Beavis & Butt-head Do America
Directors: Karen Disher
& Guy Moore

. 1996
Directors: Mike Judge
& Yvette Kaplan

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

DariaI have liked the MTV cartoon series about Daria (1997-2002) & her best pal Jane quite a bit. They were spun out of the earlier MTV series Beavis & Butthead (1993-1997) on which Daria first appeared, though the adventures of Jane & Daria are about very intelligent girls instead of very stupid boys.

Likable as they are, I nevertheless always liked them more in small doses caught by accident in half-hour episodes one at a time.

The movie-length version I made the mistake of watching with friends on a super-enormous screen before everyone had HDTV. The film's design limitations just glared.

Throughout Daria: The Movie: Is It Fall Yet? (2001) I just kept thinking, shit, we could be watching a real movie instead.

Daria's sitcom-animation impact is much greater if one is stuck with a choice of the usual cable fare, over which one has no control, & then all of a sudden at least Daria comes on.

The story's not worth describing. It's enough to know Daria is a droll smart-ass with creepily normal parents & a vain "mean girls" sister, Quinn; while Jane is a droll rebel with a rocker brother. Jane & Daria have a bit of a falling out that involves a boyfriend, a plot device that makes them too close to Quinn in girlish normalcy, not their most captivating selves.

Beavis & Butt-head Do America The animated movie Beavis & Butt-head Do America (1996) was to me hysterically funny, well paced, wonderfully designed as a film rather than a stretched-to-feature-length episode like the Daria movie.

For me most of the MTV episodes of Beavis & Butt-head seemed generally dull. I thought they were great characters but so much snorting at their television intercut with music videos, that just wasn't involving enough for me to care all that much (except now & then, as when Beavis went to heaven & thought heaven sucked).

But the movie was more ornate in its design & was a delightful "road movie" of the classic type, not interupted by music promos. Our vulgar adolescents journey across America, questing for their stolen television, having many & varied adventures.

Their fascination with self-flushing urinals when they could've been watching Old Faithful erupt was just so Beavis & Butthead. When they're mistaken for hitmen, how can you not laugh. Even the bad puns when our filthy-minded duo think they hear dirty words is laugh-worthy.

Their adventures are great fun, plus the danger real enough that Beavis's alternate personality "I am Cornholio" must come forth to assist in our heroes' salvation. If number of laughs per minute is the measure of greatness, this film is that.

Vocal work is phenomenal not only from creator Mike Judge as Beavis & Butt-head, but also from the likes of Demi Moore & Bruce Willis as a seriously at-odds married couple; Chloris Leachman as crazy old lady; Robert Stack as the cavity-search obsessed FBI agent; David Letterman as a Motley Crue roadie -- all fabulous. Everyone understands comic timing, & the animation is perfect for the cause.

Anyone who liked the characters as cable episodes will be blown away by the excellence of the film. But more than that, anyone with a sense of humor, but who thought the tv episodes were uninteresting, will likely find the movie extremely funny. Because that's what it is.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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