The Next South Park Movie Must Go Back To What Made The Original So Good

Now that South Park vows to make more films, the series should learn from its first and best feature, the 1999 theatrical release South Park: bigger, longer and uncut. Making a successful leap to features isn’t easy for an anime TV show. Whether it be Bobs Burgers movie information or The Simpsons movieany attempt to bring the charms of half-hour cartoon series to a larger, more ambitious canvas always risks drowning out what made the show unique in the first place.

One of the most notable examples of a series avoiding this fate came in the form of South Park: bigger, longer and uncut. In the continuity of the feature film of the Comedy Central phenomenon, the first South Park the film seemed doomed when the project was announced. After all, as a TV show, South Park was a messy program with intentionally bad animation and a crude sense of humor. These qualities made for great small-screen comedy, but could easily have turned grating when forced to fill the theatrical scope and extended runtime of a feature film.


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Featuring some of South Park’the best jokes of all time, South Park: bigger, longer and uncut was a distillation of the show’s appeal. As goofy and silly as the TV series, but filled with surprisingly clever satirical commentary on censorship, international relations and religion, South ParkThe first film was a real success. It was therefore surprising that South Park did not return to feature-length storytelling for decades. In August 2021, however, the show’s creators announced 14 new South Park films were in preparation. Unfortunately, the first of these features failed to capture the feel of South Park: bigger, longer and uncut. However, these new films can improve by abandoning attempts at topical satire and embracing more ambitious storytelling.

The South Park Movie Deal Explained

Cartman in front of the South Park Season 25 logo.

According to their agreement with Paramount, the creators of South Park are ready to make 14 feature films South Park movies in the years to come. The first four of these films were released in 2021 as episodes of South Park season 24 and are a mixed bag. All are COVID-centric specials, with “The Pandemic Special” and “South ParQ’s Vaccination Special” being entirely COVID-related while the “Post-COVID” saga (consisting of South Park: post-Covid and South Park: Post-Covid: The return of the Covid) was a more ambitious and bizarre futuristic satire. The latter received more critical acclaim for eschewing attempts at timely jokes in favor of more character-driven comedy, while South Park season 25, released in early 2022, featured a return to more current satire with traditionally shorter episodes. However, the approach that the next South Park which films will take is not yet clear.

Why post-COVID worked better than the pandemic/vaccination special

With the two-part “Post-COVID” saga, the South Park the team eschewed the intensely updated COVID jokes of “The Pandemic Special” and “South ParQ’s Vaccination Special” for something closer to South Park: Bigger, longer and uncut. The immersive and cohesive story of the “Post-COVID” saga depicts South Park‘s Cartman, Kenny, Stan and Kyle come of age for the first time, drawing its humor from the unlikely sight of Eric Cartman turning out to be a kind-hearted family man and a devout believer. As this summary indicates, the “Post-COVID” saga has worked better for fans who care about the show’s characters than for viewers who expect current affairs jokes.

South ParkThe subversive Cold War plot in Season 25 proved the show can still effectively comment on political issues as they unfold, but the “Post-COVID” saga succeeded precisely because its best moments , like Kyle’s frustration with Cartman, an unhinged Butters becoming a demented NFT salesman, and Kenny’s harrowing plan, were more rooted in South Park lore only in the latest and greatest global news and latest celebrity gossip.

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The first South Park movie is a perfect guide

The musical movie South Park: bigger, longer and uncut remains the benchmark for adult prime-time cartoon feature adaptations, with The Simpsons movie and the four F’sautorama trolling movies. The first one South Park the film succeeds because it satirizes timeless subjects – primarily censorship, but also religion and war – and focuses its plot on South Park‘s characters, rather than trying to be intensely topical. The story of South ParkKyle’s young heroes trying to stop Kyle’s overzealous mother from leading the United States into a war against Canada is too absurd to relate to the specific 1999 zeitgeist, and crude gags like Chef saying for children to search for the clitoris to understand women did not date the film the way South Parkindividual episode plots do.

On the other hand, South Park Season 25’s Ukraine/Russia satire works precisely because the story is limited to one 20-minute episode. For South ParkTo be successful, these feature-length specials would have to use their longer runtimes to tell stories like the “Post-COVID” saga’s surprisingly moving glimpse into the adult lives of Kyle, Stan and company, or the first South Park the ambitious film story of Kenny dying, arriving in Hell, befriending Satan and ultimately saving the world.

South Park Seasons Can Still Tell Current Stories

South Park Cold War

Writes, produces and publishes week after week, South Park can still use the show’s regular episodes to tell timely stories as the movies embrace bigger, more ambitious ideas. It might be tempting to use each of South ParkUpcoming films tackle a different issue like vaccination or the COVID-19 pandemic, but the disappointing critical reception of “The Pandemic Special” and “South ParQ’s Vaccination Special” proves that it’s not a guaranteed win. Not only that, but the fact that South Park attempted to tell longer stories via serialization proves that the show’s creators know how to launch the show’s heroes into a bigger, more sprawling saga. In recent seasons, South ParkThe series’ serialized stories allowed the series to tell longer plots over an extended period of time, but the series’ reliance on gags based on current events meant that often these stories ended up falling flat near their conclusion. .

On the other hand, the cinematic spinoffs of the series do not run the same risk as South Park serialize its stories since films can tell a self-contained plot in a single outing, rather than having to change story events week by week based on current events. South ParkFuture movies are expected to focus on big ideas, like Kenny’s many deaths having a secret purpose or the thought that Butters’ comedic neglect on the show ultimately has dramatic consequences later in life, as did the “Post-COVID” saga. South Park: bigger, longer and uncutThe relentless attacks on the media, the US government, and even companies like Microsoft have proven that these character-driven stories still leave plenty of room for social commentary. Attempting to comment on hot issues with support as slow as feature films is a dumb errand, but telling bigger, more ambitious outlets would help South Park take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the film format.

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