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HTF DVD Review: Christmas Time in South Park

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   JustinCleveland

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Posted November 12 2007 - 11:03 AM

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Christmas Time in South Park

Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS Video
Year: 2006
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 154 mins
Rating: Unrated
Audio: English 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound
MSRP: $19.99

Release Date: November 13, 2007
Review Date: November 12, 2007

Is nothing sacred to Trey Parker and Matt Stone? I mean, I forgave them when they made fun of Scientology. And Hybrid owners. And even when they mocked Hillary Clinton and Oprah. But now that they’re taking aim at Christmas, all bets are off.

Hang on a second; my assistant just informed me that Wal-Mart has been running Christmas music for a few weeks now and that Best Buy started advertising Christmas specials since the first of November.

Nevermind. Have at it, boys. Christmas needs to be put back in its place.

I’m only half joking. The Christmas season has started absurdly early this year. “South Park” never ceases to entertain. Begun in 1995 as a viral video passed around Hollywood and later the Internet, “South Park” features a quartet of friends in a small town just outside Denver, CO. Calling attention to social issues and mocking people who have outgrown their britches, “South Park” is a cultural phenomenon; and funny to boot.

This single-disc set collects seven of the series’ most popular Christmas-themed episodes, including the introduction of Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo and an all-poop special called “A Very Crappy Christmas.” One of the things I love most about “South Park” is their ability to be simultaneously timely and timeless, skewering long-standing traditions. Nothing is sacred, from traditional Christmas pageants to more recent commercialism. Love those old Charlie Brown specials? They get mocked. Annoyed by people who are overly sensitive? They get mocked. It’s all done with the traditional “South Park” flair.

Video:
The video quality of these sets varies, dependent largely on the age of their source. Older episodes, like “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo,” are soft and lack definition. Newer episodes, like “Red Sleigh Down” and “Woodland Critter Christmas” are bright and vibrant. The moiré, long a problem with South Park, is all but eliminated.

Audio:
Like the video, the later episodes have a better audio track, though none are found to be particularly wanting. The 2.0 Dolby Stereo track is good and clear, with decent bass response and clean high range.

Extras:
Devoid of extras save forced previews, this set is focused solely on the episodes.

Overall:
The “South Park” Christmas specials are some of their most inspired. Guest starring everyone from Hitler to Charlie Manson, and featuring songs like “Christmas Time in Hell” and “Dreidel” in round, these episodes are far from traditional. But they are a lot of fun.

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted November 12 2007 - 09:41 PM

I'm a South Park whore, having bought EVERY disc that's come out so far (yet I refuse to pay to get it on Commercial Central with its on-screen garbage ruining the show) but I'm having a hard time finding a reason to get this one. Is there a single thing on it that would make it essential for a 'completist'? Anything, even a funny menu like "The Hits" discs have?? A shame this doesn't seem to have the Spanish and French versions of "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" that's on the Season 3 set, those are absolutely hilarious!
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#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted November 13 2007 - 05:08 AM

It's probably mostly for convenience. Having all the Christmas episodes on a single disc rather than having to search through multiple season sets, then keep swapping discs in the player. Also, for those like me who have only purchased the first couple season so far, it's an easy way to get all the Christmas eps without shelling out hundreds of dollars.
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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Brian D H

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Posted November 15 2007 - 02:19 AM

Probably correct. I bet it's only a matter of time until they collect all the Simpson's Halloween episodes in a similar fashion.
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#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Jay_B!

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Posted November 15 2007 - 09:55 PM

I have all the seasons to date anyways, so I don't need this. But.... is "Woodland Critter Christmas" on this set or not, I didn't see it on the commercials and no mention of it in this review. Of all the Christmas shows they've done, I think that one of the absolute best one they've made. It was so nice seeing the woodland critters again a few weeks back in the Imaginationland episodes.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Malcolm R

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Posted November 16 2007 - 05:14 AM

I saw the disc in Wal-Mart and Woodland Critters was listed on the back.
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#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Colin Jacobson

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Posted November 16 2007 - 09:32 AM

Yup, that episode is on the disc...
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