The film tackles issues of censorship and bad parenting and parodies the animated films of the Disney Renaissance as well as musicals such as the West End’s Les Misérables, and satirizes the controversy surrounding the show itself. The movie also heavily satirizes the Motion Picture Association of America; Parker and Stone battled the MPAA throughout the production process and the movie received an R rating just two weeks prior to its release. A writing team consisting of Parker, Stone, and Pam Brady was assembled. They conceived numerous plot ideas, with Parker and Stone’s being the one developed into a film. The film features twelve original songs by Parker and Marc Shaiman with additional lyrics by Stone.
The film was released in theaters on June 30, 1999, and on home video on November 23, 1999. Produced on a $21 million budget, it went on to gross $83.1 million worldwide in theaters, making it the highest-grossing R-rated animated film of all time. The song “Blame Canada” earned Parker and Marc Shaiman a nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 72nd Academy Awards. The song was performed by Robin Williams at the ceremony.