South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Bigger, Longer & Uncut
North American release poster
|Directed by||Trey Parker|
|Produced by||Trey Parker
|Written by||Trey Parker
|Based on||South Park
by Trey Parker
Mary Kay Bergman
|Music by||Trey Parker
|Editing by||John Venzon|
|Studio||Comedy Central Films
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures
Warner Bros. Pictures
|Running time||81 minutes|
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a 1999 American animated musical comedy film based on the animated television series South Park, and produced, co-written by and starring its creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The film was directed and co-scored by Parker and co-written by their South Park collaborator Pam Brady, and co-starred Mary Kay Bergman, and Isaac Hayes as Chef. It features twelve songs by Parker and Marc Shaiman with additional lyrics by Stone. It was produced by Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. in association with Comedy Central.
The film parodies animated Disney films released during the Disney Renaissance, such as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid as well as musicals such as the West End's Les Misérables, and satirizes the controversy surrounding the show itself. In the film, the four boys from South Park see a controversial R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance and Phillip. The boys begin cursing incessantly and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada as a result of "corrupting" their children. The movie also heavily satirizes the Motion Picture Association of America; Parker and Stone battled the MPAA throughout the production process and the movie received an R rating just two weeks prior to its release.
The film was released in theaters on June 30 1999, and on home video on November 23 1999. The film was released to generally positive reviews from critics, who appreciated the humor, social satire, and political commentary. Produced on a modest $21 million budget, it went on to gross US$83 million worldwide in theaters, making it a box office hit. The song "Blame Canada" earned Parker and Marc Shaiman a 1999 nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Song.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Musical numbers
- 3 Production
- 4 Release
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Sequel
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The film opens with the protagonists, Stan Marsh, Kenny McCormick, Kyle Broflovski, and Eric Cartman on their way to the local movie theater to see the new movie Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire which stars the boys' favorite Canadian comedy duo Terrance and Phillip ("Mountain Town"). The boys weren't allowed in the movie due to the film being rated R by MPAA, but were able to get in by paying a homeless man to buy them tickets. After watching the film the boys learn new words from the movie ("Uncle Fucka") which causes the other kids in town to see the picture. Meanwhile, Stan finds out that his love interest, Wendy, is hanging out with a well-educated boy named Gregory ("Wendy's Song"). After asking Chef for advice, he tells him to find the clitoris, which Stan does not understand and decides to find it throughout the film.
The kids of South Park Elementary School begin badmouthing in class, and Kyle, Cartman, Kenny and Stan are sent to Counselor Mackey's office, where he informs their parents. Learning that the language was from the movie, the parents force the teachers to abandon their previous lesson plans and run a rehabilitation center for the kids to get them to stop swearing ("It's Easy MMMKay"). After rehab, the boys and the rest of the children see the movie again. After Kenny dies as the result of lighting his fart on fire like in the movie (and doctors accidentally replacing his heart with a baked potato), the boys are grounded, Kenny is sent to Hell ("Hell Isn't Good") where he meets Satan and Saddam Hussein who are gay lovers, the parents of South Park boycott Terrance and Phillip and Sheila (Kyle's mom) has Terrance and Phillip taken to custody while being interviewed by Conan O'Brien for corrupting the minds of America's children ("Blame Canada").
In response to the duo's arrest, Canada strikes back by bombing the house of the Baldwin Brothers. Cartman begins to curse offensively toward Sheila by singing that she is a "big fat bitch" ("Kyle's Mom's a Bitch") . Sheila learns of this and Cartman is forced to be implanted with a V-Chip by Dr. Vosknocker which will shock Cartman every time he swears. Sheila and President Bill Clinton reveal on national news their plans to go to war with Canada in response to the killing of the Baldwins and to have Terrance and Phillip executed at a USO show. Meanwhile, Satan thinks that the war is a sign to invade Earth, and if the blood of the two Canadians touches American soil, it will be time for him to rise up. Saddam wants to come with him, but Satan is tired of being bossed around by Saddam ("Up There"). Kenny tells Satan to break up with Saddam to which Satan initially agrees, but Saddam wins back Satan with a song ("I Can Change"). Kenny haunts Cartman as a ghost and tells him that Satan and Saddam Hussein plan to come to Earth and for Cartman to warn everybody. The boys, failing to convince their parents to stop their act, decide to take matters into their own hands ("What Would Brian Boitano Do"). They have a secret meeting to talk about how they can save Terrance and Phillip themselves. They form La Resistance and Gregory tells Stan to meet with a French mercenary kid named The Mole to help them infiltrate the location of the USO show ("La Resistance").
La Resistance and The Mole infiltrate the USO show ("I'm Super"), but The Mole is killed by guard dogs after Cartman fails to deactivate the alarms surrounding the complex ("The Mole's Reprise"). The remaining three attempt to warn their mothers about what will happen if they kill the duo, but Sheila refuses to listen, and Mr Garrison throws the switch to the electric chair.However, just as the moms appear to have won, a large Canadian army attacks the base and a massive battle ensues between the two. In the confusion, the boys are able to free Terrance and Phillip, though Cartman's V-chip malfunctions due to a short-circuit in the electrics. The other moms decide to stop what they are doing, seeing as what they and their Mothers Against Canada organization started and head off to look for their sons. Stan finds the clitoris (an omnipotent entity that looks like a clitoris) in the woods who tells him to be confident in order to win back Wendy's love, who then leaves Gregory and comes back for Stan. As Terrance and Phillip are cornered by the US army, La Resistance stands in the way and Kyle persuades the army against killing the two, and shows his mom the hypocrisy and consequences of her plans.
Sheila still refuses to listen, and instead shoots Terrance and Phillip which results in Satan and Saddam Hussein rising from the ground. After Saddam intends to rule the world for himself, Cartman is able to hold him off by using his malfunctioning V-Chip to blast electric bolts from his head every time he swears. Satan finally kills Saddam when he gets fed up with all the abuse, throwing him back to Hell to be impaled by a stalagmite and brings Kenny back from Hell and thanks him, telling him that he can have any wish in repaying him for encouraging him to kill Saddam. Kenny wishes for everything to return to normal, albeit it means he will remain dead. All deceased characters are brought back to life due to the wish, including Terrance and Phillip. The war has ended, the Canadians and Americans become friends again, Wendy becomes Stan's girlfriend, Kenny goes to Heaven and everything returns to normal ("Mountain Town (reprise)").
In a post-credits scene, Ike is shown again back at the attic where Kyle earlier concealed him from the Canadians, waiting for his family to return, and eats a rat that approaches by.
- "Mountain Town" – Stan Marsh (Trey Parker), Kenny McCormick (Matt Stone), Kyle Broflovski (Matt Stone), Eric Cartman (Trey Parker), Sharon Marsh (Mary Kay Bergman), Sheila Broflovski (Mary Kay Bergman)
- "Uncle Fucka" – Terrance (Matt Stone) and Phillip (Trey Parker)
- "Wendy's Song (There's the Girl That I Like)" – Stan Marsh (Trey Parker)
- "It's Easy, MMMKay" – Mr. Mackey (Trey Parker), Stan (Trey Parker), Cartman (Trey Parker), Kyle (Matt Stone), Gregory (Trey Parker), South Park Elementary Students
- "Hell Isn’t Good" – D.V.D.A. featuring James Hetfield
- "Blame Canada" – Sheila Broflovski (Mary Kay Bergman), Sharon Marsh (Mary Kay Bergman), Liane Cartman (Mary Kay Bergman), Carol McCormick (Mary Kay Bergman), Citizens of South Park
- "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" – Cartman (Trey Parker), South Park Elementary Students
- "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" – Stan (Trey Parker), Kyle (Matt Stone), Cartman (Trey Parker)
- "Up There" – Satan (Trey Parker (and Michael McDonald on the high notes))
- "La Resistance" – Gregory (Howard McGillin), South Park Elementary Students, Shelia Broflovksi (Mary Kay Bergman), Soldiers (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), Satan (Trey Parker), Terrance (Matt Stone), Phillip (Trey Parker), Stan (Trey Parker), Kyle (Matt Stone), Cartman (Trey Parker)
- "I Can Change" – Saddam Hussein (Matt Stone), Satan (Trey Parker)
- "I'm Super" – Big Gay Al (Trey Parker)
- "The Mole's Reprise" – Christophe le Mole (Trey Parker), Kyle (Matt Stone)
- "Mountain Town (Reprise)" – Chef (Issac Hayes), Stan (Trey Parker), Kyle (Matt Stone), Cartman (Trey Parker), Sheila Broflovski (Mary Kay Bergman), Sharon Marsh (Mary Kay Bergman), Liane Cartman (Mary Kay Bergman), Citizens of South Park
- "What Would Brian Boitano Do? Pt. II" – D.V.D.A
- "Eyes of a Child" – Michael McDonald
Developmental stages began for the film midway through the series' first season production in January 1998.3 Co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone signed a deal with Comedy Central in April 1998 that contracted the duo to producing South Park episodes until 2000, gave them a slice of the lucrative spinoff merchandising the show generated within its first year, as well as an unspecified seven-figure cash bonus to bring the show to the big screen, in theaters.4
A large part of Parker and Stone's conditions attached to any potential movie project was that it must at least be R-rated, to keep in touch with the series' humor and its roots, the short The Spirit of Christmas. Parker stated that their desire was to approach the film from a much more creative perspective and do something much different than a simple movie-length version of a regular episode.3 Despite alleged pressure from Paramount Pictures officials to keep the movie toned down, however, the two won the battle for a more mature rating. "They really wanted to be able to go beyond the South Park television show," said Comedy Central spokesman Tony Fox to TV Guide at the time. "They really fought hard for and won the right to make an R-rated movie."5 Paramount executives went as far to prepare graphs displaying how much more money a PG-13-rated South Park feature would perhaps accumulate.6
The William Morris Agency, which represented Parker and Stone, pushed for movie production to begin as soon as possible, while public interest was still high, instead of several years into its run, as was done with Beavis and Butt-head Do America.7
The cast of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is mostly carried over faithfully from the television series. Co-creator Trey Parker voices the characters of Eric Cartman and Stan Marsh, and Satan, Clyde Donovan, Mr. Garrison, Phillip Niles Argyle, Randy Marsh, Mr. Mackey, Ned Gerblanski, the singing voice of Big Gay Al, the speaking voice of Gregory, The Mole, and President Bill Clinton, as well as multiple other background characters. Matt Stone portrays Kyle Broflovski and Kenny McCormick, as well as Saddam Hussein (even though during the end credits it says that he was voiced by himself), Terrance Henry Stoot, Big Gay Al, Jimbo Kearn, Gerald Broflovski, Bill Gates, and additional voices. Mary Kay Bergman voices Wendy Testaburger, the core mothers of the film (Sheila Broflovski, Sharon Marsh, Liane Cartman, and Carol McCormick), Shelley Marsh, and the clitoris.
Isaac Hayes reprised his famous role from the series as Chef, and voice clips of staff children Jesse Howell, Anthony Cross-Thomas, and Franchesca Clifford make up Ike Broflovski. Guest voices for the film included George Clooney as Dr. Gouache, Brent Spiner as Conan O'Brien, Minnie Driver as Brooke Shields, Eric Idle as Dr. Vosnocker, and Dave Foley provides the combined voices of Alec, Billy, Daniel, and Stephen Baldwin.6
Michael McDonald as himself (the track "Eyes of a Child") and as Satan's high notes in "Up There", and Howard McGillin provides Gregory's singing voice in "La Resistance (Medley)". Stewart Copeland, former drummer for The Police, guests as an American soldier. Mike Judge, creator of Beavis and Butt-head, King of the Hill and The Goode Family, provides Kenny's voice in his sole speaking appearance at the end of the film.6 Although initially denied by Paramount, Metallica lead singer James Hetfield admitted in 2001 that he provides vocals for the track "Hell Isn't Good".8
- Trey Parker as Stan Marsh / Eric Cartman / Gregory / Satan / Mr. Garrison / Phillip Niles Argyle / Randy Marsh / Tom - News Reporter / Midget In A Bikini / Canadian Ambassador / Bombardiers / Mr. Mackey / Army General / Ned Gerblanski / Christophe - Le Mole (or The Mole) / Big Gay Al / Additional Voices (voice)
- Matt Stone as Kyle Broflovski / Kenny McCormick / Saddam Hussein / Terrance Henry Stoot / Ticket Taker / Jimbo Kearn / Gerald Broflovski / Bill Gates / Butters Stotch (one line) / Additional Voices (voice)
- Mary Kay Bergman as Liane Cartman / Sheila Broflovski / Sharon Marsh / Carol McCormick / Wendy Testaburger / Clitoris / Additional Voices (voice)
- Isaac Hayes as Chef Jerome McElroy (voice)
- Jesse Howell, Anthony Cross-Thomas, Franchesca Clifford as Ike Broflovski (Franchesca Clifford was credited as "Francesca Clifford")
- Bruce Howell as Man In Theatre (voice)
- Deb Adair as Woman In Theatre (voice)
- Jennifer Howell as Bebe Stevens (voice)
- George Clooney as Dr. Gouache (voice)
- Brent Spiner as Conan O'Brien (voice)
- Minnie Driver as Brooke Shields (voice)
- Dave Foley as The Baldwin Brothers (voice)
- Eric Idle as Dr. Vosknocker (voice)
- Nick Rhodes as Canadian Fighter Pilot (voice)
- Toddy E. Walters as Winona Ryder (voice)
- Stewart Copeland as American Soldier #1 (voice)
- Stanley G. Sawicki as American Soldier #2 (voice)
- Mike Judge as Kenny's Goodbye (voice)
- Howard McGillin as Gregory (singing voice) (uncredited)
- Brian Dennehy as Himself (uncredited)
The plot of the season one episode "Death" heavily influenced the film's screenplay. The plot and theme of both scripts revolves heavily around the parents of South Park protesting Terrance and Philip due to the perceived negative influence it has over their children. Parker said, "After about the first year of South Park, Paramount already wanted to make a South Park movie, and we sort of thought this episode would make the best model just because we liked the sort of pointing at ourselves kind of thing."9
During the time, the team was also busy writing the second and third seasons of the series, the former of which Parker and Stone later described as "disastrous". As such, they figured the "phenomenon" would be over soon, and they decided to write a personal, fully committed musical.10
The animation in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was created in 3D using Alias|Wavefront (now the Alias Systems Corporation) PowerAnimator software, running on Silicon Graphics O2 and Octane workstations. Characters and individual scene elements were designed with both texture mapping and shading that, when rendered, resemble 2D paper cut-out stop-motion animation.11 The artists at South Park Studios (at the time, called South Park Productions) used a multiprocessor SGI Origin 2000 and 31 multiprocessor Origin 200 servers (with 1.14TB of storage) for both rendering and asset management. Backgrounds, characters and other items could be saved separately or as fully composited scenes, with speedy access later.11 "By creating flat characters and backgrounds in a 3D environment, we are able to add textures and lighting effects that give the film a cut-out construction paper stop-motion style which would have taken many more months if done traditionally," said Gina Shay, line producer of the film.11
The animation team, beginning with season five, began using Maya instead of PowerAnimator.12 The studio now runs a 120-processor render farm that can produce 30 or more shots an hour.13 As the show's visual quality has substantially improved in recent seasons, the animation of South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut is a prime example of the show's old, cruder, even more primitive animation style.14 In the audio commentary on the Blu-ray reissue of the film, Stone and Parker take ample time to criticize how "bad and time consuming" the animation was during the era.15 IGN described the animation as "fall[ing] somewhere within the middle ground -- not quite cardboard cutouts, but not quite fully computerized either."16 Nate Boss, in a review of the Blu-ray reissue for High-Def Digest, commented, "There is no comparing the two, as the movie has a classic (for South Park, at least) animated feel, so full of the cut-outs we have grown to love, while the newer seasons sport a more computer processed feel."17 The film, unlike the television series (at the time), was animated in widescreen (1.78:1).10 "Although the "primitive" animation of South Park is supposedly a joke, it's really a secret weapon," said Stephanie Zacharek of Salon. "The simplicity of Parker and Stone's technique is what makes it so effective."18
|South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut|
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||June 15, 1999|
|South Park chronology|
The musical score and songs featured in the film were composed and written by Parker and Marc Shaiman. The musical features 14 songs, each evoking a familiar Broadway style.19 The soundtrack also parodies many familiar Disney conventions, with several songs spoofing Disney musicals such as Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.20 The tracks "Mountain Town" brought comparisons to Oklahoma! and the opening to Beauty and the Beast, and the "La Resistance" medley drew forth favorable Les Misérables comparisons.21 "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" echoes Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, "Up There" and "I Can Change" recalls The Little Mermaid, and "Uncle Fucka" is reminiscent of Oklahoma! (especially the ending).22
The score received critical acclaim, with Entertainment Weekly claiming it is "a cast album that gleefully sends up all the Hollywood musical conventions we're being deprived of."20 The soundtrack was released June 15, 1999 by Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group. "Blame Canada" was constantly highlighted as one of the best from the soundtrack and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. "I was like, 'We're going to get nominated for an Academy Award for this.' I really was," Parker said. "I even told him [Shaiman]."23 The song takes place in the film when the United States blames Canada for corrupting its youth. "We're making fun of people who pick ridiculous targets to blame anything about what's going on in their lives, so Canada was just the perfect, ridiculous, innocuous choice for a target," said Shaiman.23
The team working on the film commuted between the project and the series, pushing both to scheduling extremes (changes to Bigger, Longer & Uncut were made as late as two weeks before its release) and fighting constantly with Paramount.24 "They wanted a Disney kind of trailer. We said no. They put together a totally un-South Park MTV video for the song What Would Brian Boitano Do?. We had to go make our own version."24 Paramount's first trailer for the film advertised it, according to Parker, as "the laughiest movie of the summer," and promoted it in such a way that South Park is completely against. Parker and Stone told the studio of their dissatisfaction with the trailer, and upon the creation of a second trailer with minimal changes, the two broke the videocassette in half and sent it back in its original envelope. "It was war," said Stone in 2000. "They were saying, 'Are you telling us how to do our job?' And I was going, 'Yes, because you're fucking stupid and you don't know what you're doing.'"25
In another instance, Paramount took the songs from the film and created a music video to be aired on MTV. In accordance with broadcast standards, the studio cut various "R-rated" parts out and edited it into what Parker described as a "horrible little medley," with all humor absent. The studio sent the original tape to Parker and Stone over a weekend, with plans to send it to MTV on Monday to prepare it for airtime beginning Wednesday. Stone instead put the tape in the trunk of his car and went home. Paramount threatened to sue Parker and Stone in response.25 Parker also noted that the title was an obvious innuendo, and "they [the MPAA] just didn't get it".26
Paramount Pictures won a jump ball with Warner Bros. (parent companies Viacom and Time Warner, respectively, jointly owned Comedy Central until Time Warner exited the venture in 2003) to release the film in the United States, with Warner Bros. getting the international rights. Viacom bought all of Comedy Central since Always in 2004,7 but Warner Bros. continued to distribute the film internationally.2728
The film was rated R for "pervasive vulgar language and crude sexual humor, and for some violent images" by the Motion Picture Association of America; this rating did not come as surprise to most media outlets, as many had predicted long before that the film would likely be for ages 18 and over.7 However, there was much more discussion within the MPAA than initially reported in the media. The board's objections to the film were described in highly specific terms by Paramount Pictures executives in private memos circulating at Paramount. For months the ratings board insisted on the more prohibitive NC-17.29 South Park was screened by the MPAA six times - five times, the board returned the movie to Paramount with an NC-17.24 The last submission the filmmakers received was an NC-17, two weeks before release. A marketing agent from Paramount called the two and explained that the studio "needed" an R. In response, Stone called producer Scott Rudin and "freaked out." Rudin then called a Paramount executive and, in Stone's words, "freaked out on them." The next day the film was changed to an R rating without reason, with the original film intact.25 "The ratings board only cared about the dirty words; they're so confused and arbitrary," said Parker to The New York Times shortly before the release of the picture. "They didn't blink twice because of violence."29 During production of trailer for the film, the raters objected to certain words but had no problem with a scene in which cartoon bullets are killing soldiers. "They had a problem with words, not bullets," he said.29 The MPAA gave Paramount specific notes for the film; in contrast, Parker and Stone's NC-17 comedy Orgazmo, released in 1997 by independent distributor October Films, was not given any specifications as to make the movie acceptable for an R rating.25 The duo attributed the R rating to the fact that Paramount is a member of the MPAA; the distributor dismissed these claims.30 The film was given a 15 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification with no cuts made. It was rated MA15+ (Mature accompanied for those under 15) by the Australian Classification Board without cuts.
As predicted through the actions of the boys in the film, there were numerous news reports of underage fans of South Park engaging in unsuccessful attempts to gain entrance to the film at theaters.30 There were reports of adolescents purchasing tickets for WB's own Wild Wild West and instead sitting in to see South Park.31 This came as a result of a movie-industry crackdown that would make it tougher for minors to sneak into R-rated films, as proposed by President Bill Clinton at the time in response to the moral panic generated by the Columbine High School massacre, which occurred two months before the film's release.32 South Park was cited, along with American Pie as explicit films released the summer of 1999 tempting teens to sneak into theaters.33 When the film was released in the United Kingdom in August 1999, there were similar reports of the film drawing an underage crowd.34
Hayes, voice of Chef in the film, responded to conservatives urging prudishness as a cure for society's ills: "If we give in to that and allow [entertainment] to become a scapegoat, you might wind up living in who-know's-what kind of state.... If you believe in [your artistic vision] and you've got a moral conviction, take it to 'em!"35 The rating of film later brought comparisons to Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, released in theaters in a digitally altered and censored version just two weeks after South Park.36 Kubrick's original cut was given an NC-17 rating, but Warner Bros. then blocked out characters in an orgy scene so the film could be rated R. In response to these debates and controversy, Stone called the MPAA a "bumbling, irresponsible organization".37
The licensing arm of Paramount took the step of significantly expanding retail distribution beyond specialty stores (Hot Topic, Spencer's) to big chains (Target, J.C. Penney), which involved carefully stripping T-shirts of racy slogans from the television show.38 Licensing industry observers credited Comedy Central with carving out a profitable niche in an industry dominated by powerful partnerships that link fast-food chains and Hollywood movie studios, which was particularly tough for South Park, as no fast-food chains wanted to ally themselves with the show's racy content.39 Eventually, J.C. Penney ended the tie-ins with the show in April 1999 as a result of customer complaints.40
The film also suffered negative publicity before release. It was initially reported that on the day of the Columbine High School massacre, a friend of the killers was seen wearing a black T-shirt depicting characters from South Park.41 Both Parker and Stone come from Colorado, and Stone went to Heritage High School, not far from Columbine High. He proceeded to take three days off from work following the shootings. "Nothing seemed funny after that," he said.29 South Park was, at the time, generally waning in popularity: ratings dropped nearly 40 percent with the premiere of the series' third season and, according to Entertainment Weekly, "it [wasn't] the pop-culture behemoth it was last year ."24 In response to the decline, Parker commented "Suddenly we suck and we're not cool anymore. The funny thing is, last year we were saying the same things and we were hip, fresh, and cute. Now they're telling us we're pushing 30, we're failures, and we're sellouts."24
The film was released to generally positive critical reception; Rita Kempley of The Washington Post called the film "outrageously profane" and "wildly funny", noting that "While censorship is the filmmakers' main target […] [Parker and Stone's] favorite monster is the Motion Picture Association of America, self-appointed guardians of the nation's chastity. It's all in good dirty fun and in service of their pro-tolerance theme."42 Stephen Holden of The New York Times heavily praised the film, regarding the film's "self-justifying moral" as "about mass entertainment, censorship and freedom of speech." He also praised Cartman's subjection to the V-chip, which he called "the movie's sharpest satirical twist, reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange.43 Entertainment Weekly graded the film an A- and praised the film's message in a post-Columbine society, as well as Parker and Shaiman's musical numbers, which "brilliantly parody / honor the conventions of Broadway show tunes and, especially, the Disney-formula ditties of Alan Menken."44 The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan neutrally regarded the offensive nature of the film, commenting "Yes, the lampooning is more broad than incisive, but under the bludgeoning of this blunt instrument very few sacred cows are left standing."43 In a review that was later quoted on the film's original home video cover, Richard Corliss from Time warned viewers "You may laugh yourself sick -- as sick as this ruthlessly funny movie is."45 Corliss would later name the film his fifth favorite animated film of all time.46
The film had its fair share of critical detractors, without noting the conservative family groups offended by the film's humor.4748 Jack Matthews of the Daily News suggested the film's running time made Parker and Stone "run out of ideas",49 while Roger Ebert stated that the "vicious social satire" of the film both "offended" and "amazed" him. Ebert called the film "the year's most slashing political commentary", but also said "It is too long and runs out of steam, but it serves as a signpost for our troubled times. Just for the information it contains about the way we live now, thoughtful and concerned people should see it. After all, everyone else will."50 It has a "Certified Fresh" rating of 81% on Rotten Tomatoes; the site's consensus stating "Its jokes are profoundly bold and rude but incredibly funny at the same time." It also has a 74 out of 100 rating, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", at Metacritic.51
On a budget of $21 million, the film opened at #4 with a gross of $14,783,983 over the four-day Independence Day weekend from 2,128 theaters for an average of $6,947 per theater ($11,090,000 and an average of $5,211 over three days) and a total of $19,637,409 since its Wednesday launch. It ended up with a gross of $52,037,603 in the United States and Canada, with the 3-day opening making up 38% of the final domestic gross. It made an additional $31.1 million internationally for a total of $83,137,603 worldwide.2
The film was released on DVD worldwide November 23, 1999, with a VHS release initially for rental services only, such as Blockbuster.52 A traditional retail VHS release followed on May 16, 2000.53 The DVD contained three theatrical trailers for special features, which many criticized as being typical of "bare-bones" DVD releases.54
The film was re-released for Blu-ray on October 5, 2009 in celebration of its decade-long anniversary. The film's 1080p AVC encode (at 1.78:1) was taken from the original film source as well with random audio sync issues, despite the fact the film was animated entirely digitally.15 IGN's Scott Lowe explained, "Although clearly aged, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut looks great and is free of the washed out, compressed imperfections of previous standard definition releases of the film."17 However, Michael Zupan of DVDTalk notes that an automatic digital scratch removal process may have inadvertently removed some intentional lines from the picture, notably during Cartman's first scene with the V-chip.57 The disc contained a full-length audio commentary from Parker and Stone, as well as other notable crew members present.10
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Blame Canada". To date, it is the one of two R-rated animated films to be recognized in any category by the Academy. (The other film being Waltz with Bashir.) When the time came to perform the track live at the ceremony, as is custom for the Academy Awards, it ran into trouble with ABC's standards and practices department: censors demanded they write TV-friendly lyrics.58 "It would be ironic to have to change the words in a movie about censorship," remarked Shaiman.58 Censors were particularly unhappy with the use of the word fuck and allusions to the Ku Klux Klan. When Parker and Shaiman declined these requests, Robin Williams, a friend of Shaiman's, sang the song with black tape over his mouth and turning his back when curse words were to be sang.59 Parker and Stone attended the ceremony in drag, wearing replicas of dresses previously worn at the Oscars by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez.60 The two claimed years later that they took acid before the ceremony and were high while wearing the outfits.6162 The song ended up losing to "You'll Be in My Heart", a Tarzan song by Phil Collins (that film came from ABC parent Disney). In response, Parker and Stone ridiculed him in two consecutive episodes of the series' fourth season ("Cartman's Silly Hate Crime 2000" and "Timmy 2000").63 In DVD commentary, Parker states "we were fully expecting to lose, just not to Phil Collins".64
- American Film Foundation: Nominated for The E Pluribus Unum Award For Feature Film
- Nominated for 3 Annie Awards
- Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature
- Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production for Mary Kay Bergman as "Sheila Broflovski"
- Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production
- MTV Movie Award: Won, Best Musical Performance for Uncle Fucka
- Chicago Film Critics Association: Won for Best Original Score (Marc Shaiman and David Newman)
- New York Film Critics Circle Awards: Won for Best Animated Feature
- Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards: Nominated for Best Animated Film
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: Won for Best Music
- Motion Picture Sound Editors: Won for Best Sound Editing - Music - Animation, Nominated for Best Sound Editing - Animated Feature
- Online Film Critics Society Awards: Won for Best Original Score
- Satellite Awards: Nominated for Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media and Best Original Song for Quiet Mountain Town
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs:
- Blame Canada - Nominated66
- AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals - Nominated67
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - Nominated Animated Film68
- The film has been nominated by the American Film Institute for their list of the Greatest American Musicals.69
- In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted the film at No. 13 in the greatest comedy films of all time.
- In 2001, Terry Gilliam selected it as one of the ten best animated films of all time.70
- In 2006, South Park finished fifth on the United Kingdom Channel 4's "50 Greatest Comedy Films" vote.71
- Readers of Empire Magazine, in a 2006 poll, voted it No. 166 in the greatest films of all time.
- In 2008, the film was included in Entertainment Weekly's list of the "25 Movie Sequels We'd Line Up to See"72 and "The Funniest Movies of the Past 25 Years".73
- The film is No. 5 on Bravo's 100 Funniest Movies.
- IGN named it the sixth greatest animated film of all time in their Top 25 list.74
- In Guinness World Records 2001, this film was said to have the most profanity used in an animated film. It contained a total of 399 swear words (the word "fuck" was used 146 times), 199 offensive gestures and also contained 221 acts of violence.citation needed
Jack Valenti, president of the MPAA, later said he regretted not giving the film an NC-17 rating.36 In response to the film's controversy, the MPAA began backing up their ratings on print posters by posting reasons to explain them, beginning in 2000.75
The film's use of profanity gained it a Guinness World Record in their 2001 edition for "Most Swearing in an Animated Film" (399 profane words, including 144 uses of fuck;76 128 offensive gestures; and 221 acts of violence—in effect, one every six seconds). In the song "Uncle Fucka", the curse word fuck is said 31 times. The pop punk band Blink-182 would often end songs on their The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show Tour with lines from "Uncle Fucka" throughout 2000. The lines can be heard on the band's live album, The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!).77
In 2006, a memo between Stone and the MPAA dating from shortly before the film was released leaked to the Internet. The memo informs the board of several jokes kept in but also taken per their request. The memo ends with a tongue-in-cheek remark to the organization: "P.S. This is my favorite memo ever."78 There is an urban myth that the film was also banned in Iraq, for its depiction of Saddam Hussein as Satan's abusive homosexual lover. Because of the sanctions against Iraq at the time and the collapse of the Iraqi Dinar (which kept theaters and retailers from being able to pay the required licensing fees), no film production company had been able to distribute movies in Iraq since the Gulf War, although the content of the film made it highly unlikely to have been approved by the government censors in any case.79 While the real Hussein was on trial for genocide charges in 2006, Matt Stone joked that the U.S. military was showing the movie repeatedly to the former dictator as a form of torture.80 Parker and Stone were also given a signed photo of Hussein by the American soldiers.81
In 2011, Time called South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut the sixth greatest animated feature of all-time.22
Parker and Stone said in a 2008 interview that a theatrically released sequel would most likely be what concludes the series.82
In 2011, when the official South Park website FAQ was asked whether a sequel would be made, it was responded with "the first South Park movie was so potent, we're all still recovering from the blow. Unfortunately, at the current moment, there are no plans for a second South Park movie. But you never know what the future may bring, crazier things have happened..."83
In 2013, Warner Bros. Entertainment relinquished to Paramount Pictures its rights to co-finance a potential future South Park movie during their negotiations to co-finance the Christopher Nolan science fiction film Interstellar. Previous efforts to create a second South Park film were complicated due to both studios retaining certain rights to the property.84
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