Pictures of the Past: ‘South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut’ hits the spot

By Patrick Brady

Staff Writer

“South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut” is directed by Trey Parker, who co-wrote the script with Matt Stone. The characters are primarily voiced by Parker and Stone, but include additional voices from Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes, and most notably, George Clooney.

The film is based on the adult animated sitcom, “South Park,” which is well-known for its vulgar and off-beat humor.

While the film does not feature a star-studded cast, it somehow succeeds in bringing the paper mache characters to life due to its fresh and original script and catchy tunes.

The story revolves around four, fourth-grade boys – Kyle, Kenny, Stan, and Eric Cartman – who become foul-mouthed after watching an R-rated Canadian movie. Kyle’s mother, upon learning about the reason behind their cursing, decides to create a rebellion group called “Mothers Against Canada,” (M.A.C.) in an attempt to ban the movie. But, their movement quickly generates controversy, and M.A.C. decides to go to war with Canada after Canadian soldiers bomb the Baldwin residence.

Around the same time, Kenny dies and goes to hell after lighting one of his farts on fire. As the story progresses, the plot becomes more and more ridiculous as Kenny befriends Satan and his friends back on Earth try to rebel against their mothers. And as the finale finally rolls around, it is very hard to take the plot seriously anymore.

Unsurprisingly, Parker and Stone voiced most of the characters in the film – as they do on the show. But despite their lack of acting experience, they actually brought depth and emotion to the foul-mouthed cartoon characters.

This is partially due to the silly, yet somewhat heartfelt screenplay which they wrote. Although the humor is often juvenile, Parker and Stone give the kids some heart, since they truly care about each other and try to help one another on multiple occasions throughout the film.

While the plot might be random and far-fetched, the characters’ dialogue and reactions to the movie’s major plot points are – for the most part – realistic, which often adds to the hilarity of the scenes.

“Bigger, Longer, and Uncut” is known for being one of the best animated movies ever made – it even made the list on Rolling Stone’s top 40 greatest animated movies of all time. The film has also been recognized for its musical numbers. In fact, the film could be considered a musical.

And that’s not all – the film was even nominated for an Academy Award, due to its best original song, “Blame Canada.” Unfortunately, it lost to Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart.” 

Parker wrote most of the songs and produced the soundtrack for the film as well. Parker and Stone later went on to win dozens of awards for their Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon.”

Despite the R-rating and the large amount of criticism the film got after its release, it is rather tame compared to most movies nowadays. Sure, there is a lot of swearing and some violence, but for the most part, the film doesn’t venture into unknown R-rated territory.

I had absolutely zero expectations on my first viewing, since I heard the show was way too vulgar – even for most adults – but now, I can happily admit the film has turned me into a die-hard fan.

Despite the frequently crass language and humor, “Bigger, Longer, and Uncut” succeeds as not only a great animated film, but also a phenomenal musical. Although the lyrics are sometimes crude, all the songs are catchy and serve a purpose to further the plot.

“South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut” breaks the standard formula for animated films in the best – and most hilarious – sort of way.

Grade: A-

The film dares to go where no animated film has gone before.