that when I see it in re-run, it gets better. I think some of the ones in the last few years are really good. In fact, I thought last week's was pretty funny.

      Everyone has their favorite. Mine is an oldie - Selma's Choice. That is the one where Aunt Gladys dies, Lionel Hutz is the executor of the will, Homer eats the huge sandwich and gets sick, so Patty and Selma have to take the kids to Duff Gardens, where Lisa trips on the water and Bart tries on Beer Goggles. There is hardly a moment in that episode that I can't laugh at.

      I still love their Halloween episodes, and when they go back and enact classic stories. Behind the Laughter was awesome. Their "milestone" episode show was brilliant, with outtake clips.

  • by pvt_medic (715692) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:06AM (#8257944)
    "excelent!!" (menacingly tapping my fingers together)
  • WOO HOO! (Score:5, Funny)

    by provolt (54870) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:07AM (#8257950)
    I think I speak for many when I do bad homer impression and say:

    WOO HOO!
  • I'm Scared (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Torinaga-Sama (189890) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:07AM (#8257958) Homepage
    I sooo want this to be good, but it so difficult for a cartoon that has almost always done exactly what it needed to do in 1/2 hour to accomplish the same thing as effectively in a longer format while still doing justice to the original.
  • Finally, the end (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blorg (726186) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:08AM (#8257967)
    I suspect that this film may mark the end of the Simpsons. I certainly hope so, and just hope that they go back to the roots and manage to make a fitting coda to what was one of the most important shows in television history, rather than just a mindless parade of celebrity voice-overs.
  • Welp, (Score:5, Funny)

    by stomv (80392) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:08AM (#8257976) Homepage
    Worst.... movie.... ever
  • Teehouse of Horror (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tr0llb4rt0 (742153) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:09AM (#8257982) Homepage
    The only way it'd work is to do an extended Treehouse of Horror with 10-15 minute vingettes.

    If they tried an extended episode then it'd be soooo full of padding and rehashing that you'd be better off at home with the dvd collection.
    • If they can make a show like South Park, or even Beavis & Butthead (which is 2-minute snippets interspersed with video clips) into a movie, then the Simpsons should be no problem.
  • by Sentosus (751729) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:09AM (#8257984)
    Have a new season... 23 Episodes at 22 minutes a piece or 1.5 hours of a movie... I just don't see the purpose of a movie.
  • by nearlygod (641860) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:10AM (#8257995) Homepage
    It is a great unjustice that we have Star Wars and LotR topics but no Simpsons topic. That is unpossible.

    nearlygod
  • by crashnbur (127738) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:18AM (#8258088)
    Commercial Sites:
    Fan Sites:
    • The Simpsons Archive [snpp.com] -- "the Internet's clearinghouse of Simpsons guides, news, and information"
      Last Exit to Springfield [lardlad.com] -- "For All Your Simpsons Needs" (Well, it looks very well done.)
      nohomers.net [nohomers.net] -- "the center of all that is simpson"

    Fun Site:
    There are countless others. These are among the best I've found. Please link to others... I'm sure I haven't seen them all.
  • episode quality (Score:5, Informative)

    by jedrek (79264) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:18AM (#8258094) Homepage
    I'll be the first to admit it: there have been some pretty good episodes this season, story-wise. There have been total dogs (like the school-closing ep, I think I smiled *once* during that 22min fiasco) but it's a lot better than the shit they were putting out S12-14.

    That said, it's still far, far away from the Simpson's glory days. I'm not talking about the story lines, I'm talking about the direction and 'cinematography' (if you can call it that) of recent episodes. The current eps watch like a sitcom. A couple of camera angles, some close ups, some pans, maybe a zoom or two. I watch eps from S1-3 (on DVD, woo hoo!) and it's a totally different world. Zooms, pans, moving shots, distorted angles, etc.

    I don't know how much this is a budgetary concern (although with 13+ mln viewers you should have enough money) but it is something that has to be addressed in the movie.

    Oh, and bring back Conan!
  • But will it work? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iantri (687643) <iantri@gmx. n e t> on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:19AM (#8258104) Homepage
    I love the Simpsons. It's great.. but I don't really think there is enough material for a feature-length movie.

    In a 1/2 hour comedy, like the Simpsons, the plotlines and characters tend to be simple, due to the necessity of telling a complete story in 24 minutes.

    How can Groening translate the Simpsons formula to a 1 1/2 hour (or more) movie?

    • by dema (103780) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:31AM (#8258212) Homepage
      I think 320 (or somewhere around there) 24-minute episodes is more than enough to prove the characters of The Simpsons aren't "simple."
    • by katarac (565789) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @01:10PM (#8259272)
      I don't know if I agree on the plotlines being simple. If you watch any episode in the past 10 or so years, you can easily forget how the episode started at all. I happen to like the convolutedness(real word?) of it. It makes the episodes seem longer and it's funny just for being so absurd. I think it would be easy to make a movie just by extending some of the twising, non-linear plotlines of the episodes.
  • by RandBlade (749321) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:21AM (#8258119)
    D'oh!

    Seriously though: Its easy to expect disappointment, it is notoriously difficult to switch from half-hour episodes to a full 90-minute movie. If the movie is just an extended cartoon then it would be a disappointment, it wouldn't work. This is why most movie attempts fail.

    However there are some examples of very good quality movies from TV series' and if done well then these can be "excellent". I think few would dispute that South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut did the series justice, it took many jokes already in the series and resulted in a very good movie. Another classic example is M*A*S*H - This is I believe the only prime-time comedy which ran longer than The Simpsons has, however the movie-length finale was very memorable. A good series which closed with an even better film.

    If they just try to do a long episode then the movie will fail. If they try to get a proper movie, set in Springfield, then they have every chance to pull off a masterpiece.
    • On MASH - are you refering to the final episodes as a movie, or to the in-theaters movie? If the latter, it was released before the TV series, and was the inspiration, not the other way around.

      From IMDB:
      MASH (1970) - the movie, Ring Lardner Jr wrote the screenplay, based on the book by Richard Hooker.
      "M*A*S*H" (1972) [TV-Series 1972-1983] - developed for TV by Larry Gelbart.

      So, it was a book, then movie, then TV show.
      • by RandBlade (749321) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:46AM (#8258351)
        On MASH - are you refering to the final episodes as a movie, or to the in-theaters movie? If the latter, it was released before the TV series, and was the inspiration, not the other way around.

        The final episode of M*A*S*H was movie-length. It wasn't shown in the cinema's, but it was done as a movie. Incredibly emotional and tops any episode.

        From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M_A_S_H_(television)

        The final episode was titled "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" and was first broadcasted on February 28, 1983. The episode was 2.5 hours long and was viewed by over 125 million Americans (77% of viewship that night) which made "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" the most watched television episode in history up to that time.
        • by Fjord (99230) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @02:18PM (#8259930) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, but you can't count that. The reason why TV->movie conversions don't work is because we are used to getting a certain level of entertainment for free and we have to pay for a movie. We expect so much more because we are putting $6.50-$12 (depending on where you are) down to see it, and if it's just a long episode we feel gypped. A movie length episode that you can see for free on TV is like a bonus long episode.
    • I'd like to point out that the M.A.S.H movie came out before the series.. The series was based on the movie.. =)

      Unless they made another movie... Which would be kind of silly..
  • by ice lioness (747013) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:23AM (#8258134)
    I like the Simpsons but I don't think their style would work for a movie-length feature. 1.5 hours of independent jokes and little storyline doesn't sound quite right. I think they should stay in their preferred length of 22 minutes. And I haven't seen too many TV shows made into movies that are any good. Except maybe Transformers the Movie. But I'm just a geeky girl.
  • by callipygian-showsyst (631222) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:23AM (#8258137) Homepage
    I hear that the "Sea Captain" has rated the move "ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR"!
  • End of the Simpsons? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cyranoVR (518628) <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:23AM (#8258138) Homepage Journal
    Ever noticed that with the sole of the exception of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut - a television show usually peaks by jumping to the big screen. Decline and inevitable cancellation usually soon follow.

    For example: X-Files, Beavis and Butthead Do America, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

    And don't forget all the children's shows:
    Transformers the Movie, GI Joe the Movie, Masters of the Universe, Pokemon, Power Rangers, Ducktales(!), Rugrats...
    (Ok, not all these shows were cancelled but someone could definitely make the case for "decline").

    I feel like I'm forgetting someting...help me out here people...

    Also, I Googled up this interesting article:
    The Challenges of the Big Screen Cartoon [awn.com]
    • by Galvatron (115029) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:59AM (#8258463)
      It might also just be that keeping a show on the air for a long time is inherently difficult. Around the time a movie gets rolling, the show has slid into decline. Look at, say, Friends. It was actually a pretty funny show for the first couple seasons. If, around season 4 or 5 they'd made a movie, people might say that the movie was responsible for the decline. In actuality, the show got stale and unfunny all on its own.

      I think this goes doubly for cartoons, because of the aging audience. By the time you get a movie out, your audience is 3 years older, and is likely starting to outgrow your cartoon (only very occasionally does it seem that a cartoon can capture the next younger set of kids; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seemed to make occasional revivals, but it was never as big as it was when I was about 10). Of course occasionally there are exceptions, such as Transformers where they just spent too much money on the movie, and then had to farm out the animation for the third season to a cut rate animation studio. In that case it could be argued that the movie killed the TV show.

  • Dupe (Score:4, Funny)

    by Plutor (2994) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:25AM (#8258159) Homepage
    This is a duplicate post [slashdot.org]!
    </sarcasm>
  • by superpulpsicle (533373) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:30AM (#8258199)
    Usually a movie is released at the peak of its series.

    Southpark the movie came out, then it rode downhill ever since.

    Transformers and GIJOE the movie did the same thing.

    Is this the end of the simpsons coming? I can't think of any instance when movies were released and the show continue riding sky high afterwards.
    • by meta-monkey (321000) * on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:43AM (#8258327) Journal
      I don't think that's true at all of South Park. South Park is just as funny, if not funnier, today than it was when the movie came out. The movie is great, the series is great...keep it coming.

      However, yes, the quality of the Simpsons has deteriorated somewhat, but it's still better than 99.9% of the crap on TV.
      • by Galvatron (115029) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:05PM (#8258520)
        South Park is just as funny, if not funnier, today than it was when the movie came out.

        I second that. If you haven't seen The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers, it is truly one of the most carefully done parodies I've ever seen, right down to Cartman's mimicing of Gandalf's sigh at the council in Rivendel. More recently, All About the Mormons is one of their all time best, I think.

        Simpsons I rarely watch anymore. Even if the writing hadn't deteriorated, it's like they talked about in the Itchy and Scratchy episode, the characters are just starting to get kind of boring. How many times can you really watch Homer say "d'oh!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:32AM (#8258225)
    ...a killer robot driving instructor, who travels back in time for some reason. Ron Howard is attached to direct.
  • Fan reaction... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BTWR (540147) <(moc.oohay) (ta) (3robignacirema)> on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:34AM (#8258243) Homepage Journal
    1996: Simpsons used to be good. It sucks now. These new episodes (George Bush as a neighbor, 22 Short Films about Springfield) suck.
    1998: Simpsons hasn't been funny in years. It's best years are behind us. No good shows are made anymore (Bart and Homer become carnies, Kidz Newz). It's such a shell of what it used to be.
    2000: Man oh man do the episodes today suck. I mean, what happened to the quality episodes of yesteryear? Did you see last sunday's episode? Worst episode ever (Homer as a Food critic, Behind the Laughter, Apu has Octuplets)
    2001: Wow. There haven't been good eps in years (Bart in a boyband, "Homer's Day/Bart's Day/Lisa's Day," Praiseland)
    2002: Man, this show is SO unfunny now it's a joke. There hasn't been a good episode in like the last few years. The episodes today completely lack any humor (Homer smokes marijuana, "Angry Dad," "Springshield"). What happened to all the classic episodes, like "Homer as a Food Critic" and "George Bush as a Neighbor?"
    2004: Wow. This show sucks today. Such a shell of what it used to be.

    Can we stop with all the "Simpsons sucks!" rants? I mean, we get proven over-and-over that it's still top-notch. Point is, we've been hearing "The Simpsons Suck!" for years now, and yet it's simply not true. Every time fanboys say an episode sucks, I guarentee you 2-3 years later it's known as classic and now the new episodes suck.

    I have a theory. Perhaps simpson fans are so into the show that we know nearly every episode since it's on everyday. When these shows rerun, we see them over and over, and pick up on so many more jokes. But when we see them new for the first time, we don't catch all the humor and therefore it "suffers." Pick any episode from 3 years ago and I guarentee you people ranted how bad it was the morning after it aired. But today we have at least 3-4 classic lines from it (Example: "Trilogy of error" - 2001's season finale... definately WAY INTO the era when fanboys said the show no longer had humor and was terrible):

    Dr. Nick: Flammable means inflammable? What a country!
    Bart: How'd you find this place? Milhouse: This is where I go to cry.
    Homer: Lingro... dead? Linguo: Linguo is dead.
    Soooo many others, just from that episode. Point is, before you say how awful the show is now, realize that once the current eps hit the syndication circuit, they'll be "classic" too.
    • Re:Fan reaction... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TwistedGreen (80055) <twistedgreen AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:13PM (#8258607)
      Note that it was a different audience saying why the Simpsons sucks for each time period. The Simpsons has changed now so that a different audience thinks it sucks: which includes me.

      I think it has something to do with a show's tendency to want to increase its ratings by appealing an increasingly large audience, and thus a lower and lower common denominator.

      I've noticed a palpable change in style from a coherent and intelligent storyline to a more schizophrenic twelve-episodes-in-one style, which I can't stand. But I'm sure it's more popular with the media impulse-trained L[ower]CD.
    • by ianscot (591483) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:20PM (#8258666)
      Lots of Christopher Guest's fans have the same reaction to each new movie when it comes out. "It's okay, but not up to the standard he's set," you know?

      I never saw "Waiting for Guffman" in the theater, but enjoyed it a little when I first saw it on VHS. Was it as funny as Spinal Tap? Seemed like it wasn't on that level. Next time around, it really grew on me. "Best in Show" I made a point of seeing in the dark box, and it was -- eh, okay, I guessed. Then about a year later someone had the DVD -- and hey, that's really funny, you know? "A Mighty Wind" we all agreed wasn't quite up to par with the earlier movies that we now thought were classics... But it's amazing how often someone throws out a line from it now, for a beneath-the-radar movie.

      I'd definitely connect Christopher Guest's humor to the Simpsons', somehow. Not sure what it is, but they're just satisfying in the same way. And they grow on you.

    • Re:Fan reaction... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rnelsonee (98732) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:57PM (#8259139)
      You have a point about warming up to episodes when you re-watch them, but it's still safe to say the show has declined.

      I always liked the show until Season 9, when it started to show bad storylines. Shows like Apu having octuplets continued to demonstrate that the writers were 'running out of ideas', but it still had respectible writing. But then it just got worse and worse. When Ian-Maxtone Graham took over as exec. producer, we saw many things concerning the show that ruined the reputation The Simpsons once had:

      • The episodes have lost cohesiveness. Acts I, II, and III are rarely tied together anymore.
      • Computer-aiding drawing. Hand animators only draw key poses, and computers interpolate the rest. The result is very clean, but I think it's too clean. The Simpsons lost it's look and feel.
      • Other "look and feel" issues: The Simpsons' animators used to only use a limited palette of colors. We're talking one or two shades of light blue, and one or two shades of pink. Now, there's an overuse of colors. Classic examples include lighted/muted colors for background objects, and shadows everywhere - like the back of Lisa's hair - even when everyone's indoors!
      • Too topical: The Simpsons relies on jokes taken from current events. Yes, they did this in early seasons, but nowhere near as much as they do now. The timeless quality the writers put into the show in the past is gone now.
  • Live action :( (Score:4, Informative)

    by rnelsonee (98732) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:38AM (#8258275)
    Producer Mike Reiss has been talking about this movie recently. Keep in mind that two weeks ago, he said the movie would most likely be live-action [ua.edu], a la Scooby Doo.

    And frankly, that sucks. I've been a fan of The Simpsons show since the first episode in 1989, so I've seen it decline. At this point, the movie might not suck if it was 2D. But live-action/CGI won't cut it.

    South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut did well, because it was an extention of the show. Imagine if the South Park movie was live-action: it would've tanked.

    Hopefully Groening and co. will pull this off, but I have my doubts...

  • by Killswitch1968 (735908) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @11:43AM (#8258317)
    Q. What is jumping the shark?
    A. It's a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on...it's all downhill.
    The aforementioned expression refers to the telltale sign of the demise of Happy Days, our favorite example, when Fonzie actually "jumped the shark." The rest is history.
    www.jumptheshark.com
  • F-word (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrevizeNet (732020) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:01PM (#8258480)
    Ok, since the article says they plan to rip-off South Park BL&U, which Simpsons character will be the first to say the F-Word. Bart, Homer, and Crusty would be a bit too obvious. Personally I'd like to see how Flanders would deal with uttering the unholiest of all profanities.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:03PM (#8258508)
    "Yeah, Moe, that movie sure did suck last night. It just plain sucked! I've seen movies suck before, but those writers were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked."
  • by Uncle Eazy (671354) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @12:10PM (#8258577) Homepage
    when he went to Alt.Nerd.Obsessive.
  • by mykepredko (40154) on Thursday February 12, 2004 @01:22PM (#8259406) Homepage
    The big /. question that nobody seems to be commenting on is whether or not the movie will be hand drawn or digitally produced. According to Groening on the (Simpson's) season three and Futurama (season two) commentary is that this season's shows are now all digital.

    Digital seems to be the preferred method because you don't need a legion of Koreans (look at the credits of the original series) to draw/paint the cells, resulting in cheaper costs and scenes can be played over and changed to better suit the mood of the scene in almost real time.

    I think this is the reason why the more recent seasons have not had the great "camera work" of the early ones and why Futurama looks so great in comparison.

    Where this is leading is if Digital is taken advantage of (like Futurama) it means that there will probably be a different visual style to the movie (and the latest seasons) due to what digital composition allows. While this season's shows haven't really shown the advantages of digital, I wonder if the movie will take advantage of it to give us a whole new look on an old classic.

    myke

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