The Simpsons Movie 

In 1989, Ronald Reagan left office, and a risque TV program that grew out of a cartoon segment on The Tracey Ullman Show debuted on Fox. Featuring a brash little boy with spiked hair yelling "Aye carumba!" and "Eat my shorts!" from atop his skateboard, conservative Americans were not impressed. But the show remained and thrived.

It's still thriving, in fact. And by slowly shifting its emphasis from the yellow-hued family's delinquent son to the gluttonous, idiotic patriarch, the show, in effect, grew up with its audience. In 2007, after 19 seasons on the air, studio execs finally green-lighted a movie.

But not a popular-Hollywood-stars-cast-as-real-life-versions-of-cartoon-characters movie. Thank God. Rather, it was a 90-minute super-episode of the longest-running cartoon in the history of prime-time television: The Simpsons.

If you need a preview of this rental option, watch the show on Sundays on Fox at 8/7c. Virtually every episode of the program is as cleverly-written as the next, so pick a random night. Odds are you've seen it before, though, and know what to expect.

The film itself is three times as long as a standard installment, but just as fun and clever, with better animation and effects. Also, there's a swear word or two and very brief (hilarious) nudity. Keep in mind it was written for the theater, and once it's on your TV, a fair amount of grandeur is lost. But as iconic a show as The Simpsons has become, you can't go wrong with the movie.

These videos courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.

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