Episode Fact File: The Simpsons Movie! – Part 2: The Production

Hello fellow silos!

Fox ended Season 26 on May 17, 2015 with Mathlete’s Feat which completes our Episode Fact File series for the year. As a result, we’re going to now start on analyzing the movie that was released in theaters on July 27, 2007.
We will recap the movie with pictures, video clips and more. Due to the length of the article, it’ll be divided into 3 parts. Now, we’re going to analyze the production of the movie.
2

CREDITS!:

Directed by: David Silverman
Produced by: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Mike Scully, Richard Sakai
Written by: James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Albert Brooks, Tress MacNeille
Music by: Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman
Editing by: John Carnochan
Studio: Gracie Films, Film Roman, Rough Draft Feature Animation

RELEASE!:

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release dates: July 26, 2007 (UK and Australia), July 27, 2007 (United States)
Running time: 87 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $75 million

OPENING SEQUENCE!:

The sequence was completely remade for The Simpsons Movie and features the orchestrated version of “The Simpsons Theme” as adapted by Hans Zimmer, which is slightly different from the first track of The Simpsons Movie: The Music CD. The pre-sequence scene is displayed in a 16:9 television aspect ratio, with black matte bars at either end of the screen. As the sequence begins with the “The Simpsons” logo appearing out of the clouds, Professor Frink flies past in one of his inventions carrying a banner marked “MOVIE” and saying “Moo-vie! On the big screen!!” (on the DVD version he says “Moo-vie! On the small screen!) When he hits the bar on the left side, both it and the one on the right nudge out of view so that the image fills the entire screen.

Instead of going through the P of “SIMPSONS,” the camera goes through the O of “MOVIE” as the banner falls loose. The camera zooms in on the town, with several major landmarks popping-up. The camera then zooms in to Mr. Burns, who is holding a toothbrush in his bathroom with Smithers who gives him toothpaste, the extra weight of the toothpaste causes frail Mr. Burns to collapse. The camera then zooms past Moe’s Tavern into the Kwik-E-Mart where Apu is secretly changing the expiration date on one of his products from 2006 to 2008. Next the camera cuts to Springfield Elementary where Jimbo, Dolph and Kearney are hoisting Martin Prince, Jr. up a flagpole by his underwear and saluting it as if it were a flag. The camera then zooms through the window where Bart is writing lines for detention (“I will not illegally download this movie”) before finishing with Green Day who are hosting a concert at Lake Springfield, playing their version of the theme song and using a teleprompter to get its “lyrics” right.

TIE-IN!: Only two elements from the movie were released on The Simpsons: Tapped Out, during the Superheroes Event: Crap Silo and Plopper. Other items that are present in the movie, but not first seen in it, are present in the game as well.

PRODUCTION!:

  • Previous The Simpsons film projects failed to develop:
    • Matt Groening mentioned in an interview published in the Summer 1993 issue of Simpsons Illustrated that “maybe someday we’ll do a Simpsons movie”.
    • The season four episode “Kamp Krusty” was originally going to be a film, but difficulties were encountered in writing a movie length script, at which point the movie plans were dropped in favor of a season premiere.
    • Before his death, Phil Hartman had always wanted to create a live action Troy McClure film, with several of the staff saying that they would have loved to help create it.
    • Matt Groening expressed a wish to make Simpstasia, a parody of the Disney film Fantasia.
  • Production for the movie began in 2001.
  • Numerous plots were considered for this movie: Al Jean suggested the family saving manatees, which became the 2005 episode “The Bonfire of the Manatees”, and there was a The Truman Show-style notion of the characters discovering their lives were a TV show, which Groening rejected due to his rule “that the Simpsons never become aware of themselves as celebrities”, however this idea was later put in as the plot in The Simpsons Game where the family discover that their lives are a video game.
  • 94 characters have speaking parts.
  • Series regulars Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Marcia Wallace, Pamela Hayden, Russi Taylor, Tress MacNeille, Joe Mantegna, and Maggie Roswell reprised their roles for the film. Albert Brooks plays Russ Cargill, Green Day and Tom Hanks play themselves.
  • Minnie Driver recorded the part of a patronizing grievance counselor in a scene that was cut, as were Edward Norton, Isla Fisher and Erin Brockovich’s scenes, and Kelsey Grammer’s asSideshow Bob.
  • Hans Zimmer provided the score, ahead of regular composer Alf Clausen.
  • Although credited, Patty, Selma, Edna Krabappel, Groundskeeper Willie, Jimbo Jones and Kang did not have speaking parts in the final cut, the first three had parts in the DVD’s deleted scenes, and Willie is heard cheering with the other Springfieldians. Kodos was also in one version of the movie; he and Kang slated the film over the end credits, however this was cut after a test screening.
  • Originally, Marge was supposed to freak out in church. This was later changed to Grampa.
  • It had a secret code name “Yellow Harvest”.
  • A scene with Homer and Plopper was scrapped.

MARKETING AND RELEASE!:

  • In ‘Treehouse of Horror XVII’, first shown on November 5, 2006, in the credits executive producer Al Jean’s name had the date of the release as a middle name.
  • A teaser trailer for the film was attached to the film Ice Age: The Meltdown from March 31, 2006 onwards; the same trailer was then broadcast during the April 2 episode of The Simpsons, “Million-Dollar Abie”.
  • In July 2006, two clips of early, black and white, unfinished animatic footage from the film were shown to audiences during a Simpsons panel at Comic-Con 2006, with a third animatic clip being released on the The Simpsons The Complete Ninth Season DVD boxset.
  • A 1½-minute-long trailer was then shown on November 12, 2006, immediately after the second act of The Simpsons episode “G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)”.
  • Another 1½-minute trailer appeared on The Sun newspaper’s website on December 11, 2006.
  • On the February 14, 2007, episode of American Idol, footage was shown of the contestants attending a private screening where they were shown an early preview of the first theatrical trailer. The same trailer was then shown during The Simpsons episode “Springfield Up” on February 18, 2007, and was made available online shortly afterwards.
  • A short TV spot was then aired during the episode “You Kent Always Say What You Want”.
  • McFarlane Toys released a line of action figures based on the film, these include Ned Flanders and Bart looking over a rock at a character that is covered by a “Top Secret Character” logo. Others include Bart skateboarding naked having been dared by Sherri and Terri, Homer and his pet pig, and Itchy & Scratchy in “Presidential Politics”. Also a series of “movie mayhem” figures, depicting the family in a cinema, were released.
  • The Simpsons Game was released to coincide with the film’s DVD release.
  • Samsung released a special Simpsons Movie phone, and Microsoft released a limited edition Simpsons Xbox 360.
  • Other merchandise that was released includes a The Simpsons Movie donut-shaped stress reliever, as well as a badge pack.
  • As a promotion for the film, twelve 7-Eleven stores across the United States and Canada were transformed into Kwik-E-Marts, and sell Squishees, Buzz Cola and Krusty-O’s Cereal.
  • The film is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for “irreverent humor throughout”. The rating had been expected by the production staff.
  • Fox held a competition between sixteen Springfields across the United States to host the American premiere, with Springfield, Vermont being selected as the winner.
  • Test screenings were held in Portland, Oregon and Tempe, Arizona.
  • The film made a total of $526,417,972 at the box-office.
  • The film garnered an 90% freshness rating on critical site Rotten Tomatoes.
  • At the 2007 MLB Allstar game, Homer announced the starting lineups and saying something funny about each player: “Chase Utley, wait why would I want to do that?”
  • The film was the most watched film of summer 2007 in Europe and many states.
  • Various toys based off characters were included in Big Kids Meals at Burger Kings.
  • A promotional t-shirt was released.

SEQUEL!:

Matt Groening stated in an interview that a sequel has been considered, but there are no current plans to produce one. He mentioned that the second movie will not be made until after the series finishes. A sequel would be unlikely since it was so exhausting making the series while producing the first film. As for doing another movie, Groening said, “It’s going to be awhile,” but added the important statement: “We’ll get to it, I’m sure.” He did add that there are “no plans at the moment.” In July 2017, Silverman and Jean said that the sequel was in the early stages of development, while stressing the toll production of the first picture took on the entire staff.

At the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, Al Jean stated no sequel will be made while the show is still in production.

Gallery:

Movie Trailers:


That is all for Part two of this Episode Fact File and I would like to thank WikiSimpsons for the information for this post and Nathan for the base design of it. Join us next time for the final part of this Episode Fact File. Happy tapping!


100px-fox_broadcasting_companyThis pictures and videos are from the “The Simpsons Movie” episode of FOX show The Simpsons. Their use is believed to qualify as fair use under United States copyright law.

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2 thoughts on “Episode Fact File: The Simpsons Movie! – Part 2: The Production

  1. Anyone else get an update today? I’m just wondering why I automatically downloaded a big update and no in game changes or quests. Funny no one is talking about anything new. No characters seem to trigger anything and I’m a tad confused. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Like

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