In 1996, when Mike Judge made Beavis And Butt-Head Do America, the idea of turning a TV show into a movie wasn’t new. Mission: Impossible had come out a few months prior, The Fugitive had done it 3 years earlier, and the ’60s Batman show had beaten all of them to the punch by thirty years. But America was the first time a cartoon for adults was making the leap since The Flintstones‘ 1966 film The Man Called Flintstone, and fans (and studio executives) were unsure of what would happen. Turns out, they need not have been concerned. Beavis And Butt-Head Do America was not only a big hit, but it was regarded as one of the best adventures these idiots ever went on (and still is).
Which makes it really odd that Beavis And Butt-Head Do America is only now being released on Blu-ray (though far less so when you realize this year marks the movie’s twenty-fifth anniversary…and that Judge is now making a sequel for Paramount+).
Still, for fans who’ve been enjoying this movie on DVD for the past two dozen years, the question is, should they upgrade?
In Beavis And Butt-Head Do America,
the dynamically dumb duo wake up to discover that their TV is gone. Thus begins an epic, cross country quest to not only get it back, but also to get laid and get some money and a bunch of other stuff that ultimately leads them to inadvertently cause a security issue at the White House and expose a terrorist plot.
Suffice it to say, the adventure our heroes go on in Beavis And Butt-Head Do America was a funny one, full of the kind of silliness and insight that were also the highlight of their show’s best episodes. And while it did, in many ways, feel like a really long but really good episode of the show — albeit without then being snarky about music videos — it also felt like a movie, given the scope of their adventure.
Well, that and the fact that they run into Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Cloris Leachman, Robert Stack, and even David Letterman along the way.
As for how Beavis And Butt-Head Do America looks on Blu-ray,
well, the difference is noticeable but not striking. While the picture is sharper, it’s just a better version of the movie, and not as dramatic an improvement as you might see if you compared the relatively recent episodes on the Blu-ray version of Beavis And Butt-Head: Volume 4 to the DVD edition. It certainly doesn’t look like they redrew the entire thing last week. Though why you’d expect it to look like that is beyond me.
Sadly, being better looking is the only thing the Blu-ray of Beavis And Butt-Head Do America has going for it over the original DVD you still own. While this has all of the extras that were included on the Special Collector’s Edition DVD back in the day, it doesn’t add anything new. There’s no 25-year retrospective, no teaser for the sequel, or anything else they might’ve included. It doesn’t even have a Gag Reel, which you know must exist because there’s way Beavis and Butt-Head got everything right on the first take (stupid method actors). And while this may speak well of the people who originally put the DVD together, it doesn’t help anyone who wants the movie on this new Blu-ray to have a little something more.
the extras they did include on the Beavis And Butt-Head Do America Blu-ray are good. The running commentary by Judge and animation director Yvette Kaplan is funny and insightful, as are “We’re Gonna Score,” in which Judge and composer John Frizzell discuss the latter’s music for the movie, and the making of featurette, “The Big Picture.” This also includes a trio of “MTV News: Celebrity Shorts,” in which Jennifer Tilly, Steve Buscemi, and Snoop Dogg talk about Beavis and Butt-Head as if they were real people.
Though the inclusion of “The Smackdown,” a montage of fight scenes from the film, still seems as unnecessary as it did twenty-five years ago.
But where the Beavis And Butt-Head Do America Blu-ray really gets points from me is how it has all of the original trailers and TV spots, which were on the DVD, but are not always included on movie collections, new or anniversary, even though they should be since they are an essential part of a movie’s story.
Still, as with the DVD edition,
the best part of getting Beavis And Butt-Head Do America on Blu-ray is the movie itself, and it’s here that Messrs. Butt-Head and Beavis still shine. While this may be twenty-five years old, these idiots are still hilarious, and this movie still ranks amongst their best work. Sure, this facelift may not make them look twenty-five years younger, but it’s still an improvement for anyone who still loves these guys.