Paramount // 1996 // 80 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // October 3rd, 2006
[noticing the open door, the stolen T.V., and the broken window]
Butt-head: Whoa! I just figured something out, Beavis?
Beavis: What's that?
Butt-head: This sucks!
Beavis: Yeah! It really sucks!
Butt-head: This sucks more than anything that's ever sucked before. We must find this butt-hole that took our TV.
Ten years ago Beavis and Butt-Head had completed their successful run on MTV, and there was only one place left to go: the big screen of Hollywood (heh...heh...I said wood!). Mike Judge and MTV teamed up to create the inevitable big screen adventures of Beavis and Butt-Head as they escape Highland and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting outside world. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a double dip since the title has been available for quite a while in a bare bones (yet nicely transferred) disc. Is it worth it to shell out and score a new copy (hunh...hunh...I said score!)? Is it worthy of the title Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Special Collector's Edition?
The movie has a simple-minded plot that extends an episode into a feature length story. Beavis and Butt-Head wake up to find the television stolen. They swear vengeance on the perpetrators and set off to find them. Somehow the innocently inept pair ends up in a plot to kill a woman and acquire a biotech weapon vital to national security. They remain oblivious to these developments, yet somehow end up all the way in Washington, DC with the device and criminals trailing behind them. Beavis turns in to the Great Cornholio, Butt-Head tries to score with the ladies, and all the while the world spins around them not realizing the hapless teens just want the TV back.
The star power in the voices is absurdly high with many film stars appearing for cameos or supporting roles. Judge does most of the main characters, but the ensemble around him reads like a who's who in Hollywood circa 1996. Bruce Willis and Demi Moore appear as a criminal couple masterminding the biotech weapon plot, Cloris Leachman plays a deaf old woman who thinks our heroes are the well mannered "Travis and Bob," Robert Stack and Greg Kinnear play FBI agents hot on the teens' trail, Eric Bogosian is a park ranger, David Letterman appears as a Motley Crue roadie who could have familial ties to Butt-Head, Richard Linklater plays a bus driver, and David Spade breaks in once and a while. Half the fun is trying to spot who will show up next in the film. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is one of the first animated features to exploit celebrity voices to such an extent.
The transfer looks about the same as the initial release with slight visual improvements. The sound delivery is identical. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was drawn by hand, and relied on cel animation techniques without much CGI. As a result, the image can be grainy, with aliasing when lines are at an angle. Colors are purposefully muted, so it looks a lot like the television show. The surround mix greatly helps the music score and soundtrack, which are both excellent. The musical guest appearances are almost as impressive as the cast list. AC/DC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ozzy, and Rob Zombie all lend tunes to help out.
The reason to pick up Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Special Collector's Edition is to get a load of all the extras (heh...heh...I said load!). Front and center is a long overdue commentary from creator Mike Judge and co-director Yvette Kaplan. This fascinating track features both parties recalling what it was like to be in the media storm that resulted from the unplanned sensation of the characters. Also included is a solid "making of" feature that allows MTV employees to talk about the project, with Judge appearing again. Mike repeats himself here covering the same territory as his commentary, but it's nice to see him. Composer John Frizell and Mike Judge both show up in "We're Gonna Score!" which is a look at the music in the feature. There is a montage of violent moments from the film, TV spots, and three goofy celebrity promos that were aired on MTV during a "moronathon" of shows for the series.
If you like extras then you'll want to grab Beavis and Butt-Head Do America:Special Collector's Edition. It's a nice package with far more insight in to the production than was offered by the bare bones release. The transfer is only slightly better without a major overhaul, but it still looks true to the cinematic release. The movie itself is funny as hell; the slacker culture which spawned Beavis and Butt-Head still makes me giggle. Watching the Great Cornholio go ape on an airplane and in the White House is even more fun in this day of increased paranoia over security issues. Dumb may not be a weapon of mass destruction, but it still can cause lovable chaos anywhere it shows up. It's like...Whoa!
Review content copyright © 2006 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Commentary by Creator Mike Judge and Co-Director Yvette Kaplan
* Retrospective "Making Of" Featurette
* Featurette on the Music
* Montage of Violent Moments
* TV Spots
* Theatrical Trailers
* MTV Celebrity Promotional Spots