Sunday, July 15, 2007

Simpsons Movie Tub Thumping Grows Louder

The Shrek, Surf's Up and Ratatouille launches are behind us. The next big animation offering is The Simpsons Movie coming to a multiplex near you at the end of July.

Fox got a nice promotional bump from the Kwik E Mart rollout a few weeks back, and now interviews with the film's creators begin to roll out:

David Silverman, director of The Simpsons Movie, is confident that audiences will love the film... But he's not pretending it has been an easy project, what with the expectations of a fanatical fan base plus the job of corralling the 400-odd animators, writers, producers, actors and assistants who worked on the film.

"Yes, there was a lot of pressure," said the 50-year-old director the morning after the film finally wrapped up at the end of last month. "We were working right down to the wire — I think we even animated a small detail last Thursday and were making negatives over the weekend. But I actually feel very confident now that we're done. And I think it looks really beautiful."

I'd concur. The bits and pieces that I've seen on various computer monitors at the studio look terrific, and the wide-screen format is used to good effect.

"We were working at an incredibly fast pace," says Silverman. "Most animated features are not produced this quickly. We decided we didn't want to overdo the animation, because if you have too much of that Disney-like nuance, it doesn't feel like our characters."

Large parts of the film were animated by Rough Draft Animation in Korea, but there was a number of Disney-experienced animators working on the flick stateside. (Actually, a lot of old Disney hands worked on it.) The Simpsons Movie had at least three different animation crews in different geographic locations turning out footage.

The bulk of production on the film took about a year, which is fast but not unprecedented. Space Jam and it's sixty minutes of animation was done in ten or eleven months; the Fleischers got most of Gulliver's Travels cranked out in less than twelve months. And the grandmother of all animated features -- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -- completed the majority of the film in a little over a year (and yeah, they had SW in story way longer than that...).

I'm betting that The Simpsons Movie's opening weekend numbers are as good or better than Ratatouille's.. In two weeks we'll get to see if I'm a prophet or an ignorant moron.


Cody S. said...

Well, I think it goes without saying that The Simpsons will have a larger 'splash' than Ratatouille. The Simpsons appeals to a much broader demographic - it's got appeal for kids, teens, and adults alike; and while Pixar movies do tend to be enjoyed by those seems from my end those films still skew a tad young. Specifically in who they're targeted towards when the films are being promoted.

Floyd Norman said...

(Yawn) Hardly worth a comment.

Of course, the movie will make a ton of money. Surprise, surprise.

By the way, I had a great time working with David Silverman while up at Pixar.

Anonymous said...

simpson movie looks like crap! My bet is that it will do poorly at the box office. Kids don't watch simpson. they're in bed already.

Anonymous said...

simpsons is definitely not for kids. Funny for adults but I would never have my kids see it.

want to see a truly great film firing on all cyclinders see Ratatouille AGAIN

Anonymous said...

Did Floyd write that last comment too? ;)

Anonymous said...

Rat. is a good film. It's quality art compare to a piece of crap. The simpson movie will disappear after a year or so, compare to a disney or pixar work. Let's face it. Pixar is the best and disney will have another golden age. i can't even believe they would call simpson a 2d animated movie, its looks like glorify flash animation. No, Floyd did not write this comment. heheh although i think thats a funny accusation. wanna see a good film, put in toy story 2, incredibles, mermaid, aladdin, beauty and the beast, need i say more.

Anonymous said...


no. don't say anymore. please.

Anonymous said...

yes...... ALADDIN! It's a great film! Aside from the fact that the characters looks nothing like they are from the middle east. heheheeh Peter Pan, Lady and the tramp, black cauldron....need i say more

Anonymous said...

Let's not lose sight of the definition of a good movie as defined by Hollywood:

"A good movie is a movie that makes a lot of money." (Period.)

Raratouille will also be making a lot of money.

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree with you more steve. The best movies make alot of money. There's a reason why it makes so much money, it has universal appeal and the product is quality. take Titanic for example. The story is incredible with touching characters. AND it brought in a ton of money. no one will argue if thats a great movie or not. So.... yes, a good movie is one that makes alot of money! Exclimation Point!

Anonymous said...

Please don't insult glorified Flash by comparing it to the so called 2D feature version of the Simpsons.

Anonymous said...

Simpsons Movie = S**t on a screen.

'nuff said.


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