Soth Park: Pushing the Limits of Cartoon Decency

Topics: Trey Parker, South Park, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Pages: 6 (2627 words) Published: March 31, 2005
South Park, the animated TV series aired on Comedy Central was created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and is one of the many new shows that involve animation with high-level adult comedy that parodies current events going on across the United States and throughout the world. South Park is just one of many new shows that involve this sort of high end entertainment and they are taking the television ratings by storm. This show, along with others of its nature such as Family Guy, The Simpsons, and King of the Hill are all extremely controversial in nature and in regards to the situations portrayed on the television screen. These shows have gotten consistently more obnoxious, racial, and detrimental in content that it has caused major concern with viewers of all statures, whether it is a housewife mother's concern with their 10 year olds viewing habits or whether it be concern in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In light of all the controversy and lewd content, South Park continues to push the limits of what is acceptable for television viewing, continually going over the edge in many viewers' eyes. Like it or not South Park is extremely inventive in nature and on many levels has been more successful then anyone could have ever dreamed. In the following pages we will explore the many different aspects, criticisms, and accomplishments this heavily controversial cable television cartoon has touched upon. South Park is an animated series that was created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker in the mid 90's featuring four boys who live in the Colorado town of South Park, which is often beset by frequent odd occurrences that prove mysteriously similar to current events going on in our world. The show grew out of a short film that Trey Parker and Matt Stone created called "Frosty" or also known as "The Spirit of Christmas". "Frosty", also known as "A Christmas Story," was shot on an old, rough and tumble 16mm Arriflex camera that was on an animation stand at the University of Colorado film department in Boulder. The video was very primitive stuff in nature, as it was patched together from construction-paper cutouts that were simply glued together with nothing more then Elmer's Glue. The cutouts were then placed on construction paper backgrounds and photographed frame by frame. The "Spirit of Christmas" on the other hand, began to pick up steam when Fox executive Brian Graden, whom Matt and Trey met through contacts they had made premiering their previous work at The Sundance Film Festival. FOX gave them $2,000 to make a video portfolio that he could send as a Christmas card to other company executives to pitch the idea of the show. "I did the animation using nothing more then construction paper cutouts," Parker says, "and we both improvised the dialogue, screaming obscenities at each other in my basement for hours while my mom was baking fudge upstairs wondering what in the world we were doing. It cost $750 and we pocketed the rest." To complete this project they used relatively the same exact setup as they had previously done at the University of Colorado in Boulder. When it came to doing work for the first Pilot show for South Park, Matt and Trey used more than 5,000 construction paper cut outs and a the same exact 16mm camera. Each action shot was filmed frame by frame directly onto video film. It took approximately 70 days to make the pilot for the show. Using traditional methods for the Comedy Central pilot the duo claimed it "took us forever, because it was 22 minutes long," Stone says. Another animator, Terrence Masson, was the first to suggest that South Park could be made using CG and he proceeded to make a 10 second playground scene using cut-outs he had received with approval from Matt and Trey. Computers were used starting with the very first episode, but the episodes didn't look like construction-paper animation again until episode 105, "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig." The style of...
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