Ratatouille is successfully launched, but yet another major animated feature is on its way, and Rupert's movie studio is leaving no donut unholed:
Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores, including ones in Burbank and Los Angeles, into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art. Those stores and most of the 6,000-plus other 7-Elevens in North America will sell items that until now existed only on television: Buzz Cola, KrustyO's cereal and Squishees, the slushy drink knockoff of Slurpees.
It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie," the big-screen debut for the long-running television cartoon, which loves to lampoon 7-Eleven as a store that sells all kinds of unhealthy snacks and is run by a man with a thick Indian accent.
I drove down to the Burbank Kwik-E-Mart (one of twelve nationwide) and the place was pretty much a madhouse. Burbank police. Traffic co-ordinators. Lots of Kwik-E-Mart execs inside.
Fox is getting a lot of publicity from this tie-in, and the response seems to be strong.
I'm thinking there's another $47.2 million opening in animation's near future.
Update: Ted Kennedy, an object of fun on The Simpsons for some years, isn't letting pride get in the way of helping his home state:
Ted Kennedy is turning the other cheek.
For years, the Massachusetts senator and his family have been lampooned on the cartoon series "The Simpsons" by Joe Quimby , the skirt-chasing Democratic mayor of Springfield who speaks with a Boston accent, throws money at political problems, and vacations in a coastal resort called the "Quimby Compound." Now Kennedy wants to make peace with his yellow, four-fingered foe.
"We cordially invite all the Simpsons -- Homer, Marge, Bart, old 'Diamond' Joe Quimby, Grampa, Lisa, and Abe -- to join us in Springfield, Mass.," Kennedy announces in a video that will be posted online today . "Just think: After 400 episodes, you'll be able to enjoy some real 'chow-dah.' "