by Simon Baxendale
If recent news is to be believed, Fox’s prime-time animated line-up could be getting a serious big-screen upgrade in the years to come, following inside reports that suggest a number of cartoon properties making the leap from TV to cinema very soon. The Simpsons Movie – which opened in 2007 – was hugely ambitious for the time – and it seems that Matt Groening et al are reportedly heading to the box office once again with a sequel on the cards. The Simpsons have already celebrated a huge accolade for being the longest-running scripted US TV series in history – it therefore seems rather fitting that they should choose to mark the occasion with another big screen adventure.
It’s not the only Fox property that’s making its way to cinemas, either – with reports circulating that there is a Family Guy adaptation supposedly in the works, with the 20th anniversary of Seth MacFarlane’s often divisive adult comedy looming next year. The news of animated feature films from Fox arises as it appears that a new direction is being mounted for animation going forwards – arriving at around the same time as Disney acquiring the brand and therefore all of its various properties. There’s still speculation rife as to what the Disney acquisition could mean for these big name franchises – but for now, at least, it seems the box office is the goal.
▶ 'Family Guy' Movie Might Be In The Works
The announcements come alongside previous confirmations that fellow prime-time animated comedy Bob’s Burgers will be getting a feature length adaptation, and following the release of Matt Groening’s new animated series, Disenchantment, on Netflix. While Family Guy has previously sewn together three episodes to create a straight-to-DVD movie, talk of the Griffin clan heading to the big screen has been rife for years – straight from the horse’s mouth too – though concerns over declining quality in both Family Guy and The Simpsons in recent years appear to have taken the sheen off of things for some viewers. Regardless, both shows continue to pull in huge viewer numbers despite the rise of video streaming – so perhaps going back to the big screen now is striking while the iron is fairly hot.
▶ The Evolution of Matt Groening
Quite what will lie in store for Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin in their forthcoming big screen adventures will remain to be seen – but there’s no doubt that Fox will up the stakes when it comes to going all-out for big box office money.