BY QUIN VERTOLLI
This past week the hit TV show South Park aired its 20th season and fans of the show were thrilled to see its return. With 285 episodes and counting, it is one of TV’s longest-running shows.
But why is this show so successful? Sheridan College is world renowned for its animation programs and has faculty that have worked in the TV animation industry for decades.
Ronni Rosenberg, Dean of Animation Arts and Design, says the show has had a big impact on the industry.
“South Park emboldened consumers and creators. It changed our tastes as consumers, and paved the way for animators and creators to be funnier, more political and more proactive.”
Rosenberg also believes that South Park does indeed have a strong future on cable TV. “Trey Parker and Matt Stone will always have a future, and the show can probably live as long as they have the energy to produce it.”
Parker and Stone, creators of the show, started work on the show back in the ‘90s and it originally aired on Aug. 13, 1997.
They utilized stop-motion animation for the first few seasons, painstakingly cutting out cardboard pieces into the shapes they desired. Eventually they moved on to digital animation once the episodes got more complex.
“For what they do and for how short of time they do it in, it’s visually appealing. I don’t think the animation is the focal point of South Park, it’s the writing,” says Isaac Delaney, a student in the Bachelor of Animation program. To make the show so relevant, the creators have a seven-day to air production time where they make an entire episode in seven days.
“That scares me a lot,” says another Sheridan Animation student, Haidee Samuels, about the show’s production time “It’s good that it’s so simple, so they can produce it so quickly.”
South Park is a show that has stood the test of time, rivalling other long-running TV shows such as The Simpsons and Family Guy with their references to pop culture, political and social commentary. It’s a show that most likely isn’t going away for a long time.
(Courtesy of South Park studios Youtube channel)