12
Nov
All images © 1999 Comedy Central Films/Paramount Pictures.

First off, a technical note: If the site is looking a little wonky, clear your cache and reload it. Hopefully that does it. I’ve been making a few tweaks.

Yes. The South Park movie is one of my favorite animated feature films.

Why?

Well, first off, it’s funny as all hell. Second, I’ve been a fan of the show since it first came on the air (like I said before…it brings out the 20 year old frat boy in me). And third, it proves the point I made in the Toy Story post.

That point being, the technology doesn’t matter. You can tell a good story with stick men.

Or in this case, with paper cut-out, potty-mouthed little kids.

And yes, I’m fully aware of the irony that it’s not made with paper cut-outs but with a super-powerful computer program called Maya. It’s still meant to look like paper cut-outs, so that’s really the point. It’s still simplistic in style and execution.

In other words: Crappy.

And I love it.

My personal opinion is the best seasons of South Park are 4 to 8. The movie came out after Season 3, so I think this is where it really took off. They found their voice. The characters were solid. It was ready to evolve. And it did.

This movie isn’t for everyone. If you already love South Park and haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? If you only kind of like South Park, watch it to see them at their best. If you hate South Park, you’ll either become a convert or hate it more.

I’m not here to convert you. But I will explain why it’s on my top five list of animated features.

And I’ll do my best to talk about a profanity-heavy movie without using any. Maybe.

So here’s why I love South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

The title. When I saw South Park Live in Montreal, the guys said the movie was going to be called ‘South Park: All Hell Breaks Loose’. But the MPAA (the dudes who rate the movies) didn’t want the word ‘hell’ in the title.

So they came up with this title and it was approved. Only much later on, did they realize, “Heyyyy…that’s about wee-wees isn’t it?” (I’d use the real word, but don’t need the spam.) Too awesome.

It’s a musical. Trey Parker loves his musical numbers. There’s something so charming and hilarious about a movie like this going the Disney route. The songs are catchy and funny and they work.

“The animation’s all crappy.” – Cartman.  In regards to Terrance and Phillip. The boys then proceed to be animated all crappy themselves. The self-awareness isn’t annoying, it’s funny.

The Terrance and Phillip movie. This is what the whole story revolves around. The potty-mouths of these characters is what sets the story in motion. Now the big question: cartoon characters or people? Cartman just said “the animation’s all crappy”, yet later on in the film they are referred to as ‘actors’.

I believe it was during this movie the confusion about these flapping-headed Canadians was born. Hooray for Canadians! We’re just happy to be part of the fun.

“I hate you Kenny” – Cartman. Pretty much for no reason at all. I still cracks me up.

When Carman’s mother explains a certain ‘activity’. I won’t write it. It involves licking. And it’s nasty. Anytime we see Cartman’s mom for what she really is, it’s gold. It’s her ‘proper-ness’ that makes it so funny.

All the kids wearing profanity on their shirts. I won’t write it, but I can show it!

The ‘It’s Easy MMMKay’ song. Anything with Mr. Mackey is always fun, m’kay? The song tries to give the kids alternative phrases to the naughty words they’ve been exposed to. Just say, “you’re a buns-hole”.

When Kenny bursts into flames. Because he lights his fart on fire. I usually hate fart jokes. But I like this one. Don’t try this at home, kids.

The gore of the operating room scene. Not because it’s a gory operating room scene, but because of the point Matt and Trey were making. Nothing from these sequences were cut by the MPAA. All they mostly went after (in real life) was the profanity. Gore is fine. Naughty words aren’t.

In South Park, everyone goes to Hell. Except Mormons. We learn that in Season 4.

The whole ‘Blame Canada’ thing. I’m Canadian. And no, I’m not offended. Because this is the point that so many people miss: they’re not making fun of Canadians, they’re making fun of (some) Americans.

You know why it doesn’t bother me? Because the whole concept of starting a war with Canada over profanity is so out-of this-world-ridiculous. I mean, come on! The song is making fun of over-reactive parents that like to blame everything and everyone else for their kids’ actions.

So we Canadians aren’t offended by the ‘Blame Canada’ song because we get the joke. We’re funny like that.

Actual footage of the Canadian Air Force. (See? We make fun of ourselves for goodness sakes).

The ‘Kyle’s Mom’s A Bitch’ song. Best. Song. Ever. Never get tired of it. Everybody sing along!

Eric Idle does a voice! How cool is that? Plus, it’s the introduction to Cartman’s V-chip. Which really comes into play for the climax of the story.

When the General shoots Bill Gates. Yes, it’s immature of me to find this funny. But it is. And it was yet another violent scene that was left untouched by the MPAA. It also got a huge cheer when I saw it in the theatre.

The relationship between Satan and Saddam Hussein. I mean Satan is like, Satan, and all he wants is a functional relationship with Saddam. The whole thing works really well.

It’s also completely insane that they got away with showing ‘that certain part of the male anatomy’ in this scene. Just because they said “it wasn’t real”, it was OK.

The un-cut violent battle scenes. Yet more footage of bloody violence that passed the censors without a blink of the eye. The whole movie is a statement inside a statement.

Cartman saving the day with his filthy mouth. The concept just wraps up the story so beautifully. The whole profanity thing comes full circle.

Seeing Kenny’s face for the first time ever. How ridiculous is this? We’re excited to see his usually covered, hooded face. And all the kids have the same face! We’re basically thrilled to see a new overlay of hair. But we’re excited nonetheless.

Kenny going to Heaven. After three seasons of Kenny dying a horrible, violent death each and every episode, he gets a break (even though he’s still dead).

In all the craziness, profanity, violence and offensiveness, the movie wraps up with nice feel-good moment. It’s perfect.

So this movie may not be on the same level as my other feature favorites artistic-wise (or maturity-wise). But so what? It has what many other animated features lack.

  • A solid story.
  • Strong, memorable characters.
  • A message.
  • And very, very funny.

What more can you ask for?

So that wraps up my feature favorite series. It was lots of fun. I’ll do more of these in the future and will even throw in some not-so-good ones occasionally. We can learn from those too.

Hey, and I made it through the whole post without much profanity.

F*ck, yeah!

Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email to see if I ever actually use the F-word. It could happen.

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Category : Scripts and Storytelling

Comments

screenwritingforhollywoodNo Gravatar November 12, 2008

Yes, South Park knocks off my socks. They are a riot. Brilliant.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

Woo hoo! Another fan. Love it.
Nothing wrong with a little immaturity here and there, right?
K

stephNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

AHAHAHAHAHA!! I Loved this movie. Yes, with a capital L. As you said it was *hilarious.* I really appreciate all the bagillion statements they make in it and how ridiculous it gets. I love when films are self-conscious, too. But best of all, musically, I thought this film was brilliant.

Again, Karen, I really enjoy when you do posts like this!

FriarNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

Karen

HAHAHAH! 😀

This post makes me laugh, I’m still noticing things I missed the first few times I saw this movie. (even though they just played this on TV a month ago).

For example, what that kid has on her Tshirt. (That is so WRONG…yet so RIGHT!).

The musical number with “Shut your ugly face, Uncle….”. The detached trash-can heads of the Canadians when they speak…Cartman being the little shit that he is…

I can see this movie again and again. And I probably WILL.

M’kay….?

screenwritingforhollywoodNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

Immature-ish, complex, and profound, really.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

@ Friar – I knew you’d love this one. 🙂
It’s the details and the timing and the characters that make it so great. And the songs kick ass too. I even have the soundtrack!

Yes, go watch it again M’kay?

@ Steph – Yes, it just had the right balance of everything doesn’t it? Glad to hear you’re on the South Park bandwagon too! 🙂

@ Jaden – So very, very true. Much more than people give it credit for. 🙂
K

FriarNo Gravatar November 13, 2008

Despite the crude jokes and foul language aside (which is awesome!) , South Park’s humor is pretty clever and they DO provide quite relevant social commentary.

Just goes to show you that with good writing, you can get away with crummy animation (Kind of like with Rocky and Bullwinkle).

I especially like how the Southpark Characters don’t move their feet when they walk..they just hop. It looks so BAD, yet it’s hilarious, because you know the animators are deliberately doing this.. 🙂

stephNo Gravatar November 14, 2008

And yet, even meant to look like simple cutouts, how brilliant the facial expressions are!!

IvanNo Gravatar November 14, 2008

You know I never given South Park an opportunity to shine ‘cus I cannot go over the fact that it is sticks and rounds. If the story is good, I think it’ll be worth watching, and surely will give it another spin.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar November 14, 2008

@ Friar – You’re very right about that (yay Rocky and Bullwinkle!). Yes, it’s crude and simple but that’s part of it’s charm. It forces them to make the characters and storylines strong. And they succeeded.

Trust me, if those two elements weren’t in place, it wouldn’t have lasted 12 seasons! Though I find many episodes in recent seasons have a ‘nasty vibe’ and aren’t quite as funny. Just my opinion. 🙂

@ Steph – Again, they achieve quite a lot with very little don’t they? I attribute a lot of it to timing. The animation has great timing and that’s *really* important.

@ Ivan – Well, if you hate lots of profanity or are offended easily, you may not like it very much. There’s LOTS in this movie. But if it’s just the style turning you off, yes, give this movie another shot.

Even if you don’t watch the series, I think you can learn something from it. The story and message is solid. The characters are strong. And if you’re not a prude, it *is* very, very funny.

Report back if you do and tell me what you thought. 🙂
K

t.sterlingNo Gravatar November 19, 2008

Hey, took me a while to finally comment about this movie I was distracted by something called Wall-e…

Anyway, I was never a big fan of the show. When it first started, I tried watching it because that’s what all the cool kids did. While it had its funny moments, I never got into it. Perhaps my maturity wasn’t like it is now where I can appreciate a lot more of the humor. With that being said, when the movie came out, I was well aware of what it was about but didn’t bother watching it until a few years later at college in a friend’s room. Again, there were some funny parts, but I really wasn’t paying attention and I missed half of it. So I will take what you said to Ivan and apply it to me, and watch the movie from a different perspective as you had pointed out and will report to you about it.

Meanwhile, now that I’ve expereinced Wall-e (twice already and about to do #3 with commentary), any chance you’ll do a Wall-e review next now that it’s on DVD? Please???

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar November 19, 2008

It’s OK Mr. Sterling, if you don’t like it, you’re still welcome here. 🙂

Nice to see you’re so open-minded as to give it another shot though.Yay.

Hmmm…Wall-E….hmm…..I don’t know. It was such a *horrible* movie… hmm….

Well, OK. Ya talked me into it! (And I was grappling with what to write next).

But I may do it a little different and turn the post (or posts) into little lessons. Stay tuned. 🙂
K

lyndseyNo Gravatar January 16, 2009

Hey Karen,

If you haven’t seen this episode, it was pretty funny! I just checked it out..it’s a world of warcraft episode.

Check it out…

http://www.wowfailblog.com/video/make-love-not-warcraft-south-park-full-episode/

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar January 16, 2009

Thanks lyndsey!

But I own all of the DVDs! So yes, I have seen that episode and it’s a pretty good one.

They worked directly with Blizzard to get all those gaming shots and filmed while guys played the game. Like they were real actors and it was a live action shoot.

Pretty interesting. 🙂

I kept expecting more of a pay-off with the geek guy that was killing everyone though. Thought it needed something more there for some reason.
K

DeanoNo Gravatar September 10, 2009

It has to be said, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are brilliant! Love South Park!

Bluetooth HandsfreeNo Gravatar October 16, 2009

It’s amazing how long South Park has been going, and how they still manage to come up with great ideas for episodes…that still shock, and crack you up!

cklingNo Gravatar November 11, 2009

South Park is really amazing and I’m really glad to see I’m not just some odd weirdo 🙂
I’ve actually been working on a story that was triggered after watching the south Park movie for the first time trying not to wake my wife from laughing too loud. I kept thinking how hilarious it was but the animation was so horrible and somehow they made it work.
Thanks Karen,
this blog really put it in perspective on how they made it work.

Karen J LloydNo Gravatar November 15, 2009

Hi ckling!

Not a weirdo at all! Just remember that the animation is ‘horrible’ on purpose. It’s just simulating how it would look if they did it stop motion with cut-out paper.

I saw the guys live once and they said they use the most expensive software around (Maya) to get the absolute crappiest animation done. Too funny. 🙂

~K

Madelyn CoxNo Gravatar May 9, 2010

Southpark is quite funny but some of the scenes maybe a bit too morbid even for adults.,’;

Daniel EvansNo Gravatar October 6, 2010

southpark is great! the best cartoon that i have ever watched`:`

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