the studio gate

the backlot

the screening room
The Screening Room
south park 

I haven't watched "South Park" for years. Not that I don't like the show. With a young kid in the house, usually it's Disney Channel or something about animals on TV. That's okay with me. But every once in a while, when my daughter's asleep, I'll turn on "South Park" to see what's up. The humor at times runs a little dry. After ten seasons, the show was bound to have those "jump the shark" moments. But overall, the show is still very funny after all these years.

In missing the past few seasons, I didn't realize that there were episodes where the "South Park" gang goes to a magical place called Imaginationland. Compiled into a short feature film, "South Park: Imaginationland" is now on DVD. As Cartman might say, this is some crazy &}(@!

I've watched most of films from "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have made over the years. I'm a fan of their low budget film, "Orgazmo" (1997), and the big budget puppet movie, "Team America: World Police" (2004). Even "BASEketball" (1998) had some laughs in it. "South Park" and its feature film from 1999 will probably forever cement Stone and Parker as the class clowns who made it big. Cut from the same humorous cloth as ZAZ (Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams & David Zucker), and early John Landis, the "South Park" duo skewers every culture, every politician, every celebrity and rarely backs down from ticking people off. Their sense of humor is sharp, and their digs are in good fun.

"South Park" is as raunchy as any television show I've seen. "Imaginationland" takes an already crude show and pounces on any morality left in our society. This feature-length version of the Comedy Central show pushes the boundaries of good taste, and that's what I love about it.

There is nothing redeeming on the surface of "Imaginationland." Kyle, Cartman, Stan, and Butters are taken to this magical land where their childhood heroes and cartoon characters are alive and well. Unfortunately, terrorists take Imaginationland over and blow up the wall that separates the good citizens from the bad meanies that include Stormtroopers, Manbearpig, and every possible bad guy you've ever seen. Violence ensues and it's up to the boys to set things right. Oh, and Kyle loses a bet with Cartman that
Leprechauns exist. Since Kyle loses, let's just say he's got to do something really, really heinous to Cartman.

"Imaginationland" is as hilarious as "South Park" gets. It's totally violent (Strawberry Shortcake gets it bad) and it's something that appeals to the college guy in all of us. Cartman is relentless in his pursuit of making Kyle pay for losing the Leprechaun bet. If you're offended by graphic humor, this is not a movie for you.

As raunchy as "South Park" gets, the show still has a sweetness to it. Perhaps it's the round drawings of the characters, or the jumpy animation, or the voicing. Maybe it's the stories and "messages" at the end of some of the episodes. Perhaps it's the characters. Maybe it's just because it's all usually pretty damned funny. 

Bill Kallay

Special thanks to Click Communications

Photo: © Comedy Partners. All rights reserved.

Quick Glimpse


Typical and funny "South Park"

Directors: Matt Stone & Trey Parker

Cast: Matt Stone & Trey Parker


Extra episodes, audio commentary

Not Rated (strong language, violence, adult situations...not for young kids)


Picture: Excellent
Sound: Excellent

Animation that puts traditional 2-D and computer animation to shame...(not really)

Aspect Ratio (1.33:1)

Dolby Digital 5.1

March 11, 2008