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This Set Of Episodes Nearly Ended Up Being The Second South Park Movie

"South Park" is a raunchy comedy franchise from the twisted minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The popular series began to air in 1997, and the show currently has 23 seasons and numerous specials, a movie, and even video games under its belt. The "South Park" movie, titled "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut" premiered in 1999, and it involved Kyle (Stone), Stan (Parker), Cartman (Parker), and Kenny (Stone) becoming entangled in a growing and absurd conflict regarding censorship between the United States and Canada that grows to apocalyptic proportions.

"South Park" enjoys a special spot in pop culture, and the show makes it their stock-and-trade in lampooning current events, irreverent references, and social commentary. "South Park" has earned 18 awards (via IMDb), and both Parker and Stone enjoy a fair degree of creative freedom. No strangers to fully committing to a concept, "South Park" has several two- and three-part series nested within the series like "Coon and Friends," "Go God Go," and "The Black Friday Trilogy" among others, but one of these multi-part episodes was almost an entire movie.

The Imaginationland Trilogy was almost a movie

The "Imaginationland Trilogy" is a set of three episodes that aired in 2007, but "Imaginationland" was originally envisioned as a feature-length film. Speaking with the AV Club about the nascent movie, Matt Stone said, "We talked about it, and it just didn't feel right. It didn't feel big enough. It felt somewhat derivative of all the other imaginary characters. And also, more than anything, we have to make 14 episodes a year, and that's our hungry baby that has to be fed, so that was part of the decision."

"Imaginationland" features a plot that sees the "South Park" boys whisked away to the titular Imaginationland, a mystical dimension populated by pop culture creations like Wonder Woman, Luke Skywalker, and Santa Claus. However, terrorists are able to infiltrate this land of make-believe and use the breach to denote an explosive that destroys the wall that separates the good characters from the bad characters. This results in an epic battle and several insane subplots regarding bets, man-bear-pig hybrids, and whether or not leprechauns are real. "Imaginationland" was later collected into an uncensored director's cut DVD (via IGN), and the three-part series went on to win an Emmy for "Outstanding Animated Program (One Hour or More)" in 2008.