When it comes to ranking the most important TV shows of all time, The Simpsonsmust surely be up there. Not only is it the longest-running sitcom in American history – animated or otherwise – it’s also racked up dozens of awards and left an unparalleled imprint on Western pop culture.
It’s no surprise, then, that when Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie – along with the rest of the town of Springfield – made the leap to the big screen back in 2007, the end result was a commercial and (mostly) critical success. By the time it had finished its theatrical run, The SimpsonsMovie had amassed $527,068,706 in box office sales, and several award nods – including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
As you might expect with a film so long in the making – it spent nine years in development – based around such an influential TV series, The Simpsons Movie boasts some pretty interesting trivia. In honor of this flick’s 10th anniversary, we’ve filtered through the many fascinating factoids available, compiling the best in this list of 15 Things You Never Knew About The Simpsons Movie.
Today sees the launch of a new recurring feature here at The Pop Culture Studio, Here’s Looking At You – articles which focus on pop culture creators well-known and obscure, beloved and (in some cases) reviled.
In this first instalment (and in honour of Black History Month in the US), we’re going to take a look at the late, great Dwayne McDuffie, who was a trailblazer not only as an African American comic book and TV scribe, but also as someone who increased the visibility of minority characters across both mediums as well.
Considering all the time and money that goes into each and every major studio release, it’s pretty mindblowing how many movies are released to no fanfare, and then promptly forgotten.
2012’s Rise of the Guardians falls squarely under this banner. Despite being the product of DreamWorks Animation, boasting an all-star voice cast, and drawing on a popular series of children’s books as source material, it flopped at the box office, and – much like its invisible protagonist – you’d be lucky to meet someone who even knew it existed.
That’s a real shame, as thanks to its smart approach to a fun basic premise – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost form an Avengers-style team to fight the Bogeyman – it’s actually a surprisingly sincere, heartfelt and entertaining adventure.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth, a man who was undoubtedly one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th Century.
Dahl’s legacy can be seen today not only in the consistently strong sales his stories continue to enjoy, but also in the number of films that have used those stories for source material.
It’s fair to say Dahl had a rather dim view of many of the movies based on his works, many of which brightened up the darker undertones of his works or otherwise meddled with his tales of virtuous heroes and despicable villains.
The latest, Steven Spielberg’s take The BFG, scores points for its faithfulness to the source material, stunning visuals and top notch performances – particularly Ruby Barnhill as Sophie and Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant himself – but somehow, it ends up feeling like less than the sum of its parts.
Still, that’s not to say that Dahl’s novels can’t be translated to screen successfully, and here are five of the best, most whizzpopping and downright scrumdidilyumptious adaptations of the author’s works.
So often these days, it seems like big budget movies are made with a specific audience in mind, in a cynical attempt by studios to maximise profits at the expense of stifling creativity.
But every so often, along comes a major studio release that is so markedly different from the “paint by numbers” fodder that tends to flood the industry that it can only be the result of filmmakers interested in telling the kind of story they want to, demigraphics and creative think tanks be damned.
So it was with Rango, Gore Verbinski’s screwball animated Western, which premiered five years ago this month. I’m not entirely sure what audience Rango was made for – possibly for film buffs, but more than likely for the filmmakers themselves – but regardless, I sure am glad that it exists.