How long did it take to make The Simpsons Movie?

The Simpsons Movie spawned its own video game and made bank at the box office, raking in $536.4 million worldwide. It was the 8th highest-grossing film in 2007. In 2023, it is currently the 50th highest-grossing animated film worldwide. Frozen II now sits at the top, with the Super Mario Bros. Movie taking second place. 

The Simpsons Movie has an insane amount of re-watchability and the animation style is still used by the modern-day Simpsons, 16 years later. it is currently available to stream on Disney+.

When did they decide to make the Simpsons Movie?

According to various interviews, Matt Groening always had plans to make a Simpsons Movie, just when the show had ended, not while it was airing. When The Simpsons debuted on TV in 1989, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon, delighting audiences with its witty humour and satirical take on American society and the rest of the world. Over the years, the show’s popularity soared, and fans eagerly awaited the possibility of a movie adaptation. However, it wasn’t until 2001 that the idea gained serious momentum.

Matt making plans:

Matt had always been attuned to the desires of fans who longed for a feature-length film featuring his characters. As the show’s creator and executive producer, Groening possessed a keen understanding of the potential that a theatrical release held in delivering a unique Simpsons experience. 

He recognized that the big screen could offer grander storytelling possibilities, enabling the exploration of more complex narratives and providing a longer time to showcase the depth and nuances of the Simpsons universe.

The Simpsons Movie: Challenges and Creative Process

Bringing The Simpsons from the small screen to the big screen was an undertaking fraught with challenges and complexities. One of the primary obstacles faced by the creative team was the relentless production schedule of the television series. The Simpsons were known for its ability to consistently deliver high-quality episodes on a weekly basis, requiring the writers, animators, and voice actors to maintain an unholy pace. This demanding schedule left little room for the extensive development required for a feature film.

To overcome this challenge, the team had to strike a delicate balance between the television commitments and the creative demands of crafting a cinematic experience. They had to find ways to allocate the necessary time and resources for the film without compromising the quality and consistency of the television show. This called for meticulous planning, strategic scheduling, and effective communication between the various departments involved.

Internal Collaboration

Collaboration and coordination were key throughout the creative process. The team had to work closely with the show’s writers, animators, voice actors, and producers to synchronize their efforts and ensure a seamless transition from television to the big screen. This involved aligning the schedules of the voice actors, who often had to balance their work on the show with other projects, to ensure their availability for recording sessions for the film.


Another challenge lay in maintaining the essence of The Simpsons while elevating it for a cinematic experience. The creative team had to strike a delicate balance between staying true to the show’s trademark humour, social commentary, and heartwarming moments, while also leveraging the expanded canvas of a feature film to explore new storytelling possibilities. This required careful consideration and extensive collaboration to craft a narrative that would resonate with both longtime fans and newcomers to the Simpsons universe.

The challenges faced by the creative team were immense. Balancing the demands of the television show’s production schedule with the aspirations of creating a cinematic masterpiece required meticulous planning, coordination, and creative problem-solving. 

Their unwavering commitment and collaborative efforts, they successfully overcame these hurdles, allowing The Simpsons Movie to come to fruition and become a beloved addition to the franchise’s legacy.

How long did the movie it actually take?

Fox greenlit The Simpsons Movie in 1997, so it took them 10 years to make. (Source: Screenrant)

Despite the myriad challenges that presented themselves, Groening and his team persevered, continually refining their plans for The Simpsons Movie. The writing process commenced earnestly around 2003, as the team explored numerous story ideas to find the perfect fit for the big screen. They ventured into uncharted territory, aiming to craft a narrative that would captivate longtime fans while also appealing to a broader audience. 

Find out how long it takes to film a season of The Walking Dead here.

Over the course of several years, the creative team honed their vision, painstakingly perfecting the story arc, character arcs, and overall tone of the film. Each revision brought them closer to capturing the essence of what made The Simpsons so beloved on TV, while embracing the unique opportunities afforded by the cinematic medium. The team meticulously crafted a screenplay that maintained the show’s signature humour, social commentary, and heartwarming moments, all while embracing the grandeur that a feature film could provide.

The movie’s development journey was not solely confined to the creative aspects. Negotiations concerning budget ($75 million), distribution, and creative control were necessary to ensure the project’s viability and success. 

In 2006, after years of arduous work and unwavering dedication, Groening and the team triumphantly made the long-awaited announcement at the San Diego Comic-Con, unleashing a wave of excitement throughout the fan community. The announcement signalled the culmination of a laborious journey and set the stage for the much-anticipated release of The Simpsons Movie in 2007.

What is next for The Simpsons?

The creation of The Simpsons Movie stands as a remarkable achievement, a testament to Matt Groening’s vision and the unwavering dedication of the entire creative team. Overcoming the challenges posed by the ongoing production schedule of the television series, they successfully brought the beloved characters from Springfield to the big screen, creating a cinematic experience that delighted fans worldwide.

The journey from television to film was a laborious one, requiring years of meticulous planning, creative problem-solving, and careful coordination. The team had to navigate the demanding television commitments while carving out the necessary time and resources for the film’s development. Striking a delicate balance, they ensured that the quality and consistency of the television series were maintained, even as they embarked on the creation of a cinematic masterpiece.

The Simpsons have just been renewed until mid-2025. Do you think we’ll get a squeal to the film?