South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut – 25th Anniversary Limited Edition (4K UHD Review)

  • Reviewed by: Bill Hunt
  • Review Date: Jun 21, 2024
  • Format: 4K Ultra HD
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South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut – 25th Anniversary Limited Edition (4K UHD Review)


Trey Parker & Matt Stone

Release Date(s)

1999 (June 25, 2024)


Comedy Central Films/Scott Ruden Productions/Braniff Productions/Paramount Pictures (Paramount Home Entertainment)
  • Film/Program Grade: A
  • Video Grade: B+
  • Audio Grade: B+
  • Extras Grade: B-

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - 25th Anniversary Edition (4K Ultra HD)



I’m definitely a South Park fan, but I’ll confess... when I first saw this film at the local cineplex, my mouth just dropped open in shock for the first 15 minutes. Then I laughed good, hard, and often. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is rude, crude, and extremely funny. It’s certainly one of the most politically incorrect animated films you’ll ever see. And it’s refreshing as hell.

If you happened to follow the smack-down, grudge match fought in the media between South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and MPAA president Jack Valenti prior to this film’s release, you probably know what to expect here. The reality is that the more Valenti trashed this film, the more people wanted to see it. Trey and Matt did seemingly everything possible to crank up the show’s already foul attitude for its big screen debut, and after a while they just started throwing things into this movie that they knew would piss off the ratings board—in your face filmmaking at its finest. To quote Kyle Broflovski’s mom here, “Just remember what the MPAA says: Horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don’t say any naughty words!” Point made. And the score is Eric Cartman 1, MPAA 0.

Despite all of that profanity, there’s still a good story here (silly though it might be). One afternoon, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny sneak into a showing of the Canadian-import movie Asses of Fire, starring none other than Terrance & Phillip. Soon afterwards, their speech can be measured in OPM (Obscenities Per Minute) and their parents are none too happy about it. When they discover that a movie from up north is the source of the problem, the mothers of tiny South Park, Colorado promptly declare war on Canada in retaliation (a standard theme on the TV show—parents never take responsibility for their kids if they can lay blame elsewhere).

Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein and Satan are up to no good (And how often are you going to read those words in a film review?), with plans to hasten the end of the world. So naturally, it’s up to Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and the ghost of Kenny (“You bastards!”) to save the day. Along the way, viewers will be treated to tons of laughs, at least one good Jar Jar Binks joke, and a surprisingly entertaining and Oscar-nominated batch of songs, including the likes of What Would Brian Boitano Do?, Blame Canada!, It’s Easy, M’Kay, and the dreaded Uncle Fucka (in which the F-word is used many, many times).

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was animated digitally in a process that’s meant to replicate the look of traditional “done by hand” animation with physical pieces of colored construction paper (which is how the original South Park pilot was created). Upon completion, the film was scanned to 35 mm internegative stock framed at the 1.85:1 aspect ratio for its original theatrical release. For this new Ultra HD, it appears that original negative has itself been scanned in 4K to create a new Digital Intermediate, with new grading for high dynamic range in Dolby Vision. Essentially all of the detail—such as there is—that’s in that original negative is represented here on screen, including all of the line work and faux paper texturing. But there’s also a very light wash of photochemical grain that’s natural and organic looking at all times. Colors are well saturated and all of the subtle variations in hues and shading that were present in the original digital animation are visible. Beyond that, there’s not really much else to say. HDR expands the color and contrast space a little, but given the nature of this animation the improvements are very subtle. The film certainly looks great, and arguably better than it ever has before, but no one is going to mistake this for a reference quality 4K image—it’s just not that kind of film.

Likewise, the film’s English audio, which is included here in the same 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix found on the original 2009 Blu-ray release (reviewed here at The Bits) sounds very good indeed. The soundstage is pleasingly wide, but largely front focused, with the surround channels engaged lightly for a bit of atmospherics, some occasional directional cues, and musical ambience. Clarity and fidelity are good as well, and the music sounds great from start to finish. Note that the 4K disc includes English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, with optional subtitles in English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and French. The Blu-ray disc in the package also includes the English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix but that’s all, with subs available in English (this is Sing-a-Long text) and English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing only.

Paramount’s new Ultra HD package is a 2-disc set that includes the film in 4K as well as 1080p HD on Blu-ray. (Note that this is a newly-authored disc, with new menus and encoding, not the same BD released in 2009.) There are no extras on the 4K disc itself, but the Blu-ray adds the following special features…

  • Audio Commentary with Matt Stone and Trey Parker
  • What Would Brian Boitano Do? Music Video (SD – 2:44)
  • Teaser Trailer (HD – :55)
  • Theatrical Trailer #1 (HD – 1:32)
  • Theatrical Trailer #2 (SD – 1:51)

These features are identical to those found on the 2009 Blu-ray, including the full-length audio commentary which was recorded specifically for that disc. It’s a very funny track. Trey and Matt joke, laugh, and tell great stories, then start inviting in other staffers and just about anyone who happened to be in the building at the time... whether they worked on the film or not. (“Wow, I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I didn’t work on this film!”) You get the idea. The commentary is a hoot. Also included are a trio of trailers in HD, and the original 1999 DVD’s music video. You also get a Digital Copy code on a paper insert, though it only redeems at Fandango at Home (ex Vudu).

When South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut first came out on DVD twenty-five years ago, I was at a Target store one day and watched as a little boy no older than ten pointed at the disc on the shelf and shouted, “You killed Kenny!” His mother immediately grabbed it, put it in her shopping cart, and headed for the checkout aisle. I would have paid damn good money to see the expression on her face when she realized how inappropriate that decision was! To be fair, I’m not sure how much that experience really needed (or benefits from) a 4K Ultra HD upgrade, but what the hell—it’s like $23 on sale. If you really love this film, there are worse ways to spend your cash. And it makes a nice double-feature with Parker and Stone’s Team America: World Police which is also now available in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount (see our review here). Enjoy!

- Bill Hunt

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