The world premiere of The Simpsons Movie has taken place in Springfield, Vermont.

The US town beat 13 other namesakes of the animated family's fictional hometown to host the premiere of one of the summer's most eagerly-anticipated films.

Matt Groening and life-size actors dressed as his famous creations Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie were among the thousands of people who turned up at the Vermont town, which has a population of just over 9,000.

Addressing fans ahead of the first of four showings of the film at the 212-seat local cinema, Groening said: "As Homer would say, 'Woo-hoo!'."

The Simpsons Movie, which goes on worldwide release on July 27th, comes 18 years after the show first premiered in the US, making it America's longest-running prime-time entertainment show.

A 19th season of the animated comedy will debut stateside in September.

Springfield, Vermont, beat namesakes from Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee in a USA Today poll to host the premiere.

The fictional Springfield has in the past been less kind to movie studios though.

In the seventh season the money-grabbing authorities bankrupted producers filming a Radioactive Man movie after creating a string of fake levies, including a 'leaving town tax'.

22/07/2007 12:37:40