The Simpsons Movie has received critical praise from the majority of critics, despite initial doubts that the TV show would transfer well to the big screen.

The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw gave the film four stars, remarking: “The gags are razor-sharp and lightning-swift; they keep coming, and the writing just puts everything else to shame, in the cinema just as on television.”

He added: “Like Homer with his nachos, I could gobble it up until nightfall.”

James Bones, writing for The Times, also gave the film four stars. He said that Homer ’emerges from his big-screen debut a bona fide Hollywood action hero’.

However, he also added: “The middle section, set in Alaska, lags because of the absence of the familiar props of the Simpsons’ home town.”

The Daily Telegraph’s Sheila Johnston was less convinced that the half-hour format successfully stretched to a feature-length film.

“The overall momentum flags at times and, even though the film runs for a crisp 87 minutes, it feels over-extended,” she commented.

But what about the families who will doubtless flock to see this flick? The Sun asked a real-life Simpsons family to review it and all of them gave the film four or five stars. Aaron Simpson, eight, said: “I think that other children will love it. I will recommend it to all my friends.”

Creator Matt Groening was among the thousands who turned out as Springfield, Vermont, rolled out the yellow carpet to play host to the premiere of the film at the weekend.