Of Springfield Bubbles and Spider-Pigs: ‘The Simpsons Movie’ Turns 15 

What is the legacy of The Simpsons Movie, the film version of the long-running animated series that landed in July of 2007? 

Before a recent rewatch, I remembered exactly three things about it:  The Itchy-and-Scratchy space-set cold open, the “Spider-Pig song,” and that Bart is full-frontal nude for a fraction of a second. Outside of the movie itself, there was that thing where people “Simpsonized” their Twitter avatars, sometimes for a few years afterward.

Those three things all hold up (well, the Bart nudity not so much, but the other two do.) Mostly, the movie was essentially a long episode of the series, albeit one that swung a little bit more for the fences than usual. 

The Simpsons is an extremely important show to people of my generation, the sort of people who still quote 30-year-old episodes constantly. The movie doesn’t transcend the show or anything like it, but it’s very much worthy of the name.

The Plot

The plot of The Simpsons Movie consisted of Homer adopting a pig (who he calls “Spider-pig), leading to an environmental disaster, the quarantining of Springfield under a giant dome, and the Simpsons being exiled from their hometown, landing in Alaska for a time. 

Of Springfield Bubbles and Spider-Pigs: 'The Simpsons Movie' Turns 15 | Features | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

There’s also a plot runner about Homer becoming jealous of Bart’s friendship with Ned Flanders, and some extremely era-specific political humor, especially the part about Arnold Schwarzenegger being president of the United States (as opposed to his two Simpsons alter egos, Rainier Wolfcastle and McBain).

Its Legacy

The Simpsons Movie was in the works for many years, with various ideas considered at times, including a proposed Troy McClure live-action film that was scuttled by Phil Hartman’s death. Ultimately, the producers felt they had an idea that justified a feature film. Its global box office of over $500 million seemingly justified the decision.

The Simpsons has now been on TV for more than 30 years, and the movie arrived at almost the exact midpoint of its run. The movie was part of the famed Every Simpsons Ever marathon on FXX in 2014, which was one of the last communal events of its kind in the old era of TV. 

Perhaps surprisingly, there was only ever one Simpsons movie, and never a sequel, although it wasn’t for lack of trying on behalf of studio executives. Aside from the recent streaming “movies,” that was true of the 1999 South Park film as well. 

The Simpsons Movie, along with the rest of The Simpsons‘ three-decade run, is available to stream on Disney+. 

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.

Damaged City Festival 2019 | Photos | LIVING LIFE FEARLESS

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