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DVD Review

DVD cover

South Park


Starring (voice): Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Paramount Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 25 May 2009

Stan, Kyle and Butters find themselves in Imaginationland just as terrorists launch an attack that unleashes all of mankind's most evil characters imaginable. With the world's imaginations spinning out of control, the government prepares to nuke Imaginationland to put an end to the chaos. Racing against time to prevent nuclear annihilation, the citizens of Imaginationland realise their only hope of salvation lies with the unlikeliest of heroes, Butters. Also, ignoring the impending apocalypse, Cartman goes all the way to the Supreme Court to get justice for a bet he won against Kyle - who is now refusing to honour their written contract...

Imaginationland was originally broadcast as three episodes in 2007 as part of South Park's 11th season. The edition released here on DVD is the director's-cut feature-length version which includes all of the scenes that were cut for it to make it onto TV.

The story starts off with Cartman keen to prove to Kyle that leprechauns exist. In fact they've made a bet - if Kyle is correct then Cartman will give him some money, but if Cartman can prove that leprechauns are real then Kyle has to suck Cartman's balls. So, it's a bit of shock for Kyle to discover that Cartman was right. Cartman then spends the rest of the episode attempting to get Kyle to cough up, so to speak, and keep his end of the bet.

Sadly, for mankind, when they capture the leprechaun they stop him from making it to Imaginationland and warning the population that terrorists are about to strike. And when the terrorists do take control, their plan is to break down the wall between Imaginationland's good and evil characters.

There are numerous references to other movies (including Stargate - which is called 'Project Imagination Doorway' here) and numerous well known fictional characters pop up in Imaginationland.

Cartman is noticeably absent from the main storyline (in fact he's completely oblivious of it) as he spends his entire time trying to get Kyle to pay up.

While this release is enjoyable, it comes very close to outstaying it's welcome. Some of the plot drags on a little bit, and the Star Wars opening for part three is really lame - even if they do point this out.

Extras include an audio commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the two don't usually provide long commentaries, so it's no surprise to see that they bow out part way through episode three when they run out of things to say); two storyboarded scenes; and two bonus episodes (Woodland Critter Christmas and Manbearpig). For the first time I can recall, this is one DVD where it pays to watch the extras first. If you haven't seen the two extra episodes then I'd watch them before viewing the main feature as there are a number of references to them that only really make sense if you've seen those episodes.

Highlights in the audio commentary include them mentioning that a large Al Gore scene was cut, as well as the fact that a "Balsamic" vinegar joke was planned but never used.

While hardcore fans probably won't be interested in this release (as they'll be buying the box sets) casual South Park watchers will no doubt enjoy this hilarious slice of animated fun.


Darren Rea

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