For the few that aren't familiar, "South Park" is an animated series that follows grade schoolers Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman, who live in a small mountain town. Originally conceived as a small Christmas special that gained fame in Hollywood, the show eventually became the highly controversial Comedy Central show it still is today. Although the show's a bit more inconsistent today, the new seasons still offer plenty of inspired situations for the kids, great supporting characters and plenty of classic lines.
"Christmas Time in South Park" is a compilation of "South Park"'s Christmas tales, just in time for the holidays. The set includes seven episodes: "Mr. Hankey, The Chrismas Poo", "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson", "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", "A Very Crappy Christmas", "Red Sleigh Down", "It's Christmas In Canada" and "Woodland Critter Christmas".
Four of the episodes feature "Mr. Hankey", a Christmas poop who gives presents on Christmas to people who've had a lot of fiber in their diet. While Kyle tries to explain Mr. Hankey to the townsfolk, they not only don't believe him, but commit him to the local mental hospital. Only when Mr. Hankey reveals himself and gives a Christmas lesson does the town - who'd been arguing over what is considered offensive during the holidays - come together in peace.
The first "Mr. Hankey" episode, despite some Cartman-related highlights (including a performance of "Kyle's Mom is a Bitch") doesn't do enough with the concept of Mr. Hankey. The second and third Hankey-centric episodes - especially "A Very Crappy Christmas", where Mr. Hankey is too busy with family to visit South Park (Cartman to Kyle: "Kyle, I've got a full day of watching TV tomorrow, I don't have time to go on a poo hunt right now, ok?") - fare better. "A Very Hanky Christmas" also features one of the show's more amusing musical moments when Mr. Hanky explains the importance of poop in the incredibly funny, "Circle of Poo".
"Woodland Critter Christmas", where Stan stumbles upon a group of adorable woodland creatures, one of which is a pregnant. While Stan assists in preparation for the baby, he doesn't realize that the baby would bring about the end of the world, and that the incredibly cute creatures have incredibly sinister plans. "Woodland Critter Christmas" is one of the more twisted episodes, and it does have some hysterical moments - especially when the creatures reveal themselves to be far darker than their cute appearance.
VIDEO: All of the episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The show's animation is certainly quite basic, but its presented well here. Sharpness and detail are perfectly satisfactory, while no edge enhancement or print flaws are present. Compression artifacts are also not seen. Colors are well-rendered, with no smearing or other flaws.
SOUND:The show's 2.0 soundtrack is perfectly fine, clearly presenting both dialogue and sound effects.
Final Thoughts: Those seeking some twisted Christmas-themed fun may want to pick up this title, but fans of the series will likely already have these episodes included on the previously released season sets.