DVD: Animated Family Values

‘The Simpsons Movie’ brings the love to DVD.


In 1992, President George Bush (the first one) told a gathering of the National Religious Broadcasters, “We need a nation closer to the Waltons than the Simpsons.”

As is the case with most utterances that fall out of any Bush’s mouth, I disagree. Granted, The Waltons, that Appalachian family TV drama, made us yearn for the kinder, gentler days of the Depression. But as enduring family units go, it’s hard to beat the bond so brilliantly typified by Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie for the past 18 years.

In their long-awaited first feature-length film, our favorite animated family dances the brink of dual disasters: one would destroy their family hometown, the other would destroy their family itself.

Along the way to its inevitable happy ending, and containing scenes far darker than what we’re used to on Sunday nights, the film addresses such weighty topics as global warming, religious extremism, Big Brother and unwarranted wire-tapping, America’s heritage of polygenesis, the lessons of Katrina, and even what may make a person gay—all without even so much as a hint of self-righteousness.

But don’t let Homer et al’s deep message detract from the hilarity. If you’re not laughing within the first few minutes, especially during Bart’s “doodle” sequence, there may be something wrong with your laugher. And pay close attention to background details so you don’t miss chuckles like a hotel named the Red Rash Inn.

Despite previous admonition from George I, this family must resonate soundly with the rest of the world, as well. The Simpsons Movie raked in more than $500 million worldwide in the weeks following its 2007 summer release. And that’s a lot of d’oh.

From Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (


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