For this movie, unlike the usual feature-length adaptation of a pop culture phenomenon, not only lives up to its pedigree, it wildly exceeds it. Yes, the movie does recycle many of the show's jokes, but it does so in new yet relevant contexts that keep the material funny if you are familiar with the South Park world. If you aren't familiar with that world (as I wasn't before seeing the movie), the gags are simultaneously accessible yet often subtle.
Subtle? Yes, many of the gags are. Indeed, one of the pleasures of owning a copy of the movie is having the ability to review the movie, in slo-mo if necessary, and discover throwaway sight gags that one has missed in the delirium of watching this anarchic satire the first time through. (And if you have the DVD, you can add subtitles to catch many of the songs' often elusive lyrics.)
Then there's the music. What is it about movie musicals that attracts great satiric minds? Not since Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" has a work of art so subversively exploited the conventions of the movie musical as South Park. From the droll opening strains of Mountain Town, to the Disneyesque "Up There," to the Les Miserables spoof, "La Resistance," South Park simultaneously sends up the genre while paying homage to it, and still finds room to use the songs to score delicious points against its myriad targets.
One last thing: this movie is not cynical. Beneath the scatological humor, the cartoon violence, the scathing portrayals of Wynona Ryder et al, and the backdrop of adult xenophobia, sexual repression and political opportunism, is a sensibility that exalts childhood as an island of honesty and idealism, if also of id-like impulse and frequent selfishness. In this they share space on the shelf of great satires with "Candide," "Gulliver's Travels," "Tom Sawyer" and especially "Huckleberry Finn"--classics that, like BL&U, also exposed the hypocrisies of the adult world "through the eyes of a child."
Elvis Costello once sang, "I want to bite the hand that feeds me/I want to bite that hand so badly/I want to make them wish they'd never met me." That BLU was shut out at the Academy Awards (having only garnered a nomination for the relatively tame "Blame Canada", which lost, appropriately enough, to the execrable Phil Collins) only vindicates the film's take-no-prisoners send-up of nearly everything that annoys in this suffociatingly focus-group-tested, PC-policed, cynically sentimental, violence-ridden, love-starved modern world. See this movie, and see the persistence of hope and possibility sparkling like a diamond amid the pop culture detritus of a quiet little red-necked, white-trash, strait-laced, mesuggeneh, US mountain town.