Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Sam Simon
Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Twentieth Century Fox, Gracie Films, Film Roman Productions
Twentieth Century Fox Italia
Italian dialogues and dubbing direction:
dubbing sound technician:
sound mixer technician:
Technicolor Sound Services
Matt Groening's irreverent cartoon finally arrives on the big screen. The wait lasted years and the fans of this eccentric Simpson family have been repaid with an hour and a half of gags and sketches.
The theme has an ecological background: Lisa fights to instill some conscience into Springfield's inhabitants who use the city's lake as a rubbish dump. But it's precisely Homer who makes the situation deteriorate, so much so that the American government decides to encase the city in a glass bell. When Homer's fellow citizens discover that he's the cause of this wrongdoing, the Simpson family is forced to escape to Alaska. But in the end, it will be Homer himself who saves his city and his family.
To judge the film, a comparison with the television transmitted episodes cannot be avoided. The film is funny, but something more was expected of it. Some episodes transmitted in previous years have been more exhilarating than this film. The public expected a concentration of hilarity and irreverence from beginning to end. But apart from some fantastic parts (just the song “Spider Pork” whilst Homer makes the pig walk on the ceiling is worthy of the price of the cinema ticket just like Burt's nude walkabout on the skateboard), the rest of the film is cute but not spectacular.
It's known that the Simpsons isn't the classical child's cartoon. Swearing can be found in the dialogues, there are some irreverent if not downright sacrilegious scenes and the characters aren't perfect heroes. Quite the opposite, the family is an ode to imperfection and stupidity. However cues for reflection and for pauses for thought are not missing during the episode themes and the film does the same. First of all, the warning of human impact on the environment. A little less obvious but noticeable to the watchful eye is Homer's gag when in Church and his father begins to predict the future, illuminated by the divine light. Homer, stunned, looks to the Bible for help but shouts “Questo libro non dà risposte!" (this book doesn't give answers). Could it be a declaration of a religious crisis on behalf of the authors? Or the lack of religious sentiment amongst the public?
Some quotations are good, like the one on Titanic when the barge on which the Greenday carry out their concert sinks and the electric guitars concede their place to violins and also the reference to Spiderman in the afore-mentioned Spider Pork sketch. The Italian edition is rather good, more so for the dialogue adaptation than for the dubbing direction though.
Let's begin with the direction. The characters' voices are the well-known ones. Accolla's Homer is very enjoyable, just like Lisa's voice although in the original version it's not even that particular. The choice of accents is good: the priest has a Sicilian accent, the chief of police a Neopolitan one, Lenny a Venetian one and Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California, speaks with a German accent.
Nevertheless, Colin's way of speaking is a bit exaggerated and mannered when he pronounces the “s” “sc” giving life to sentences like “ti scenti bene?” (you feeling okay?). It would be interesting to know if they're just as irritating in the original version.
As far as the adaptation of the dialogues is concerned, a discreet job has been done. The gags are nearly always funny and, again, a worthy mention for the Spider Pork song: Spider Pork, Spider Pork, il soffitto tu mi spork, tu mi balli sulla test, e mi macchi tutto il rest, tu qua, ti amo Spider Pork? (Spider Pork, Spider Pork, you're dirtying my ceiling/you dance on my head and you stain all the rest, you here, I love you Spider Pork).
A couple of imprecisions are to be pointed out though. When the Simpson family escapes from the artificial dome, Homer is the last one to escape, with some difficulty, and a fellow citizen sees him and shouts “his head is still out, sgrattiamolo!". The verb “sgrattare” does not exist and bothers the spectator's ear. One suspects that also in the original version the verb was incorrect but the Italian solution is not really very funny.
A little after, Homer has to perform the 'death ride' on the motorbike at the fair in order to win the owner's bike. When the ride is successful Homer says “Prendo subito il camion” (I'll take the lorry), but it's not a lorry, it's a jeep.
Finally, the word “Natale” (Christmas) is used with a meaning of sudden revelation, but in Italian the correct word is “epifania” (Epiphany). Again, an adaptation error.
Another negative note is the choice of subtitling some signboards and not others. The ticket Marge found “Twisted tail”/”Coda attorcigliata” is subtitled. The newspaper headlines for the heroic mouse's return and for the pollution of the lake are read in Italian with an off-screen voice. No subtitles however, or off-screen voices for the nuclear launch orders at the beginning, or for the writing “Not my boyfriend” on a t-shirt of a girl sitting on a boy's shoulders during the Greenday concert, nor for the Monopoly card “Get out of jail, free” which Homer takes out of his wallet when he's looking for “Plan B” and finally the card which has “option 4: Blow up Springfield” written on it which Schwarzenegger's secretary brings to his office. In all these cases the gags were lost and generated a buzz in the cinema "Che c’era scritto?" (what does it say?/what was written?). The information was important, why wasn't it translated?
[original review in Italian by Alessandra Basile]