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'Simpsons' for Dummies

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Prepare for 'The Simpsons Movie' with our rogue gallery of beloved Springfield residents By Sean Nelson Special to MSN MoviesUnless you've spent the last 18 years with your head under a rock, you know that "The Simpsons" is a pop-cultural force with few rivals. Every small element of the show (from Danny Elfman's manic theme song to Bart's relentless mischief-making to Homer's never-ending pile of "D'oh!") has become a fixture on the landscape -- not just on TV but also in the workplace, the blogosphere and the most intimate personal communication between friends and family. An ingenious hybrid of high- and lowbrow, social commentary and gut laughs, it is, in short, the smartest, funniest, best thing that ever happened to prime-time television. And now, it's about to hit the big screen for the first time. "The Simpsons Movie" opens on cinema screens July 27. In honor of this magnanimous occasion, MSN Movies is pleased to offer a primer for those who have managed to miss the boat entirely (seriously, where have you people been?) with a four-fingered handful -- 16, to be exact -- of our favorite "Simpons" characters. We couldn't include everyone, of course, because then we'd be here all day. And we're too busy trying to get our work done so we can go see the movie ... (All photos: Matt Groening/FOX)
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