Christmas Time in South Park
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment/CBS Video
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 154 mins
Audio: English 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound
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.
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.
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.
Devoid of extras save forced previews, this set is focused solely on the episodes.
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.