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Movie Review: The Simpsons Movie

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Author/Source: Jeramy Chapman

Topic: Movie Review

A review of The Simpsons Movie including a description of the movie, areas of concern, teachable themes, discussion questions, and scriptures to use.

Movie Review: <i>The Simpsons Movie</i>

Overview

After more than 20 years of TV episodes, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening finally decided the time was right to put Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the rest of the town of Springfield onto the big screen via The Simpsons Movie. The result? A movie that parents will probably take kids to and be quite shocked at just how far the writers were willing to push the envelope.


WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Click to skip spoilers

The town of Springfield has been carelessly using Lake Springfield as a dumping ground for years. As a result, Lisa Simpson, the town's environmental conscience, begins a campaign to preserve the lake. Unfortunately for Lisa, her father is Homer Simpson, a bumbling lazy father who always seems to do the wrong thing. While Homer is attempting to properly dispose of his pig waste silo (yes, he rescued a pig), he receives a phone call from one of his co-workers informing him of free donuts. Homer, feeling a sense of urgency, decides to dump the silo in the lake. This results in the lake becoming a toxic cesspool that creates mutant squirrels.

Enter EEEEPAAAAA (the EPA) and their slightly power-mad leader who's bent on destroying the most pollution-ridden town in America (you guessed it, Springfield). As Springfield stands on the brink of destruction inside a giant glass dome, the Simpsons -- and in particular, Homer -- take a journey of self realization (albeit, on the shallow side) and eventually come to grips with the importance of relationships.

END OF SPOILERS


Concerns

A running gag in the television show is Bart's continual streaking. Through his fault or external influence, Bart's bare bottom can be seen semi-often in the show. The movie takes this a step further and actually shows the front view of Bart... all of it.

Shots are taken towards Christianity and the Bible throughout the movie. When the Simpsons arrive at church, Homer is overheard making fun of the people inside. When Grandpa Simpson begins to have a vision from God, Marge asks Homer to "do something." Homer opens a Bible, rifles through the pages and exclaims "this book doesn't have any answers!" The family, sans Marge, immediately writes off this episode of bizarre behavior in favor of ice cream.

As the Simpsons are on the run from the EPA, they hole up in a motel. When a police car arrives outside as Marge is at the vending machine, she gasps in fright. However, these two officers aren't interested in Marge. Rather, they are interested in each other. The two male officers are seen kissing as they enter into a room.

The TV show has a history of pushing the barrier of offensive language. This movie contains a higher dose including the use of "g** d****". Adults and children alike are heard using this language.

Physical violence (in the guise of slapstick humor) is seen throughout. Homer chokes Bart, gets a hammer stuck in his eye, gets shocked while eating an electrocuted fish, is shot with an arrow... you get the idea. Some of it's funny. Some, not so much.


Teachable Themes

  • Family/Commitment/Forgiveness
    Despite Homer's apparent lack of common sense, he does display a wonderful sense of love for his family. Homer chooses time and again to love and seek forgiveness from his family. The Simpson family is quick to forgive Homer no matter how serious the mistake or choice.

  • Messages from God
    Though the family writes it off, Grandpa Simpson's vision is cast as truly from God. His vision does come true and is confirmed throughout the movie.

  • Environment
    We are God's stewards to the world He has given us. Lisa serves as the conscience that continues to remind us of our responsibility to be wise in our choices.

  • Unconditional Love
    Ned Flanders is the quintessential example of unconditional love. He is shown encouraging and loving his family and neighbors. Ned takes Bart under his wing and helps Bart see the possibilities of family life.

Biblical References

  • Family & Forgiveness:
    • 1 Peter 4:8 - Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

  • Environment:
    • Genesis 1:28-30 - "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. "

  • Messages from God:
    • Ephesians 1:17 - "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better."

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important for us to take care of the environment?
  2. What are some of the differences between Ned and Homer and how they treat their families?
  3. Why is it important to forgive?

This post is located in the following zone(s): Movie Reviews

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