March 2007 Archives

7-11s To Become Kwik-E-Marts

If all goes as planned, the convenience store chain plans to refit 11 stores across the U.S. -- Richmond is an unlikely choice -- to resemble the front of the Kwik-E-Mart, the convenience store that Homer and other characters frequent in the classic cartoon TV series.

Customers also will be able to buy products inspired by the nearly two-decades-old show, including KrustyO's cereal, Buzz Cola and iced Squishees (the cup says Squishee, but the contents will be Slurpee).

Here's the best quote:

Spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said contracts on the promotions have not been signed with movie studios. She didn't give any further details, saying the company will release more information in coming weeks.

"We've done research, and research shows us that our customers like . . . movies, so we're getting involved with some major studios on some of their properties this summer," she said.

Wow 7-11 has a crack research department [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Groening Talks Simpsons Finale

iF: For everyone who worked on [Futurama], it's been off the air much longer, since Fox had a whole season left in the can to air once production had stopped.

GROENING: That's the nature of animation. When the SIMPSONS finally ends, there will probably be another season and we'll do a long farewell tour and wave to people.

[iF Magazine]

Fourth/Worst Trailer Online




*"What I Like About You" plays in background*

[Simpsons Channel]

IGN Weighs In

Fox-owned IGN steps in to settle the fight nobody cares about anymore, Simpsons vs. Family Guy! I didn't read any of it, but if you want to look at a bunch of pictures of nerds and read their analyses of the two cartoon shows, then be my guest. [IGN]

Tidbits From The Paley Television Festival

  • Jon Bon Jovi was going to guest star, but he backed out because "the writers had his character covered with melted cheese at one point and insult Richie Sambora at another point in the script."
  • The Beatles don't like talking about The Beatles.
  • Matt Groening authorized a Bart Simpson asthma inhaler.
  • Executive Producer Tim Long: "America doesn't love Gil." So why would you base an entire episode around him?


Voiceover Actors Threaten To Boycott The Simpsons Movie!!!

The Mexican voice actors who dub the show for Latin America, that is.

According to Gabriel Chavez, the Mexican equivalent of Harry Shearer, the voice actors had been told they'd be doing the dubbing for The Simpsons Movie as a condition to end their 2005 strike. If they get passed over, "there will be a boycott across Latin America of the film." Which raises a question you don't really hear asked much: Who will replace the Mexican workers? [KTRK]

Chicago Sun-Times Wants To Know: Is Family Guy Stupid?

Matt Groening doesn't think so:

"At the beginning, there was probably some competition going on" between "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy," he says. "But certainly not from me.

"I know how hard it is to do an animated TV show. ['Family Guy' creator] Seth MacFarlane is a good friend. And 'Family Guy' is funny. It's got its own style. The more the merrier. I want more cartoons on TV," Groening says.

MacFarlane had some nice things to say about The Simpsons, too:

"You could almost say 'The Honeymooners' or subsequently 'All in the Family' laid down the ground rules -- everything structurally -- for a live-action sitcom.

"And I think it's the same thing for 'The Simpsons' regarding subsequent animated shows. They reinvented the process. A lot of things worked. So of course you're gonna use that as a springboard."

[Chicago Sun-Times]

Homer At The Bat

The [minor league baseball team] Portland Beavers will honor America's goofiest dad later this summer. The Pacific Coast League Beavers, in announcing their 2007 promotional schedule, said they'll hold Homer Simpson Night on July 21. The homage will honor the cartoon character whose creator, Matt Groening, grew up in Portland.

Homage, or should it be.... Homerage??? [Portland Business Journal]

McFarlane Manufactured Movie Merchandise

Some Simpsons Movie-related toys that are coming up are raising more questions than answers.

Not a huge surprise, as McFarlane Toys is best known for coming out with the best-looking action figures out there, so the announcement that they have been tapped to support the release of THE SIMPSONS MOVIE on July 27th, with a line of intricately detailed action figures, was good news all around. The characters will feature incredible character detail (see below), but also a voice-chip technology, which will allow them to "speak" exclusive dialog from the film. Each figure comes mounted to a customized base, and, as an added feature, the "Movie Mayhem" line of figures come with interlocking bases so the figures can be combined to create one large scene. The line will include a 6-inch figure line and three boxed sets.

There's a boxed set entitled "What you lookin' at?! Bart, Ned Flanders and Top-Secret Character (??????)" and two special sets, one featuring Itchy & Scratchy and the other entitled "Doodle Double Dare" (?????????????). Click here for a picture of a pig. [JoBlo]

Groening On Post-"Golden Age"

TW: Fans talk of the golden age, seasons three through eight or nine. Now that you're into season 18, haven't there been other phases, maybe a new renaissance?

MG: I don't feel like I want to defend the show to people who don't like it, but I would say that the animation is better, that we're doing shows that I defy anybody to say that we've already done. We're coming up with, I think, ideas that are certainly surprising to us. And the show still makes me laugh. That's all I care about. I hope that it makes other people laugh, too.

For comparison to other executive producers:

Al Jean: "I think the last couple years have been among our best"
James L. Brooks: Season 17 is "a classic"
Matt Groening: Animation is better, surprising new ideas, still makes him laugh[The Wave]

Simpsons Movie Premiere To Be Held In Springfield

City officials have accepted an invitation from 20th Century Fox to compete against other Springfields across the country in a contest where the winner will host the premiere screening of "The Simpsons Movie," due out in July. The film is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year.


Gwyne Ortiz, a Fox publicist, said Fox has asked 16 Springfields from Oregon to Massachusetts to participate in the contest.

Studio execs will pick the winner after reviewing short films submitted by local officials. Each entry should showcase a community's positive aspects, and somehow link it to "The Simpsons" TV show. The megapopular prime-time animated series created by Portland-born Matt Groening is now in its 18th season.

"We want each Springfield to express the highlights of what they do, and have it tie into the whole Simpsons element," Ortiz said.

Not sure why any city would want to be like "America's Worst City" (according to Time magazine) but OK [The Register-Guard]

Groening To Shoot Minnie Driver

It can be hard to get noticed amid the hustle and bustle of a red carpet -- just ask Minnie Driver. "I'm in 'The Simpsons Movie'!" the Oscar-nominated acress piped up... Reluctant to let plot points slip because, she said, "I could tell you about it, and then I'd literally get shot by ['Simpsons' creator] Matt Groening," Driver nevertheless revealed she'll be playing "a patronizing grievance counselor in one hilarious scene."

Ruh-roh! We'll be keeping a close eye on this one... [MTV]