South Park-Imaginationland (2007)

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Released 18-Jun-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Bonus Episode-ManBearPig
Bonus Episode-Woodland Critter Christmas
Storyboards
Audio Commentary-Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 67:36
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:35) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Trey Parker
Eric Stough
Matt Stone
Studio
Distributor
Comedy Central
Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Scott Nickoley
Adam Berry
Jamie Dunlap


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.75:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

For three consecutive nights Cartman has seen a leprechaun running through the woods. Nobody believes him, but the only person to challenge his claim is Kyle. The pair make a wager, Cartman will give Kyle $10 if they don't see a leprechaun that day and Kyle agrees to suck Cartman's balls if they do. Unfortunately for Kyle they do (this seems an appropriate juncture to mention the story is subtitled: Kyle Sucks Cartman's Balls). The pair and their classmates chase the leprechaun down and catch him, only to hear him babbling some nonsense about an impending terrorist attack. Needless to say, Kyle reneges on his bet.

The following day the boys are approached by a strange man who claims to be the mayor of Imaginationland, a place where every creature that has ever been imagined resides, and is looking for his leprechaun friend. Upon hearing the leprechaun's warning, the mayor panics and takes a reluctant Stan, Kenny, Kyle, Jimmy and Butters back to Imaginationland to help them protect the land. It seems terrorists are trying to invade Imaginationland and destroy the barrier which separates all the evil imaginary creatures from the good imaginary creatures and start an imaginary war - something the US government has feared for a long time, but is barely ready to defend themselves against. As the situation worsens, it becomes clear that Butters, with the aid of Kurt Russel, may be the only hope for Imaginationland.

Meanwhile, Cartman isn't too happy about Kyle reneging on their contract and takes his case all the way to the supreme court for justice (and nice moist balls).

South Park: Imaginationland was originally intended as a South Park movie, but creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone split it into three episodes of the show's 11th series when they finally admitted they couldn't stretch out enough good material to make a full-length feature and didn't want to pad out the material they did have. It is a good thing too as the pair are really on their A game with Imaginationland. Not a moment goes to waste in this biting satire.

Using the pop-culture-and-politics-in-a-blender approach that South Park has always been famous for, Imaginationland nails every stab it takes. The story digs at easy targets like the war on terror, Christianity, Mel Gibson and The Chronicles of Narnia and pays a twisted homage to classics that the authors appear to have a degree of respect for, such as Where the Wild Things Are and obscure John Cassavetes movies. Where else are you going to see Ronald McDonald stumbling a battlefield searching for his lost arm, a la Saving Private Ryan, or Wally form Where's Wally? team up with Jesus and the Care Bears to take on Freddy Kruger, the aliens from Alien and the predator (finally a movie with Aliens and Predators worth watching)?

I honestly can't recommend South Park: Imaginationland enough. Anyone that has ever as much as smirked at South Park in the past will find plenty here to enjoy. Anyone with a cynical world view and a sense of humour will be in heaven (which I'm sure is a small part of Imaginationland).

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is NOT 16x9 enhanced (particularly interesting as the show is typically in 1.33:1 aspect).

The video is clear and very sharp, despite interlacing artefacts being noticeable if the video is paused. There is no sign of low level noise. There is an excellent level of detail in the blacks and mock-shadows, though this isn't much of a surprise for a cartoon that is painted in bold block colours.

The colours are typically South Park block colours. Though simplistic, they are bright and vivid, which looks great.

Aside from interlacing artefacts, that aren't really noticeable during playback other than as a mild jitter during infrequent panning shots, there are no noticeable video artefacts in the transfer.

English subtitles are present for the feature.

This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at the end of the credits at 67:35 and was consequently not noticeable on my equipment.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

A single English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track (not 2.0 as the packaging indicates) is present for the film.

The audio track is crisp and clear. The dialogue is well balanced and easy to understand (with the expected exception of Kenny!). The audio appears as well synchronised to the video as you could reasonably expect of a cartoon.

The show features an excellent, over-the-top orchestral score that frequently parodies the scores of many a Hollywood blockbuster in its excess.

A reasonable degree of surround activity is present in the mix. The subwoofer gets a decent workout form the numerous explosions in the show, but not much else.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Audio commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have frequently made their disinterest in commentary tracks known on South Park DVD releases, during which they typically grumble about having to do a commentary and give up after 5 minutes. The pair make quite a point in this one that they are going to do a proper commentary and end up satisfying for the 47 minutes they last. They are frank and honest about their motivations and feelings in making the movie length episode and specifically avoid getting technical. The highlight is definitely their take on Mel Gibson, who is the butt of one of the movie's funniest moments, who they more or less sum up as a crazy bugger who really knows how to make a good movie!

Woodland Critter Christmas Bonus Episode (22:07)

One of the funniest episodes in the show's lengthy run, which happens to introduce the Satanic Woodland Creatures characters that take the lead in the nightmare creature invasion in Imaginationland, is presented as a bonus episode.

ManBearPig Bonus Episode (22:06)

Another of the funnier recent episodes. This one introduces the sinister ManBearPig, who features in Imaginationland, and the equally fictional Al Gore who is desperately crusading for attention and/or to stop ManBearPig.

Animated Storyboards (3:58)

Two animated storyboard sequences, with accompanying audio from the actual film, just like the real ones that were sent off to the show's cheap animators. Interesting stuff.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

The Region 1 and Region 4 editions are identical save for PAL/NTSC differences.

Summary

South Park:Imaginationland is the best thing to have come from the minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone since South Park's inception. The story blends a timeless mix of pop-culture (itself a great achievement), crude humour and sharp satire to produce a genuine comedy masterpiece.

The video and audio are flawless. The extras are highly worthwhile, even if you could find the bonus episodes in other DVD sets.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Monday, July 14, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
It was awesome! - Sam