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Will The South Park Movie Ever Get A Sequel?

South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut was a huge hit and went on to become a cult classic, so why has there never been a sequel to the South Park movie?

While there hasn’t been a new theatrically released South Park movie for over twenty years, that doesn’t mean that 1999’s South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut is guaranteed to receive a sequel any time soon. South Park has changed a lot over the years. What was once a bawdy, ribald cartoon comedy has since grown into a more mature (if no less scatological) political and social satire as South Park’s creators embraced the show’s potential for timely commentary during season 4.

South Park’s first movie, the theatrically released South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, was something of a watershed for the series in terms of tone. A huge critical success and box-office hit, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut proved that South Park was not merely a controversy-baiting fad when the movie arrived in theaters in 1999. While South Park was infamous for its obscenity scandals around the time of South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut’s release, the series became known as much for its acclaimed writing as its countless controversies around the time that the movie arrived.

It’s been over 20 years since South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut was released and, so far, there has been no sign that South Park will ever produce a direct sequel to the critically acclaimed hit. This might be because South Park’s creators are busy with other unrelated projects or preparing for South Park season 26, but it might also be because South Park’s style and tone have changed so much that a theatrical movie would no longer be a good fit for the series. There may never be a sequel to South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut because of how much South Park has changed since the movie’s 1999 release, as evidenced by South Park’s stories then and now.

The South Park Movie Explained

Released 2 years after South Park premiered, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut was a big-screen distillation of everything that made the show’s early seasons popular. Its story of the boys seeing Terrance and Philip’s movie and accidentally causing a war between the US and Canada was absurd but surprisingly clever, and its insightful satire of censorship and war ended up earning the movie an Oscar nomination. Along with great reviews, this legitimacy proved that South Park has staying power as a cultural force. As a result, it is reasonable for viewers to wonder why South Park’s lone theatrical outing never received a sequel, but the answer to this inquiry might have more to do with South Park’s changing sense of humor than anything else.

South Park’s Tone Shift

As evidenced by Trey Parker’s admission that he outright hates South Park’s first three seasons and wishes he could erase them from existence, South Park has changed a lot since 1999. The random, often gory goofiness of South Park seasons 1–3 have been replaced by uber-timely satire that responds to the events of the week like Saturday Night Live. As such, South Park’s humor isn’t as timeless as it once was, since the show now takes full advantage of the fact that each episode is written, animated, and aired within one week. While this has allowed South Park to mock some topics that its competitors were too slow to address, it has also dented the re-watch value of South Park in comparison to the more random humor of early seasons. Although these seasons did include hated South Park episodes like “Pip,” for better or worse, seasons 1-4 lived and died via cartoony humor rather than topicality.

South Park’s Feature Length Specials Explained

As if to address the show’s over-reliance on extremely timely jokes, South Park changed up its production process between seasons 23 and 24. In 2021, South Park’s creators inked a deal to produce 14 feature-length specials for Paramount Plus. These specials run 40–60 minutes in length and are sometimes referred to as “movies” in press releases but, although they do take on less internet timely subjects than South Park episodes (such as the COVID-19 pandemic or water shortages_, these specials are still smaller scale efforts than 1999’s theatrical outing. This makes sense, as plots like The Streaming Wars’ parody of crypto advertisements, while less timely than average South Park episodes, could still be badly dated by the time South Park’s creators have time to write, direct, animate, and release a full-blown theatrical movie.

Why South Park The Movie 2 Hasn’t Happened

The reasons that South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut never gained a sequel are numerous. For one thing, South Park is still going strong as a TV show and now has an outlet for bigger stories via South Park’s longer specials. For another, Stone and Parker have been working on projects like Book of Mormon over the years, and finally, they may just not have another big, timeless, cinematic story for the characters. While individual South Park episodes target the Ukraine/Russia conflict, vaccine hesitancy, and ICE detention centers, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut had to tell a bigger, more ambitious story than took aim at the military-industrial complex, censorship, and moral panics. The South Park movie took on big, timeless themes and did so successfully, whereas even South Park’s longer specials have been content to focus on one problem at a time and solve each of these before taking on existential issues as South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut did.

Will South Park The Movie 2 Ever Happen?

While The Streaming Wars could have worked as a standalone special, the fact that the South Park special received a sequel wherein all its loose ends were tidied up tells a tale. South Park has been more interested in smaller, self-contained stories than bigger, wilder projects for some time now, and the effective climate crisis satire of The Streaming Wars proves that this focus can be a positive thing. However, this hesitation to take on massive themes that have no easy answers could also be the reason that South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut never received a sequel, since the original South Park movie was willing to tackle subjects that were too complex for a single episode of the series (or even a two-part special). As such, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut will likely remain South Park’s only theatrical outing as long as the series is still focused on self-contained smaller stories.

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