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Which Came First, Under the Dome or The Simpsons?

Johnny Cat pointed out that Stephen King's latest movie novel Under the Dome may cause you to recall the 2007 film The Simpsons, as both involve a city suddenly isolated under a glass dome.
Fans seem less convinced that the novel's conceit – a town discovers that it is encased in a giant dome, put there by an unknown force – is so terrific. Many took to the internet to point out that a similar plot was the basis for The Simpsons Movie. King took to his website to respond that he had never seen the movie and that the similarity came as a complete surprise. Fans reacted with incredulity, pointing out that not only is King a pop- culture omnivore, but has played on stage with The Simpsons creator Matt Groening in his Rock Bottom Remainders band. King then gave a different account of the book's origins, this time saying he started it in 1978 or thereabouts, and wrote a second, unpublished version called The Cannibals in 1985. In order to silence any accusations of plagiarism, he published the first 60 pages on his website (in the original IBM typescript to prove its age).

But the problem is not who had the idea first. King may argue that "stories can be no more alike than snowflakes" as "no two human imaginations are exactly alike", but Stephen King novels and Simpsons movies are similar in that they are big pop-culture events aimed at roughly the same sort of audience – and with such events, the concept is as important as the execution. Also, both film and novel use their conceit to give dramatic focus to tales of the interconnected lives of a large cast of everyday small-town Americans. It doesn't matter whether King has seen the film; his readers have, and this takes some of the shine off his novel.

If you've seen the movies and read the book, let us know what you think. -via The Litter Box

Long before the Simpson's movie came out, I lived in Rochester, New York. One of the big jokes at the time was that the city was under a big dome owned by the Wegman's empire, who controlled the weather inside the dome.

Maybe they both stole the idea from people in Rochester.
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I believe you mean "Stephen King’s new novel Under the Dome"? - It's referenced as a movie in a couple places here.

I haven't seen the Simpsons Movie, but I'm reading the book right now, and not really enjoying it very much. I can't imagine though, that the concept of a town surprised to be trapped under a dome is such a unique idea that it's ruining the novel for people who have experienced both. Novels, films, tv, and comic books all dip into the same limited pool of ideas and everyone borrows from everyone else extensively. If King's book was populated by idiotic and hilarious yellow skinned simpletons or an anthropomorphized doughnut sign come to life, I might understand this, but outside of the most basic concept, I doubt there are any other similarities,
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I'm surprised by this accusation. When I first heard of King's novel, the first reference it brought to mind was John Wyndham's 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos. The novel begins with the fictional British village of Midwich covered by an invisible dome with a radius of two miles - and every human and animal within the dome has fallen unconscious. The military observe that anyone crossing the threshold of the dome - even a bird in mid-flight - falls instantly asleep.

In Wyndham's book, the dome is only temporary: when the dome disappears, the residents awake to find all their womenfolk impregnated with strange blonde children. But I can't be the only reader that found the dome the most intriguing idea of the novel.
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Why hasn't anyone mentioned the Twilight Zone episode about a town trapped by an unknown force field that won't allow them to leave the city? A giant kid had placed a drinking glass over the town trapping them like ants on an ant hill and the sun was making it very hot for them. The giant kid got called away by her parents and took the glass with her and the town was again free. Odd that no one seems to recall that story.
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Does it matter? I mean it's not as if someone is going to watch the Steven King thing and say "oh, I've already seen this, so shut it off!"

I mean, cities in domes are a pretty common sci-fi concept...
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Yesterday I went to see "Inception." Halfway through it, though, I left in a huff. It was all in someone's dream! They just copied The Wizard of Oz! What a ripoff.

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I work in a library and had the exact same thought when I read the jacket of Under the Dome. Having read one and viewed the other (all in the interest of pop culture research, of course), I have to say that most of the similarities end at the dome. It was a fun running joke in the office for quite a whilem though!
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Who cares? The back drop for plenty of teen movies is a high school. Even the drama that plays out is the same, but we don't let that bother us right? These stories are very different, but they each have a giant dome. While it sounds incredibly geeky, the domes aren't from similar organizations or behave in the same way. Isn't that enough?
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A lot of ideas are always floating around in our collective consciousness via one form or another for quite some time before they're made into a book or a movie. The idea behind the Matrix movie(or the Gibson book it pulled ideas from) and the nature of reality (Hmm... Inception.)were hardly new when the movie came out. It was still damn good though, because the idea had been amplified, or refined in a way that took it further.
So too, with "Under the Dome". Hardly an original notion, but intriguing none the less.

So what's next? Well, the idea of "Avatars" hasn't been taken to Mars with robots yet... Just sayin' its coming. Why take people to a planet... we could be creating a robot utopia there now, and visit anytime.
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I've been reading Under the Dome. For me, it seems like the idea's better than the execution, as with a lot of King's novels.

While there have been plenty of Town Under A Dome stories in the past, I think that what makes this so unusual is two things:

One: that they were released so close together;
and Two: that they're both big, not a relatively obscure episode of a TV show or a not-too-well-known writer. The Simpsons is arguably the most known TV show, and King is arguably the most known thriller writer.

I personally don't think that one copied the other. But it's interesting that they were both thought of at around the same time. Whatever we create is influenced by the world we live in, so it's possible that certain influences combined in both King and Groening's minds, causing each to create a Dome story.

It's the same as Dante's Peak/Volcano, Deep Impact/Armageddon, Tombstone/Wyatt Earp... all started with a similar core idea in different people's heads at around the same time. It's only through execution that they become different.
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I've seen the Simpsons movie and read the novel, and like an earlier commenter said, the similarities end there. Like a lot of Stephen King's work, the novel explores the dark side of human nature. Murder, rape, insanity, egotism, religion, thirst for power etc. The Simpsons Movie isn't as bleak and a great deal more gut-busting in a metaphorical sense. I thought both were amazing. The climax especially in the novel is jaw-dropping. Even if the idea isn't totally new, the execution is purely Stephen King.
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i actually got to see stephen king here in sarasota doing a promotion for the book.

he actually started writing the book ages ago, originally it was called "cannibals". he started writing it once in the 70s then scrapped it, then again in the 80s and scrapped it again.

he finally started again and finished it. while writing it (or maybe right after he finished) he told his sister the basic premise and she said "oh, like the simpsons movie?"

unknown to him, while he was writing the book the simpsons movie was written and released and "stole his idea" (he said this jokingly).

so yeah, they are similar, but each is original in their own rights.

simpsons didn't steal it as king was still writing it and king didn't still eat as he was unaware of the release.
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I too have noticed those simultaneous releases. Rumor has always been that leaks of those scripts were what sparked the clones among competing studios.
My main observations are that King and Groenig shared close time with each other, and it's neat that they both went with the dome maguffin, and Simpsons did it better.
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I'm glad this came up, maybe someone can help me. When I was a kid I stayed up late one night and watched an episode of a Twilight Zone like show. It may have been the Twilight Zone, or maybe Tales from the Darkside, or maybe The Outer Limits. I just can't remember now.

The episode was about this town where the people lost their power and communications, and when some of them tried to leave town they found it was surrounded by a glass dome. I think the ending was that the entire town had been taken by aliens and they were no longer on earth but I'm not sure on that part. Does anyone know what show and which episode this was? I'm sure I didn't dream the whole thing. :)
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The article makes it sound like King said one thing about the origins and then changed his story, making him sound "fishy". In truth, he said he never saw the move and was surprised when the similarities were pointed out to him, then later, he told the origins of his own story, proving that he wrote at least part of the story nearly 25 years ago.

These are not contractdictory statements and I dislike the way the article implies that they are.
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