Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Simpsons Movie in Japan

As western (well, mainly American) cartoon characters go, they're not as well-loved or known as Peanuts or Disney characters, but they have appeared in their fair share of product endorsements. In the past, they've appeared in endorsements for C.C. Lemon drink among other things.

The T.V. series has been running on Japanese T.V. for quite some time though I've never actually spoken with any Japanese person who actually watches the show regularly. One of my more television-loving students told me she doesn't like the show because the humor is too mean-spirited. However, given that Fox runs the show a few times a day (seemingly every day), someone must like it.

The Simpsons movie opened in Japan yesterday and, among other promotions, Mister Donut has been using boxes with images from the movie.

There are also some confections which get a little Simpsons wrapping around them such as the mont blanc pictured above. This particular item was unusually good in a bad way. The cake used in it was amazingly similar to the sponge in an American Twinkie.

Personally, I wouldn't go to see the Simpsons movie in a Japanese theater because the tickets cost about the same as purchasing the DVD from Amazon and I'd rather spend the money on a permanent copy than a one-time experience. I've also found in my limited experience seeing movies in Japan that theaters aren't all that great. The acoustics sucked at the last place I went and they tend to be pretty overheated. Mind you, the last movie I saw in a theater was Star Trek VI. ;-)


John Milito said...

Shari, love the blog. I thought I'd throw you a link to mine, as I thought it was a funny coincidence that I just posted a couple pics of my own Simpsons Mr. Donut experience. I think you write much better than I do, though. Well, keep up the good work.

What part of Japan are you in, anyway?

Shari said...

Hi, John, and many thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

It was very interesting seeing your post on the movie because I hadn't seen the brightly-colored Simpsons donuts that you had a picture of. Our local Mr. Donut only carries the Mont Blanc pastries. In fact, our local one often does not carry a full selection. I guess it's too small!

To answer your question, I'm in Tokyo. :-)

I'm adding a link to your blog to my list of friendly folks who also blog. Thanks for including it!

Roy said...

Star Trek VI? That was like 1992 or something, wasn't it?

At one point, I thought theaters in Tokyo were better than what we had in Canada. That was in the late '80s when all the grand classic style theatres disappeared in and you had bad multiplexes popping up everywhere, while Tokyo kept large theatres alive. But the cineplexes got better in North America and by comparison the big theatres became quite run down in Japan.

In the last 10 years or so there's been a big move to improve the theatres in Japan, mainly because Toho now owns most of them.

I've been to most of the theatres in Tokyo and they have gotten better since Star Trek VI, in fact that was probably when Japanese theatres were at their low point.I'm a voracious movie watcher and watch just about anything. I average about 10-12 films a week and more when I have free time. I used to go to the cinemas alot until bittorrent. Just went to see "I am Legend" at United Cinemas in Toyosu Lalaport yesterday, in fact. But don't go there because they don't have caramel popcorn. I mean, it's like a staple of movie watching for me! Unforgivable!

It's still expensive but on the first of the month or every wednesday (ladies day) it's 1000yen, at toho theatres only.

Shinjuku, Shibuya, Hibiya are still where most of the movie theatres are. Any movie theatre in Kabukicho is pretty much crap now although the new Wald 9 in Marui city is nice. The people at the concession stand are zombies and take forever though so go early if you plan to buy popcorn. I try to avoid Shibuya as much as possible so don't know about the quality of cinema there these days. Nihon Gekijo in Marion was remodeled a few years ago and is still a good theatre. I was at the Picadilly the other day and I found it quite comfy. Also Sukaraza in Hibiya is still one of the only digital theatres in Tokyo. That's a good theatre too. Roppongi Hills cinema 7 is the recent favorite for movie premieres but I absolutely hate that theatre, poorly designed. Almost everyone who comes in the theatre has to walk in front of everyone else, how stupid. Also, it's full of drunken loud roppongi people.

These days, I prefer to drive out to the "malls" where the new cinema complexes are. Like Lalaport Yokohama or Odaiba. The Tohotheatre in Lalaport Yokohama has online booking where you can reserve the seat you want (very important for me) and I can get free parking too!! Cinema-mediage in Odaiba also has the largest washroom I've ever seen in Japan. Huge. And their premium seats, where they serve you champagne and give you pillows is really worth the extra cash.

Have I motivated you to go to a cinema now?

Shari said...

The theaters I've been to have exclusively been in Kabuki-cho since they are the most conveniently accessible from where I live.

Yes, it has been ages since I've been to a theater and I don't really regret it. My husband has been to one and he said they're always too hot in the summer. No matter how nice they are, roasting while you watch a movie is going to undermine the enjoyment.

It is very interesting though hearing your take on the various theaters. If we venture out to one again, I'll be referring back to what you said about the various locations (though I must say I hate Shibuya because it's so horrifically crowded most of the time).

It's great to hear from you, Roy. :-) Thanks for commenting.

tornados28 said...

The Simpsons type of humor seems like it would not work outside of the US. It often has obsure references to things or people that people would miss by not living in the US. Maybe the Simpons might make some obsure reference or joke about someone like Rosie O'donell for example. It would be totally missed by Japanese people who have no idea who Rsoe O'donell is.

So I don't see how these types of comedies would ever work in places like Japan. I think the Austin Power's movies are the same.

Bekah said...

I'm surprised that the acoustics are bad. That's good to know; I don't like wasting money!