"Shpadoinkle" was not originally intended to be in the finished film. While writing the music, Trey Parker just wrote it as a filler word until he could think of something better for the song, but his friends all agreed that the word needed to stay.
This film was released by Troma in 1996 but it was actually filmed in 1993 while Trey Parker was attending the University of Colorado at Boulder. Contrary to popular belief, Parker was not expelled due to missing class while making the movie, and went on to graduate.
The tribe of Japanese Indians that Packer and his group encounter on their journey is referred to as the Nihonjin tribe. Nihonjin is Japanese for "Japanese people." They were played by Japanese exchange students. While at UCB, Trey Parker had a double major in music and Japanese.
When Alferd wakes up from the bizarre dream about Frenchy, he screams "IKE!" for no apparent reason. Trey Parker later explained that this was an obscure reference to the film The Legend of Alfred Packer (1980), which was the first biopic about Packer's life. In one scene, Packer also wakes from a dream and screams the exact same words, yet it is never explained why.
Masao Maki, who plays the Indian chief, is actually the owner of Sushi Zanmai in downtown Boulder, where UCB is located and where Trey Parker and Matt Stone attended college while this movie was being made.
The movie was originally titled "Alferd Packer: The Musical." Lloyd Kaufman, owner of Troma, convinced Trey Parker to change the title to "Cannibal: The Musical" because, though Packer is well-known in Colorado, very few outside of the state know who he is.
Some of the extras appearing in the movie were Trey Parker's professors. These include avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage as George Noon's father, and Don Yannacito as James' father. Yannacito still teaches filmmaking at CU Boulder.
The real Packer, at different points in his life, signed his name either as Alfred or Alferd. It is not known why he used the incorrect spelling, although it is suspected that he "went along with" a tattoo artist's mistake on his arm.
Alferd Packer is Colorado's only convicted cannibal. The short order grill in the UMC (Student Union) at the University of Colorado at Boulder, which Trey Parker and Matt Stone attended, is named after him. The University also has an annual festival, Alferd Packer Days, with contests including a raw-meat-eating contest.
If you listen closely in the beginning of the general store scene, you will hear someone singing. It sounds very much like Eric Cartman of South Park (1997) singing a line from "Shpadoinkle Day", but is actually Trey Parker doing the voice of the woman leaving the store. The woman was played by Brody McHugh, the sister of Jason McHugh, who played Frank Miller in the film. Jason also filled the roles of publicist, producer and executive producer.
Trey Parker: [Aliens] Several aliens can be seen throughout the film. Among them: One in the opening courtroom scene in the back. One behind Dian Bachar as he pulls a shoelace out of his mouth. One peeking out of the barn during the 'Let's Hang the Bastard!' dance scene. And the snowman briefly has an alien head during the 'Let's Make a Snowman' song.
Trey Parker: [Dickens] The character Tiny Tim from the Charles Dickens novella "A Christmas Carol in Prose" (universally known simply as "A Christmas Carol") appears in the film speaking the character's signature line from the book: "God bless us, everyone." Long stretches of dialogue taken directly from Dickens writings later became a recurring staple of Parker's South Park (1997).