Let me start this off by saying that this definitely is not happening.
But instead that you, dear reader, should treat this post as a “What if…?” scenario. What will follow should be treated as if we lived in a world where the ice caps weren’t melting, capitalism was a mere fairy tale, and yes – most importantly – The Simpsons wasn’t a total croc of yellow “DOH!”-inducing garbage that just won’t die.
With Disney owning more or less every single thing in Hollywood – including the entirety of both Marvel and Star Wars – and most recently taking over 20th Century Fox, I ask you: What if we were to get another Simpsons movie?
Obviously, so much has been said of the decline of The Simpsons, and I too have been more than happy to add gasoline to that fire, and this dip is accurate: Whilst subjective, the quality has most certainly drooped over the past 15 or so years… Watch any episode released today Vs that of an episode from the late 90s/early 00s and you’ll notice that the characters actually made sense, or followed legitimate plots.
And although it would make a butt-load of money worldwide “The Simpsons Movie” didn’t do much to save the gradually weakening show; but rather, as the credits rolled suggested that perhaps 2007 would be a good time for the animated American family to finally retire.
And yet, twelve years later and The Simpsons chugs on even now – clueless and waking up in the middle of the afternoon unsure of where they are, or what year it is. For a show that has been on the air for so long – in the past so progressive, and so much of a game-changer – it’s amazing just how unresponsive it is in these strange times: cartoon rivals like Rick & Morty and Bojack Horseman rule the game, while elsewhere Springfield quietly writes-out Apu, or relies on delusional guest stars that are shipped in almost obligatorily: Jimmy Kimmel promotes his own damn show, while Youtuber Brendanial tells us how the S23 Lady Gaga episode could be the worst of the whole run. Since the mid-00s Simpsons has become the very target that they used to mock with such sniper-like accuracy.
However, with the new Disney/Fox deal this could quite easily be a fresh start for a show with such a strong legacy – and yes, such a strong “Name brand”.
I ask you, in a time where “properties” are given sequels and, in turn, franchises, does it not make sense to give one of the most successful programmes of all time another shot at the big screen?
Say what you like about Disney (Cuddly toy store or Nazi propaganda pedlars, depending what mood you’re in), this is a company that has most certainly changed with the times – very much a conglomerate that right now knows how to give the people what they want.
Ever since Snow White in the 1930s Disney has made animation a genre in itself, while utilising the most cutting-edge of each generation to make something that is actually taken seriously on film – and they have been pumping out new classics across the whole of that century-long timespan.
And, yes, whilst greedy; most recently a corporation who rather than compete against its peers would simply bid the highest and control them instead (a whole 4000 Fox employees are set to lose their jobs, by the way) – Disney have all the Infinity Stones, the Ark of The Covenant, a Death Star, and have created their own multiverse with their most recent binge-buying (Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers are also included in this Fox deal). A monopoly like this asks “Why play the game when you can control all of it?”
With Disney’s ownership of Pixar as well, like it or not, it’s irrefutable that the company is the home of animation. The Simpsons can’t help but feel confident and safe under this new regime.
Disney has all been about power-plays of late. Huge deal after huge deal: showing us that they can even compete with streaming kings, Netflix, with their own Disney+ which recently announced that it will include the whole Simpsons back catalogue.
Remember how excited we all were when Force Awakens was announced? Star Wars, a series that had been somewhat under the radar on the big screen since Revenge of the Sith completed the saga in 2005. That is exactly the same kind of buzz that a new movie from the biggest company on the planet could achieve if they threw some support behind a new Simpsons feature. Couple that with the undoubted success of a show like this – a brand that doesn’t need to drum up any kind of enthusiasm, and is already so recognisable across the globe – in these lazy days where we are totally dominated by sequels and remakes, The Simpsons Movie II would be a guaranteed money-maker for the House of Mouse.
Self-indulgently, I know that if a new movie were to come out and Fox were to package it as the very last Simpsons that we would ever see – a guaranteed finale, a satisfying end-point for a programme that has been on the air since the 1990s – then even the fans of yesteryear like myself; the ones who gave up watching when they just couldn’t take any more, would definitely get in line and buy a ticket to see it at the multiplex. Make it an event – a reason for people to watch it, and then, much like Friends, simply show reruns for the rest of time. It’s win/win: as current fans get a feature-length episode, Disney makes an easy billion plus dollars, and older disgruntled fans of the show get to dine on classic episodes at their leisure without having to complain any more.
With this piece, I want to tempt fate, play devil’s advocate and ask…
Another Simpsons flick? Sure, why the Hell not?
The Mickey Vs Bart artwork has been created by Alice Payne, specifically for this FinalBoss.io piece, with pictures taken by Fin Miller-Webb. They can be followed at @aerobristol & @finrellimphotography, respectively.