When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance & Phillip, they are pronounced "corrupted", and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada
No, you didn’t click on the wrong tab; this is the Classic Movies section. You may be asking yourself what South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut is doing here, but believe me this is no mistake. Viewed as a vulgar, poorly animated cartoon that served no greater purpose than making parents’ jobs harder in 1997, this could still be said of the series eleven years later. South Park may have gotten its start as a delinquent late night television series, but over the course of its existence it has transformed into one of the smartest, most satirical television programs of our time. There are few shows can show Steven Spielberg and George Lucas raping Indiana Jones while parodying The Accused and Deliverance.
Television shows adapted to big screens is a very tricky ordeal, especially when the show is still producing new episodes. Some movies revolve around storylines in the current season, while others can work as standalone affairs that even non-fans can enjoy. South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut falls into the latter category. Someone completely unaware of the South Park universe can pick up the film with no prior knowledge and enjoy it.
One of the reasons why the film requires no previous knowledge is due to the great pacing of the film. It takes the route of classic hand-drawn Disney films; setting up the main characters as well as the location the story takes place in.
We’re introduced to the town’s inhabitants and its surroundings with a cheerful song that sets the whole mood of the film. Stan, Kyle, Eric, and Kenny are a group of young boys who live in a small Colorado town. The boys are immensely excited for the film adaptation of their cherished television series Terrance and Phillip. They sneak into the R-rated film and experience three hours of non-stop profanity. As they walk out of Asses of Fire, it’s clear the film has affected the boys.
Kenny tries recreated one of the moves in the film and attempts to light one of his farts on fire. This leads to Kenny’s death, and Stan’s mother forming “Mothers against Canada”. Terrance and Phillip are captured, in retaliation the Canadians bomb the residence of the Baldwin brothers, all four of them. The United States declares war on Canada. Meanwhile in hell, Satan is torturing Kenny when Saddam Hussein appears and it is revealed he is Satan’s lover. Their relationship is dysfunctional, so much so that Satan wants to leave Saddam, but he can’t stand up to him.
As the war rages on the boys decide to form “La Resistance” to save Terrance and Phillip who are set to be executed. Little do the Americans know that if the blood of “the innocent” touches the ground Satan may return to earth. See where this is going? Canada begins bombing the United States, the blood does touch the ground, Satan and Saddam arrive and begin wreaking havoc, and Stan speaks to a large clitoris. All of this while Broadway-style songs are being sung, and you’re asking yourself, “Did they just do that?” Not to mention giddy child laughter.
What South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut does so well is make something that can only be done in animated form, in its own style. For this to be a live action film, or even a traditionally animated film would feel too real. With their cardboard cut-out Monty Python-style animation the film has created its own universe where everything you see is plausible. You’re completely immersed in the living breathing world Trey Park and Matt Stone has so craftily created.
The fact that the film mirrors itself within its plotline is one of the many messages the film makes. Little children should not be watching Asses of Fire, just as they should not be watching South Park, whether it’s the movie or television series. The amount of depth carries on through the film, from its well-developed characters to its comments on censorship, and digs at parental responsibilities.
However, it is the soundtrack that truly steals the show. Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman’s brilliant parodies of Broadway music numbers and Disney formulas honor the conventions just as much as they skewer them. Besides that, you’ll be singing the vulgar ditties in your head for some time to come. The film is without a doubt the best hand-drawn animated musical since The Lion King. That a film of this nature can entertain and satisfy so much proves how truly cardboard cut-out most films are.