Adapting a TV show into film can be a tricky business with varying results. From Serenity to Sex and the City 2 and everything in between, film adaptions of popular television shows date back as far as TV itself.
Stretching a 30 minute show out into a 90 minute film can indeed be risky. Beavis and Butt-Head’s counterparts in the adult-oriented cartoon genre all seemed to struggle. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut sagged in the third act. The Simpsons Movie didn’t quite capture the magic of the series and Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story was essentially just 3 episodes of Family Guy back to back. How can, what was originally, a series of 5 minute long segues on MTV translate into an 81 minute long feature film?
The answer is, it can translate into an 81 minute long feature film spectacularly. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is one of my favourite comedy films of the 90’s, as well as one of the best examples of a TV show turned film.
Managing to enlist the voice talents of Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, David Letterman, David Spade and Greg Kinnear the dimwitted pair travel across America to try and recover their stolen television set. With hints of surrealism, recurring characters from the show and the usual Beavis and Butt-Head blend of humour and immature nonsense, the film works on every level. Massively popular with critics and more than quadrupling it’s budget at the box office, the film was a bona fide success.