In the year 1981, a channel called “Music Television,” (MTV for short) was established to air music videos on television. The very first music video to ever air on the channel is “Video Killed The Radio Star.” Over the following decade, the channel’s primary focus was to air music related topics 24 hour a day. If you were around in the 80’s, you must’ve been lucky to witness the first MTV Music Awards ceremony.
A Decade later, MTV decided to expand to a variety of non-music related programs such as “The Real World,” the network’s longest running series and its perhaps the very first Reality TV series. Liquid Televison, became the first animated series to air on the network. Liquid Televison is an anthology series of short animated segments, some of the segments manage to become full fledged cartoons including “Æon Flux,” (not Charlize Theron’s clunker) perhaps MTV’s “Magnum Opus Of Cartoons” is “Beavis And Butthead.”
Beavis And Butthead was created, written, produced, and directed by Mike Judge. (King Of The Hill, Office Space, Idiocracy, Silicon Valley) The animated series is about two dim witted teenage heavy metal fans who are extremely oblivious to small or life threatening situations which results into hilarious shenanigans like playing with a car tire, or sniffing paint. Besides their stupidy on accidentally destroying or violating property, the duo critique music videos on certain rock bands or singers. I would describe them as Siskel and Ebert, minus the intellect. Their music video segments are like an early version of YouTubers reviewing movies, television and video games. Most notably, Nostalgia Critic, Angry Video Game Nerd, (AVGN) The Blockbuster Buster, Angry Joe & Film Brain.
Beavis And Butthead became an instant classic among young viewers or anyone around The Generation X & Millennial (I’m a millennial myself) demographic. The show influenced future showrunners such as “South Park” creators, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, and “Regular Show” creator, J.G. Quintel. The Boys made severel appearances outside the series. They were on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, appeared as guests on David Letterman’s talk show, and presented an Oscar at the 69th (you said 69, heh heh heh) Academy Awards.
Despite the success, the show was also a source of controversy for example, one little boy sets a his home on fire, (due to Beavis’s fascination of fire) that unintentionally killed his sister. This is what happens if you don’t know the proper use of parenting, the show is meant for teenagers and up or anyone who is a mature and responsible individual. Next time you want to let your kid watch something like this, you better start acting like a parent and teach your kids discipline and common sense.
As a result, on the massive popularity, a full-length film encouraged MTV to produce their very first animated film. Joe’s Apartment was the first film released prior to the latter one. The film was released in late 1996. (same year Independence Day came out) It received positive reviews from fans, non-fans and critics alike. Besides becoming a sleeper hit, Beavis & Butthead’s big screen debut made enough money at the box office. Siskel & Ebert gave the film two thumbs up.
Note From 2021: Beavis & Butthead are making their comeback in an upcoming film streaming soon on Paramount Plus.
This article contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Cool & Sucks Elements
Cool: Pre-Opening Credits, indicates what you’re about to see will make you laugh uncontrollably.
The Opening Scene pays an homage to a classic monster movie and the Opening Credits pays tribute to 70’s TV shows.
The film got me laughing on one-liners, slapstick and the idiocy of the duo’s misadventures.
Mike Judge did a laugh out loud performance as the duo, along with other characters voiced by him including Tom Anderson, Mr. Van Driessen, and Principal McVicker. In addition, to voice acting, he also directed and wrote the film.
Besides Mike Judge’s voice work, other cast members featured in this film such as then married couple Bruce Willis & Demi Moore, provided the voices of the main villains, and Robert Stack as an ATF agent trying to hunt the dim-witted boys down. They all did a good job on their voiceover performances. Greg Kinnear has an uncredited role as an ATF agent.
Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused, School Of Rock) has a voiceover role as a bus driver. This is before he made that disappointing so called “epic” known as “Boyhood.” Personally, I don’t think Boyhood is on the same game changing level as “The Matrix” “Citizen Kane,” “The Dark Knight” & “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.”
The Duo’s quest is to track down home invaders who stole their television set. Besides looking for their TV, their quest is to “score” a lowlife’s old flame.
The Duo are from Texas. Mike is a native Texan like me. I’m putting an Extra Point, because a movie or show set in Texas makes me feel good about myself.
A microchip plays a key role.
The Animation looked polished like the television series of the same name.
Rob Zombie contributed to the animation. His art style is in one pivotal scene, I refuse to give it away.
Beavis delivers a one minute dramatic speech. It’s played for laughs.
A Dance Scene with the boys dancing to a Red Hot Chili Peppers song.
David Letterman has a voiceover cameo. The Duo appeared as guests on David’s talk show.
Daria also has a cameo in the film before she got her very own spin-off show.
The Ending wasn’t stupid at all.
Sucks: The movie is sorta dated. Again, it came out in 1996. If you are born in The 21st Century, you will definitely not understand some of the references of the decade. I’ll let this con slide, because a sequel takes place after the events of the first film.
One scene at a casino didn’t connect to the plot, however I found a redeemable element that made me put a smile on my face.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
Beavis And Butthead Do America is worth your spare time. I think this is Mike Judge’s best work. If you haven’t seen his magnum opus, I strongly recommend it. Trust me, you’re gonna laugh your butt off.
I’m looking forward to Beavis & Butthead’s upcoming sequel.