Matt Stone and Trey Parker have been pushing the envelope with South Park for nearly three decades, and their latest Paramount special, “Joining the Panderverse,” puts Disney in their crosshairs. Poking fun at Disney’s ongoing diversity initiatives, the story centers on Cartman, who takes serious issue with Bob Iger and Kathleen Kennedy for making Marvel and Star Wars lamer than ever by losing the plot and ruining everything.
Since the story is told from Cartman’s perspective, the four foul-mouthed boys who we’re normally familiar with have been replaced with a diverse cast of women to drive the point home.
No one does satire like South Park and Enter the Panderverse is a brutal takedown of Disney’s treatment of Star Wars and Marvel.
Using visual storytelling, South Park portrays Eric Cartman as Disney’s Bob Iger, screaming as his stocks plummet. But the best part about this episode is that through Cartman’s retelling of events, the boys are all replaced with a diverse cast of empowered women who don’t even closely resemble Kyle, Kenny, Cartman, or Stan. It’s one thing to take shots at your subject, but to illustrate the point through brilliantly executed satire really seals the deal.
Enter the Panderverse is already one of South Park’s highest-rated episodes, with a 97 percent fresh audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes from over 100 submissions.
On our very own X account, we presented the question, “how are they getting away with it?” and the answer is simple. According to X user @Cineunfold, it’s because Matt Stone and Trey Parker simply don’t care, which is par for the course if you’re up on your South Park canon. South Park has made countless jabs at both Disney and Marvel over the years, but the new special takes their criticisms to a whole new level by extrapolating to levels of absurdity that will have you begging for a sequel.
As controversial as South Park has proven itself to be over the decades, it’s clear that poking fun at Disney and Marvel has been well-received by audiences. As of this writing, the episode racked up over 100 audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and currently has a 97 percent audience score. With the near-perfect score, audiences are being quite vocal with their reviews, stating that the episode is a genius take-down of Disney’s inner workings over the past 10 years.
South Park manages to take brutal shots at Disney, while also pointing out that the mega-corporation doesn’t have pure intentions.
One reviewer went so far as to say that the latest South Park feature has a “better multi-verse plot than any of the last 10 Disney Movies,” while others go on to say that just like the show’s creators, they’re also tired of being pandered to. The most telling review suggests that the plot was a bit lazy but brings it back by suggesting that this was the entire point of the episode. The episode also has a B-plot involving the use of AI in the entertainment industry while simultaneously lampooning the ongoing Hollywood strike, but we can’t dive too deep into this side-story without spoiling the third act of the episode.
If you thought South Park was showing its teeth when the boys took on a number of uniquely offensive superhero alter-egos during “The Coon” episodes that were prominently featured in Season 13, then you probably already knew how Matt Stone and Trey Parker felt about Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars. This latest episode is no different and comes with strong recommendations if you’re either a die-hard South Park fan or not happy about Disney’s latest releases.