The Simpsons Movie (2007)
It starts with a freshness and inspiration that the series has been missing for a while, and the audience embraces these beloved characters' transition to the big screen. The jokes and situational comedy is among the best Groening has ever done for his Simpsons, as the film toys with religion, pollution, and - above all - television censorship. There are golden moments (like the sequence involving Bart's penis) that are able to take the world of Simpsons to a level that American television standards have never allowed.
At a sensible 87 minutes, The Simpsons Movie fills a regular full-length cinematic spot with an amusing, funny and engaging film. Still, the new format also becomes something of a prison that is very typical for many TV-series converting to the big screen. This concerns narrative and structural build-up and a little too much focus on typical and largely unnecessary wrapping-ups that not even James L. Brooks and Matt Groening can avoid making overly sentimental and dull. The film struggles with a plot that could have needed some trimming concerning proportions, but this is typical cartoon-to-film problematics. It doesn't, however, change the fact that The Simpsons Movie is a fulfilling and highly dignified transition - one that neither will disappoint fans nor scare away new viewers.