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"Beavis and Butt-head": Mike Judge's Most Wanted DVD Review

Beavis and Butt-head: Mike Judge's Most Wanted DVD cover art - click to buy DVD from Amazon.com Beavis and Butt-head: Mike Judge's Most Wanted
Show & DVD Details

Creator/Director: Mike Judge / Executive Producers: Mike Judge, Abby Terkuhle

Writers: Mike Allen, Kristofor Brown, Etan Cohen, Larry Doyle, David Felton, Dave Giffels, Greg Grabianski, Mike Grimshaw, Dave Hughes, Sam Johnson, Mike Judge, Aimee Keillor, Chris Marcil, Guy Maxtone-Graham, Michael Prescott, Andy Rheingold, Joseph Stillman, Scott Sonneborn, Bo Weinberg

Voice Cast: Mike Judge (Beavis, Butt-head, Mr. David Van Driessen, Coach Bradley Buzzcut, Principal McVicker, Tom Anderson, Mr. Stevenson), Rottilio Michieli (Todd Ianuzzi), Tracy Grandstaff (Mrs. Stevenson, Lolita, Tanqueray, Daria Morgendorffer), Adam Welsh (Stewart Stevenson), Juliαn Rebolledo (Jim the Substitute), Kristofor Brown (Doctor Fisk), Gideon Evans (Dr. Leibowitz), John Andrews (Mr. Spelling), Charlie Adler (Mr. Adler), David Spade (Mr. Candy), Sam Johnson (Mr. Herrera), Christine Walters (Judge), Janice Kawaye (Kimberly)

Running Time: 111 Minutes (20 episodes without music videos) / Rating: Not Rated

1.33:1 Full Screen (Original Broadcast Ratio) / Dolby Surround 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: None; Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled or Captioned
Featured Episodes Originally Aired July 1994 - August 1997
DVD Release Date: October 4, 2011 / Suggested Retail Price: $14.98
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9) / Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase

Buy Beavis and Butt-head on DVD from Amazon.com:
Mike Judge's Most Wanted / The Mike Judge Collection: Volume 1 • Volume 2 • Volume 3

Though plenty controversial back in their day, enough time has passed for Beavis and Butt-head to be considered undisputed cultural icons who most people look back upon with fondness (if they look back at all). The two idiotic, heavy metal-loving teenagers stand as a reminder
of an age when MTV's schedule prominently included both music videos and animation. They also are as representative of popular '90s television as any small screen duo, with the possible exception of Scully and Mulder.

While the decade is long and forever gone, Beavis and Butt-head are back in a new series that returns Mike Judge to his first creation, which he followed with the long-running Fox cartoon "King of the Hill" and a trio of live-action movies, the most popular of which remains the (barely cult) classic workplace comedy Office Space.

It would be easy to trash "Beavis and Butt-head." There is no denying that the ever horny, immature 14-year-old title characters are in need of direction, discipline, and parenting. But it was a lazy, kneejerk reaction of many adults to assume that young fans lacked the same things. The rambunctious Beavis and laid-back Butt-head may be stupid, but their show is not. It doesn't quite have the satiric and intellectual value of "The Simpsons", but it's not far from that. Cleverness is required to make idiocy funny and Judge's show delivered plenty of that in the inimitable misadventures of these easily amused and essentially harmless slackers.

Butt-head and Beavis assume their standard TV-watching couch poses in their dilapidated home of unclear ownership. Sugary snacks transform Beavis into the hyper Cornholio in the last episode of the Mike Judge's Most Wanted DVD compilation.

Judge has clearly had some mixed feelings and remorse about his industry breakthrough. In 2002, he secured a last-minute recall of a two-disc DVD compilation for MTV not consulting him and including episodes he didn't approve of. He has also been one of the show's biggest critics, citing dissatisfaction over numerous episodes made when his creative control was less than absolute. Judge has repeatedly expressed such sentiments and MTV has come so far from where they were fifteen years ago that it's genuinely surprising to see them reunite for a revival that is owed a good deal of fanfare before it begins airing on October 27.

Naturally, the return of Beavis and Butt-head, who it's now tough to believe inspired such public derision and concern, is reason enough for MTV Home Entertainment to put out a new DVD. They'll do that on October 4th with a disc called "Beavis and Butt-head": Mike Judge's Most Wanted. The feature presentation of this 20-episode, 111-minute compilation offers nothing new for those who own the three 3-disc volumes of The Mike Judge Collection, released from 2005 to 2006 and still easily obtained at reasonable prices. The disc does, however, supply a brief, first look at the all-new "Beavis and Butt-head" for those who didn't make it to Judge's Comic-con panel.

The episodes featured here are more like shorts, almost all running under six minutes and none including scenes of Beavis and Butt-head offering their commentary on contemporary music videos. A total of 200 episodes were produced over the course of seven seasons, counting two pilots from 1992 made prior to a full series order. With the shorter of those pilots given bonus feature designation here, we get just over 10% of the series' full run, although with the music videos omitted, it is more like 5% (and shrinking) of Beavis and Butt-head's official television canon.

The featured episodes are presented in the following random order...

A bothersome housefly draws a good amount of energy and creativity from Beavis in "Die Fly, Die!" Beavis and Butt-head reluctantly help Mrs. Swanson find her son in "Stewart is Missing."

1. Lightning Strikes (5:38) (Originally aired February 16, 1995)
Inspired by a PBS special on Benjamin Franklin, Beavis and Butt-head fly a kite in a thunderstorm and get struck by lightning.

2. A Very Special Episode (5:40) (Originally aired February 7, 1997)
Beavis and Butt-head care for a wounded baby bird.

3. Die Fly, Die! (4:52) (Originally aired August 22, 1997)
Beavis and Butt-head try a variety of methods to kill a fly.

4. Stewart is Missing (5:45) (Originally aired January 15, 1996)
Beavis and Butt-head help Stewart's parents look for him.

5. Close Encounters (5:22) (Originally aired August 9, 1995)
Beavis and Butt-head receive sensitivity training.

Beavis and Butt-head quickly abandon selling chocolate bars door-to-door to buy each other's bars with the same $2 in "Candy Sale." Dates Lolita and Tanqueray leave Beavis and Butt-head waiting by the movie theater exit in increasingly inclement weather.

6. Nose Bleed (5:26) (Originally aired February 21, 1997)
Butt-head's punches give Beavis a bloody nose he can't get under control.

7. Plastic Surgin' (4:54) (Originally aired December 19, 1994)
Beavis and Butt-head's desire for "wiener implants" are misinterpreted by the plastic surgeon they consult.

8. Tired (5:17) (Originally aired August 8, 1995)
Beavis rolls all over town inside a large stolen tire.

9. Candy Sale (5:40) (Originally aired April 8, 1995)
Beavis and Butt-head sell candy bars door-to-door for their high school.

10. Date Bait (4:52) (Originally aired May 5, 1994)
Beavis and Butt-head are scammed by their movie theater "dates", Lolita and Tanqueray.

The cartoon short Beavis and Butt-head create in "Animation Sucks" is violent and crude. Beavis and Butt-head think they've struck oil, but it's just poopy sewage in "Beaverly Buttbillies."

11. Animation Sucks (6:10) (Originally aired April 8, 1995)
Beavis and Butt-head try their hands at animation in Mr. Van Driessen's class.

12. Impotence (5:22) (Originally aired August 8, 1997)

Beavis and Butt-head go to an impotence clinic to help them score.

13. Beaverly Buttbillies (5:06) (Originally aired December 26, 1994)
Inspired by "The Beverly Hillbillies", Beavis and Butt-head dig up their yard in search of oil and find something else.

14. Sexual Harassment (5:19) (Originally aired October 9, 1995)
Beavis and Butt-head file a sexual harassment lawsuit against an attractive classmate for giving them "stiffies."

15. Prank Call (5:50) (Originally aired January 28, 1996)
Beavis and Butt-head use their newly-delivered phone book to repeatedly prank Harry Sachz, who takes his revenge at the wrong address.

Hippie teacher Mr. Van Driessen hopes Beavis and Butt-head will be better behaved in the front of the school bus. Admired outlaw Todd disparages an offering of marshmallows and graham crackers as a guest in Beavis and Butt-head's "Safe House."

16. Substitute (5:30) (Originally aired March 5, 1996)
Mr. Van Driessen's free-spirited substitute is tolerant and trusting of Beavis and Butt-head.

17. Follow Me (5:10) (Originally aired March 14, 1997)
As Beavis takes his mimicry to annoying new heights, Butt-head tries to use it against him.

18. Bus Trip (5:41) (Originally aired October 10, 1995)
Beavis and Butt-head ensure that the bus ride on Mr. Van Driessen's class field trip is anything but dull.

19. Safe House (5:01) (Originally aired November 3, 1994)
Cool criminal Todd hides out at Beavis and Butt-head's place, bringing them trouble.

20. The Great Cornholio (6:56 + 1:00 end credits) (Originally aired July 15, 1994)
The Stevenson family's candy supply transforms Beavis into hyperactive Cornholio at school.


Like most cartoon TV series, "Beavis and Butt-head" uses only as much animation as it has to. The visuals are kind of crude and they are often plagued by tiny specks and scratches. To really clean up the episodes would betray their original appearance and rob the show of some of its charm. For the most part, the 1.33:1 picture offers adequate clarity and sharpness. There is some slight ringing resembling excess compression, even though that shouldn't be a factor with just barely over three hours of content using up almost full capacity of a dual-layered disc. The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack is solid and though subtitles unfortunately aren't provided, closed captions are.

Stewart Stevenson is still around and still wearing his appreciation for the band Winger in the new 2011 season of "Beavis and Butt-head" previewed here. Low-key Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge explains how he was able to slip a previously rejected slang term past standards & practices in the hour-long documentary "Taint of Greatness."


You don't expect much in the way of bonus features on a single-disc compilation, but this one pleasantly surprises by including Beavis and Butt-head's oldest and newest adventures, along with a reflection on everything in between.

First and most exclusively are scenes from the upcoming new season (4:49), hailing from the episode "Holy Cornholio." Though the animation is much more polished and Judge's Beavis voice is a bit off, the original show's sensibilities remain intact. Since there aren't really music videos on MTV anymore, Beavis and Butt-head comment on scenes from "Jersey Shore."
Some may cringe at that, but the reality show is as suitable as anything for the duo's mocking. That is proved here, as the excerpts are pretty funny, though I suspect the revival will be met with the Internet cynicism that the original predated.

Next, we get "Taint of Greatness: The Journey of Beavis and Butt-head" (1:04:09), a great documentary previously divided into three parts and spread across the Mike Judge Collection volumes. It's clearly one coherent piece and probably the most definitive one on this franchise. Interview remarks from Judge himself form the foundation, as he discusses the show's characters, real-life inspirations, and challenges. We also hear from other writers, directors, producers, MTV executives, and the creators of "South Park". This doc covers all the ground you would like it to, tackling controversy, censorship, and the conception of Cornholio. It considers the importance of David Letterman's endorsement, the hit 1996 theatrical movie Beavis and Butt-head Do America, bands' reactions to being mocked on the show, and the original short's focus groups (with fascinating video). It concludes with Judge contemplating a future revival for the characters, his comments now assuming new meaning. I suspect that someone buying a "Beavis and Butt-head" DVD in 2011 would have preferred to get more episodes of the show over an hour-long documentary, but this TV-worthy piece lends real perspective to the series and its complete assembly here is welcome.

Beavis and Butt-head rock out for the very first time in the 1992 short "Frog Baseball." Beavis and Butt-head display their concern for a wounded baby bird on the Mike Judge's Most Wanted DVD main menu.

Finally, there is "Frog Baseball" (2:39, originally aired September 22, 1992), the uncut short film that started it all. It's a fitting debut and, when you consider what it launched, one of the most significant modern cartoon shorts since "The Tracey Ullman Show" bumpers.

The main menu loops 45 seconds of show clips inside a wanted poster while the theme music plays. We transition to the static other two menus with Beavis and Butt-head's signature sounds. Episodes are preceded by episode title cards. End credits are supplied only on the last episode of the set.

The disc opens with a promo for The Complete Animated Series DVD release of spin-off "Daria."

Beavis and Butt-head rile one Harry Sachz in "Prank Call." Beavis and Butt-head are the unlikely plaintiffs in a sexual harassment lawsuit.


"Beavis and Butt-head" seems so specific to an era that one fears it wouldn't age very well, but I'm glad to find that isn't the case. This generation-defining MTV cartoon holds up as reliably entertaining, its idiot satire the product of much wit. It's unfortunate that a complete, official release of the series will probably never occur on account of creator Mike Judge's reservations and the less surmountable steep costs of licensing the music videos that were an integral part of the show.

It seems to me you would fare better with any one of the three 3-disc Mike Judge Collection DVDs than this new Most Wanted compilation. They offer more content at a comparable price. If you just want a small serving of the show, this new disc holding the creator's favorite installments is probably as strong as any and might be easier to find in stores. On its own merits, if you can look past the highly abbreviated presentation of the show, you should be satisfied by the two hours of episodes, excellent one-hour retrospective documentary, and promising glimpses at the forthcoming new "Beavis and Butt-head."

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Mike Judge's Most Wanted / The Mike Judge Collection: Volume 1 • Volume 2 • Volume 3

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Reviewed September 22, 2011.

Text copyright 2011 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 1992-97 Mike Judge and MTV, 2011 MTV Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.
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