Team America: World Police
Overview
Team America: World Police, often referred to as simply Team America, is a 2004 action comedy film written by Trey Parker
Trey Parker
Trey Parker is an American animator, screenwriter, director, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of the television series South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone.Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short...

, Matt Stone
Matt Stone
Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

, and Pam Brady
Pam Brady
Pam Brady is an American writer and television producer, best known for her work with Trey Parker and Matt Stone.-Career:Pam Brady first met Parker, Stone and Jason McHugh while working under Brian Graden at 20th Century Fox. Brady suggested that the two make a weekly version of their student film...

 and directed by Parker, all of whom are also known for the popular animated television series South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

. The film is a satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 of big-budget action film
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

s and their associated cliché
Cliché
A cliché or cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel. In phraseology, the term has taken on a more technical meaning,...

s and stereotype
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

s, with particular humorous emphasis on the global implications of US politics
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

. The title of the film itself is derived from domestic and international political criticisms that the U.S.
Quotations

[Paris is reduced to a smouldering pile of rubble]Joe: Bonjour, everyone! Don't worry. Everything is bon! We stopped the terrorists.

Spottswoode: Gary, this is Lisa. She specializes in how the terrorists think.Lisa: Usually a case of malignant narcissism brought on during childhood.

Spottswoode: Team, this is all my fault. I screwed up with Cairo. [pause] I let racism cloud my judgment. [pause] I was so sure the world's ultimate terrorist must be Middle Eastern that... I never suspected he was a God damn gook. I'll never be racist again.

And so, I'm roneryA rittle roneryPoor rittle meThere's nobody I can rerate toFeewl rike a bird in a cageIt's kinda sirryBut, not rearryBecause, it's fiwring my body with rage. Note: This song is played near the end of the credits on the DVD. This has been confirmed on the UK PAL and the US NTSC DVD. It was also present in the theatrical release.

You are worthwess Arec Barrwin,:You are worthwess Arec Barrwin,You failed in evwy way and now my stock in you has fallen,Your career is stallin' and,You're worthwess Arec Barrwin,That's why I bwew your head off and your children are all bawrin.'

Encyclopedia
Team America: World Police, often referred to as simply Team America, is a 2004 action comedy film written by Trey Parker
Trey Parker
Trey Parker is an American animator, screenwriter, director, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of the television series South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone.Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short...

, Matt Stone
Matt Stone
Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

, and Pam Brady
Pam Brady
Pam Brady is an American writer and television producer, best known for her work with Trey Parker and Matt Stone.-Career:Pam Brady first met Parker, Stone and Jason McHugh while working under Brian Graden at 20th Century Fox. Brady suggested that the two make a weekly version of their student film...

 and directed by Parker, all of whom are also known for the popular animated television series South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

. The film is a satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 of big-budget action film
Action film
Action film is a film genre where one or more heroes is thrust into a series of challenges that require physical feats, extended fights and frenetic chases...

s and their associated cliché
Cliché
A cliché or cliche is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel. In phraseology, the term has taken on a more technical meaning,...

s and stereotype
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

s, with particular humorous emphasis on the global implications of US politics
Politics of the United States
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States , Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.The executive branch is headed by the President...

. The title of the film itself is derived from domestic and international political criticisms that the U.S. frequently and unilaterally tries to "police the world". The film features a cast composed of marionette
Marionette
A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette's puppeteer is called a manipulator. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms...

s. Team America focuses on a fictional team of political paramilitary
Paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

 policemen known as "Team America: World Police", who attempt to save the world from a violent terrorist plot led by Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

.

The film was primarily inspired by Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds (TV series)
Thunderbirds is a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation"...

, a popular British TV show created by Gerry
Gerry Anderson
Gerry Anderson MBE is a British publisher, producer, director and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving specially modified marionettes, a process called "Supermarionation"....

 and Sylvia Anderson
Sylvia Anderson
Sylvia Anderson , born 25 March 1937, is a British voice artist and film producer, most notable for collaborations with Gerry Anderson, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1975....

 which also featured an all-marionette cast, though Stone and Parker were not fans of the show. The duo worked on the script with former South Park writer Pam Brady for nearly two years. The film had a troubled time in production, with various problems regarding the marionettes as well as the scheduling extremes of having the film come out in time. In addition, the filmmakers fought with the Motion Picture Association of America
Motion Picture Association of America
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. , originally the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America , was founded in 1922 and is designed to advance the business interests of its members...

, who returned the film over nine times with an NC-17 rating. The film was recut by a few seconds and rated R. This was not unlike the ratings battles for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a 1999 animated musical comedy film based on the animated television series South Park, created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The film was directed by Parker, who also stars along with the rest of the regular voice cast from the series, including Stone, Mary...

.

The film was released in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 on October 15, 2004 and received generally positive reviews. Team America grossed over $51 million worldwide. The film was released on DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 in the United States on May 17, 2005, available in both R-rated and Unrated versions.

Plot

Team America exists to stop terrorists from committing world crimes. With a home base within Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States...

, the team consists of: Lisa, a psychologist
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

; Carson, Lisa's love interest; Sarah, an alleged psychic
Psychic
A psychic is a person who professes an ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception , or is said by others to have such abilities. It is also used to describe theatrical performers who use techniques such as prestidigitation, cold reading, and hot...

; Joe, an all-American jock who is in love with Sarah; and Chris, a technological
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

 and martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 expert who harbors a mistrust of actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

s. The team is led by Spottswoode, a United States government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 agent. I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. is their highly-advanced supercomputer
Supercomputer
A supercomputer is a computer at the frontline of current processing capacity, particularly speed of calculation.Supercomputers are used for highly calculation-intensive tasks such as problems including quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling A supercomputer is a...

.

The story opens in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, where the team interrupts a group of terrorists in action. During the ensuing firefight, the Team destroys the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world...

 (which then collapses onto and destroys the Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
-The design:The astylar design is by Jean Chalgrin , in the Neoclassical version of ancient Roman architecture . Major academic sculptors of France are represented in the sculpture of the Arc de Triomphe: Jean-Pierre Cortot; François Rude; Antoine Étex; James Pradier and Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire...

) and the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

. Carson then proposes to Lisa, but the moment is cut short when a dying terrorist kills Carson. In search of a new member, Spottswoode recruits Gary Johnston, a Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 actor, who was starring in Lease
Rent (musical)
Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème...

, and who has college majors in Theater and World Languages. Gary will use his acting talents to infiltrate terrorist organizations. Unbeknownst to the team, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n dictator Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

 is supplying international terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, planning a mysterious worldwide attack.

I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. is informed of a terrorist meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Gary manages to successfully infiltrate the terrorist group due to his fluency in their language, which is shown to be a caricature of Arabic that consists mainly of the words "Dirka", "Muhammad" and "Jihad". During this time, both Lisa and Sarah become romantically attracted to him. Chris, however, hates Gary, because he is an actor. Gary is sent in undercover
Undercover
Being undercover is disguising one's own identity or using an assumed identity for the purposes of gaining the trust of an individual or organization to learn secret information or to gain the trust of targeted individuals in order to gain information or evidence...

, and gains trust of a terrorist lieutenant despite having a poor disguise. The team attempts to capture the terrorists, and although Team America successfully foils the plan, their actions again leave most of the city in ruins. The group is criticized by the Film Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild
The Screen Actors Guild is an American labor union representing over 200,000 film and television principal performers and background performers worldwide...

 (F.A.G.), a union of liberal
Liberalism in the United States
Liberalism in the United States is a broad political philosophy centered on the unalienable rights of the individual. The fundamental liberal ideals of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion for all belief systems, and the separation of church and state, right to due process...

 Hollywood
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Hollywood is a famous district in Los Angeles, California, United States situated west-northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Due to its fame and cultural identity as the historical center of movie studios and movie stars, the word Hollywood is often used as a metonym of American cinema...

 actors. The group includes Gary's favorite actor, Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

, and his heavy criticism is discouraging to Gary. Meanwhile, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 assign Hans Blix
Hans Blix
is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs . Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos...

 to inspect Kim Jong-il's lair, but Blix is killed by Kim Jong-il's man-eating sharks. As Team America relaxes, Gary expresses his guilt to Lisa, remembering a time where his acting talent caused his brother to be killed by gorillas. As the two consummate their relationship, a group of terrorists blow up the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

.

The Film Actors Guild blames Team America, believing that they are responsible, as the terrorists claim this is retaliation for Team America's attack in Egypt. Gary, realizing his acting talents have once again resulted in tragedy, abandons the team, causing conflict among the remaining members. Believing the terrorists to be operating within Derkaderkastan, the original members depart, only to be attacked and captured by terrorists and the North Koreans, respectively. Meanwhile, Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

 infiltrates the team's base and suicide bombs
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

 the area. Kim Jong-il, upset with the terrorists' actions, expresses his frustration and despair by singing "I'm So Ronery". Meanwhile, Gary slips further into alcoholism.

In North Korea, Kim Jong-il plans to host an elaborate peace ceremony
Peace conference
A peace conference is a diplomatic meeting where representatives of certain states, armies, or other warring parties converge to end hostilities and sign a peace treaty....

, inviting not only the Film Actors Guild but also the world's political leaders. Alec Baldwin is chosen as the ceremony's host. During the celebration, a series of bombs will be detonated throughout the world, reducing every nation to a Third World country
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

. Gary returns to the Team's headquarters in Mount Rushmore and finds only ruins, although Spottswoode and I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. have survived. After regaining Spottswoode's trust by performing oral sex
Oral sex
Oral sex is sexual activity involving the stimulation of the genitalia of a sex partner by the use of the mouth, tongue, teeth or throat. Cunnilingus refers to oral sex performed on females while fellatio refer to oral sex performed on males. Anilingus refers to oral stimulation of a person's anus...

 on him, and undergoing a one-day training course (shown as a montage for comic effect), Gary is sent to North Korea.

Gary manages to free the team. They are confronted by the Film Actors Guild and a violent battle ensues, which involves panthers being released at the team, and leaving most of the Guild brutally slain, with Alec Baldwin remaining alive as the host of the ceremony. Soon after, Chris confesses to Gary that his mistrust of actors is due to the fact that at 19 years of age he was raped by the cast of Cats
Cats (musical)
Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot...

. The team then confront Kim Jong-il. Although initially unsuccessful, Gary convinces the world's leaders to unite when he recites the drifter's emotional speech that he heard in the bar, stunning Alec. Kim Jong-il then kills Alec with an assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

, but is defeated by Lisa. Kim's bombs are disarmed; and he is revealed to be a cockroach from another planet. He flees, departing in a miniature spaceship, but promises to return. As Gary and Lisa begin a relationship, the team reunites, preparing to combat the remainder of the world's terrorists.

Cast

  • Trey Parker
    Trey Parker
    Trey Parker is an American animator, screenwriter, director, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of the television series South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Matt Stone.Parker started his film career in 1992, making a holiday short...

     as Gary Johnston / Joe / Carson / Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

     / Hans Blix
    Hans Blix
    is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs . Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos...

     / Matt Damon
    Matt Damon
    Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting , from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck...

     / Tim Robbins
    Tim Robbins
    Timothy Francis "Tim" Robbins is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is the former longtime partner of actress Susan Sarandon...

     / Sean Penn
    Sean Penn
    Sean Justin Penn is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his political and social activism...

     / Michael Moore
    Michael Moore
    Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

     / Helen Hunt
    Helen Hunt
    Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, before being cast in the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets...

     / Susan Sarandon
    Susan Sarandon
    Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

     / Drunk in Bar / Other voices
  • Matt Stone
    Matt Stone
    Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

     as Chris / George Clooney
    George Clooney
    George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award...

     / Danny Glover
    Danny Glover
    Danny Lebern Glover is an American actor, film director, and political activist. Glover is perhaps best known for his role as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise.-Early life:...

     / Ethan Hawke
    Ethan Hawke
    Ethan Green Hawke is an American actor, writer and director. He made his feature film debut in 1985 with the science fiction movie Explorers, before making a supporting appearance in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society which is considered his breakthrough role...

     / Other voices
  • Kristen Miller
    Kristen Miller
    Kristen Miller is an American actress who has appeared in guest and in leading roles in many television shows, including Dexter, USA High, That's My Bush!, Two and a Half Men, Charmed, She Spies and Undressed...

     as Lisa
  • Masasa
    Masasa Moyo
    Masasa Moyo is a Canadian actress and voice actress mostly known for her voice over roles.-Biography:Masasa was born in Canada to a Zimbabwean Father and an American Irish/German Mother. Even though she aspired to become an actress since childhood, she only began acting in college doing local...

     as Sarah
  • Daran Norris
    Daran Norris
    Daran Morrison Nordland , usually credited as Daran Norris, is an American film and television actor and voice artist. Since 1977 he has participated in more than 400 films, video games, and television projects. He is best known as Gordy from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, the voice of...

     as Spottswoode
  • Phil Hendrie
    Phil Hendrie
    Philip Stephen Hendrie is an American radio personality. He is best known as the host of The Phil Hendrie Show, a comedy talk radio program that is syndicated throughout North America on Talk Radio Network...

     as I.N.T.E.L.L.I.G.E.N.C.E. / Chechen terrorist
  • Maurice LaMarche
    Maurice LaMarche
    Maurice LaMarche is an Emmy Award winning Canadian-American voice actor and former stand up comedian. He is best known for his voicework in Futurama as Kif Kroker, as Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters, Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Big Bob Pataki in Hey...

     as Alec Baldwin
    Alec Baldwin
    Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

  • Chelsea Marguerite as French mother
  • Jeremy Shada
    Jeremy Shada
    Jeremy Shada is an American child actor and singer. He is currently voicing Finn on the animated TV show Adventure Time with Finn and Jake, a role which was voiced by his brother Zack in the pilot episode. His brothers are Josh Shada and Zack Shada.-Filmography:- External links :...

     as Jean Francois
  • Fred Tatasciore
    Fred Tatasciore
    Frederick "Fred" Tatasciore is an American voice actor who portrays secondary characters as well as monstrous-looking types...

     as Samuel L. Jackson
    Samuel L. Jackson
    Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor,...

  • Scott Land
    Scott Land
    Scott Land is a professional puppeteer and actor. His skills are on display in many scenes in Paramount Pictures’ Team America: World Police.-Notes:...

     as Lead puppeteer
  • The film also features a man dressed as a giant statue of Kim Il-sung
    Kim Il-sung
    Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

    , two live cats, two nurse sharks, and a cockroach, with the difference in size with the marionettes played for humorous effect.

Production

After the "hassle" of producing their last film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a 1999 animated musical comedy film based on the animated television series South Park, created by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The film was directed by Parker, who also stars along with the rest of the regular voice cast from the series, including Stone, Mary...

, Parker and Stone vowed never to create another film. The film's earliest origins involve Parker and Stone watching Gerry Anderson's Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds (TV series)
Thunderbirds is a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation"...

on television while bored. When the duo saw the series, they recalled seeing it on television but were not fans. Parker found that the series was unable to hold his interest as a child because "the dialogue was so expository and slow, and it took itself really seriously." The duo inquired about the rights to the series and found Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

 was doing a Thunderbirds film
Thunderbirds (film)
Thunderbirds is a 2004 science-fiction adventure film loosely based upon the television series of the same name of the 1960s, directed by Jonathan Frakes....

 directed by Jonathan Frakes
Jonathan Frakes
Jonathan Scott Frakes is an American actor, author and director best known for his role as Commander William T. Riker in the Star Trek franchise, as well as for his tenure as host of Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction ....

. "We said, 'What? Jonathan Frakes is directing puppets?' and then we found out it was a live action version, and we were disappointed," said Parker. The two then read in the trades that The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is a 2004 American science-fiction disaster film that depicts the catastrophic effects of global warming in a series of extreme weather events that usher in global cooling which leads to a new ice age. The film did well at the box office, grossing $542,771,772 internationally...

had been sold to Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 due to a one line pitch regarding global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

, which Parker and Stone found hilarious and "insane." Parker recalled Stone running up to him during work at South Park holding the paper, who sat down and read the synopsis regarding "sudden global warming attacking the earth." The two were in tears from laughing. The two got a copy of the script, and soon realized that "The Day After Tomorrow was the greatest puppet script ever written." Originally intended to a be a shot-for-shot puppet parody of The Day After Tomorrow, Parker and Stone were advised by their lawyers that there could be possible legal repercussions. The first intention was to shoot the entire script with puppets and have their film, The Day After the Day After Tomorrow, come out a day later than The Day After Tomorrow. News broke of the duo signing on to create the film on October 17, 2002, with Stone revealing that it would be an homage to Anderson. The news was confirmed in June 2003, with Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

quoting Stone as saying "What we wanted was to do a send-up of these super important huge action movies that Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerome Leon "Jerry" Bruckheimer is an American film and television producer. He has achieved great success in the genres of action, drama, and science fiction. His best known television series are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Eleventh Hour, Without a Trace, Cold Case, The...

 makes."

When the duo pitched Team America to Paramount
Paramount
-Companies:*Paramount Motion Pictures Group, a motion picture holding company owned by Viacom*Paramount Pictures, a motion picture studio*Paramount Vantage, specialty film division of Paramount Pictures*CBS Paramount Television, a television studio and library...

, the studio believed the film would not be a financial success. The two pitched the film to their producer Scott Rudin
Scott Rudin
Scott Rudin is an American film producer and a theatrical producer.-Early life and work:Scott Rudin was born in New York City, NY, on July 14, 1958, and raised in the town of Baldwin on Long Island. At the age of sixteen, he started working as an assistant to theatre producer Kermit Bloomgarden...

 first, who immediately "got" and understood the project, and eventually convinced Paramount to give the project the green light. Studio executives were initially less than thrilled with the project; as soon as dailies were shown, the studio jumped on board. The studio was, ironically, in favor of the lack of political correctness
Political correctness
Political correctness is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual orientation, certain other religions, beliefs or ideologies, disability, and age-related contexts,...

, but were confused by the use of puppets. The executives explained that they could not make profit from an R-rated puppet feature, and Parker countered that they had said the same thing regarding an R-rated musical (South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) but they did. Parker, Stone, and longtime writing partner Pam Brady
Pam Brady
Pam Brady is an American writer and television producer, best known for her work with Trey Parker and Matt Stone.-Career:Pam Brady first met Parker, Stone and Jason McHugh while working under Brian Graden at 20th Century Fox. Brady suggested that the two make a weekly version of their student film...

 spent nearly two years perfecting the Team America script. For influences, they studied scores of popular action and disaster films, such as Alien
Alien (film)
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

, Top Gun
Top Gun
Top Gun may refer to:* Top Gun is a 1986 film starring Tom Cruise.**Top Gun , soundtrack to the movie**Top Gun , a number of games based on the movie...

, and S.W.A.T.
S.W.A.T. (film)
S.W.A.T. is a 2003 action-crime film directed by Clark Johnson, and is based on the 1975 television series of the same name. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, LL Cool J and Michelle Rodriguez. It was produced by Neal H...

The duo watched Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor (film)
Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American action drama war film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay...

to get the nuances of the puppets just right when they were staring at each other, and also used Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt , better known as Ben Affleck, is an American actor, film director, writer, and producer. He became known with his performances in Kevin Smith's films such as Mallrats and Chasing Amy...

 as a model. To help shape the film's archetypal heroes (from the true believer to the reluctant hero to the guy who sells out his friends for greater glory), they read Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell
Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience...

. "On one level, it's a big send-up," Brady said. "But on another, it's about foreign policy." The first draft of the script was turned in well before the Iraq War. The film takes aim at various celebrities, many of whom came out in opposition to Iraq War in 2003. Brady explained this in an interview as though everyone wanted an expert on the subject, a celebrity would take center stage instead.

The film's central concept was far easier to dream up than to execute. Team America was produced using a crew of about 200 people, which sometimes required four people at a time to manipulate a marionette. The duo were forced to constantly rewrite the film during production due to the limited nature of the puppets. The 270 puppet characters were created by the Chiodo Brothers
The Chiodo Brothers
The Chiodo Brothers are a group of sibling special effects artists, best known for their film Killer Klowns from Outer Space and creating puppets and effects for films such as Critters, Ernest Scared Stupid, and Team America: World Police...

, who previously designed puppets for films such as Elf
Elf (film)
Elf is a 2003 comedy film directed by Jon Favreau, written by David Berenbaum and starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, and Zooey Deschanel. It was released in the United States on November 7, 2003 and grossed over $220,400,000 worldwide.-Plot:A baby crawls into Santa Claus' sack while he is...

and Dinosaur
Dinosaur (film)
Dinosaur is a 2000 American computer-animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on May 19, 2000, and is the 39th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

. The costumers of the crew were responsible for making sure the over 1,000 costumes remained in cohesive order and were realistic. Production began on May 23, 2004. The project was interrupted multiple times early on in production. As soon as filming began, Parker and Stone labored to find the right comic tone; the original script for the film contained many more jokes. After shooting the very first scene, the two realized the jokes were not working, and that the humor instead came from the marionettes. "Puppets doing jokes is not funny," Stone found. "But when you see puppets doing melodrama, spitting up blood and talking about how they were raped as children, that's funny." The film was filmed by three units shooting different parts of the film at the same time. At times, the producers would have up to five cameras set up to capture the scene filmed.

The film was painstakingly made realistically, which led to various shots being re-done throughout the process due to Parker and Stone's obsession with detail and craftsmanship. For example, a tiny Team America-scale Uzi cost $1,000 to construct, and Kim Jong Il's eyeglasses were made with hand-ground prescription lenses. Although the filmmakers hired three dozen top-notch marionette operators, simple performances from the marionettes was nearly impossible, with a simple shot such as a character drinking taking a half-day to complete successfully. Both Parker and Stone agreed during production of Team America that it was "the hardest thing [they'd] ever done." Rather than rely on computer-generated special effects added in post-production, the filmmakers vied to capture every stunt live on film. Parker likened each shot to a complicated math problem.
Even before the scene's submission to the Motion Picture Association of America
Motion Picture Association of America
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. , originally the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America , was founded in 1922 and is designed to advance the business interests of its members...

, Parker planned to "have fun" pushing the limits by throwing in the graphic scene. The duo knew the racy film would be met with some opposition, but were outraged when the film came back with their harshest rating, NC-17. In the original cut of the film, the puppets made love for about a minute and a half, but it was cut down to 50 seconds. The original scene also featured the two puppets urinating and defecating on one another. The entire joke was based on what children do humorously with dolls such as Ken and Barbie. At least nine edits of the puppet love scene were shown to the MPAA before the board accepted that it had been toned down enough to qualify for an R rating. Parker contrasted the MPAA's reluctance for the sex scene to their acceptance of the violence: "Meanwhile, we're taking other puppets and, you know, blowing their heads off, they're covered with blood and stuff, and the MPAA didn't have a word to say about that." In addition to the sex scene, the MPAA were also upset with a puppet being eaten alive by sharks. The duo faced a similar conflict with their previous film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, in 1999.

From September 18, the film began principal photography and editing. The film was required to be turned in completed by the end of September. The pressure took a toll on both filmmakers. Stone said that in order to work for 20 hours, which was normal for Team America, he would take sleeping pills to go to bed and drink coffee to stay up. He also described Team America as "the worst time of [my] life." A hectic production schedule and various puppetry problems transformed the experience into high drama. The film was barely completed in time for its October 15 release date. For example, at a press junket in Los Angeles on October 5, journalists were only shown a 20-minute reel of highlights because there was no finished print. Many of the film's producers, besides Parker and Stone, had not even seen the entire film on film with the sound mix until the premiere.

Individuals parodied

Famous people depicted as puppets in the film include Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

, Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

, Sean Penn
Sean Penn
Sean Justin Penn is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his political and social activism...

, Tim Robbins
Tim Robbins
Timothy Francis "Tim" Robbins is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer, activist and musician. He is the former longtime partner of actress Susan Sarandon...

, Helen Hunt
Helen Hunt
Helen Elizabeth Hunt is an American actress, film director, and screenwriter. She starred in the sitcom Mad About You for seven years, before being cast in the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets...

, George Clooney
George Clooney
George Timothy Clooney is an American actor, film director, producer, and screenwriter. For his work as an actor, he has received two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award...

, Liv Tyler
Liv Tyler
Liv Rundgren Tyler is an American actress and model. She is the daughter of Aerosmith's lead singer, Steven Tyler, and Bebe Buell, model and singer. Tyler began a career in modeling at the age of 14, but after less than a year she decided to focus on acting. She made her film debut in the 1994...

, Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...

, Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon
Susan Sarandon is an American actress. She has worked in films and television since 1969, and won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. She had also been nominated for the award for four films before that and has received other recognition for her...

, Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo
Janeane Garofalo is an American stand-up comedian, actress, political activist and writer. She is the former co-host on the now defunct Air America Radio's The Majority Report. Garofalo continues to circulate regularly within New York City's local comedy and performance art scene.-Early...

, Matt Damon
Matt Damon
Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting , from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck...

, Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor,...

, Danny Glover
Danny Glover
Danny Lebern Glover is an American actor, film director, and political activist. Glover is perhaps best known for his role as Detective Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film franchise.-Early life:...

, Ethan Hawke
Ethan Hawke
Ethan Green Hawke is an American actor, writer and director. He made his feature film debut in 1985 with the science fiction movie Explorers, before making a supporting appearance in the 1989 drama Dead Poets Society which is considered his breakthrough role...

, Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

, Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

, Queen Elizabeth II, Peter Jennings
Peter Jennings
Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM was a Canadian American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer...

, and Hans Blix
Hans Blix
is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs . Blix was also the head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission from March 2000 to June 2003, when he was succeeded by Dimitris Perrikos...

. With the exception of Jennings, Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth (and Sheen, whose death is not shown despite being involved in the F.A.G. vs. Team America battle), all are killed in dramatic and extremely violent ways.

Reactions from those parodied were mixed; Alec Baldwin found the project "so funny", and expressed interest in lending his voice to his character. In a 2008 video interview with Time, Baldwin related how his daughter's classmates would recite Kim Jong-Il's line to him, "You are useress to me, Arec Bardwin." Sean Penn, who is portrayed making outlandish claims about how happy and utopian Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 was before Team America showed up, sent Parker and Stone an angry letter inviting them to tour Iraq with him, ending with the words "fuck you." Both George Clooney and Matt Damon are said to be friends with Stone and Parker, and Clooney has stated that he would have been insulted had he not been included in the film. While Matt Damon was originally meant to be an intelligent person in the film, Parker and Stone saw during production that his puppet was so malformed it "looked retarded." Inspired by an anecdote Damon tells in which he relates his fatigue with people coming up to him and shouting his name, they decided to have him only able to say his name, similar to the character Timmy in South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

.

Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

, a noted film buff, has never commented publicly about his depiction in Team America: World Police, although shortly after its release North Korea asked the Czech Republic to ban the film. The filmmakers acknowledged this in a DVD
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 extra and jokingly suggested he sing "I'm So Ronery".

Michael Moore is depicted as a fat, hot dog
Hot dog
A hot dog is a sausage served in a sliced bun. It is very often garnished with mustard, ketchup, onions, mayonnaise, relish and/or sauerkraut.-History:...

 eating glutton
Gluttony
Gluttony, derived from the Latin gluttire meaning to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, intoxicants or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste...

 who partakes in suicide bombing
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

 and is referred to as a "giant socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 weasel" by the supercomputer. Stone explained the reason for this portrayal in an MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

 interview:
We have a very specific beef with Michael Moore...I did an interview, and he didn't mischaracterize me or anything I said in Bowling for Columbine
Bowling for Columbine
Bowling for Columbine is a 2002 documentary film written, directed, produced, and narrated by Michael Moore. The film explores what Michael Moore suggests are the causes for the Columbine High School massacre and other acts of violence with guns...

. But what he did do was put this cartoon [titled A Brief History of the United States of America, written by Moore, animated and directed by Harold Moss] right after me that made it look like we did that cartoon.


A deleted scene
Deleted scene
In Entertainment, especially the film and television industry, Deleted scenes are parts of a film removed or censored from or replaced by another scene in the final "cut", or version, of a film...

 also shows Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep
Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress who has worked in theatre, television and film.Streep made her professional stage debut in 1971's The Playboy of Seville, before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season in 1977. In that same year, she made her film debut with...

 and Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt , better known as Ben Affleck, is an American actor, film director, writer, and producer. He became known with his performances in Kevin Smith's films such as Mallrats and Chasing Amy...

 (who is portrayed with a real-life hand). One celebrity mocked, George Clooney, is friends with Parker and Stone. Parker and Stone decided that though Clooney was their friend, it would be hypocritical to not mock him but bash other celebrities.

Release

Reviews of the film were generally positive. It rated a 78% ("fresh") at Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

, (and 68% of the site's Top Critics) with the consensus "Team America will either offend you or leave you in stitches. It'll probably do both." The Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

 rating is 64/100 ("generally favorable reviews").

Thunderbirds
Thunderbirds (TV series)
Thunderbirds is a British mid-1960s science fiction television show devised by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and made by AP Films using a form of marionette puppetry dubbed "Supermarionation"...

creator Gerry Anderson
Gerry Anderson
Gerry Anderson MBE is a British publisher, producer, director and writer, famous for his futuristic television programmes, particularly those involving specially modified marionettes, a process called "Supermarionation"....

 was supposed to have met Trey Parker before production, but they cancelled the meeting, acknowledging he would not like the film's expletives. Anderson felt "there are good, fun parts [in the film] but the language wasn't to my liking".

National Review Online has named the film #24 in its list of 'The Best Conservative Movies'. Brian C. Anderson
Brian C. Anderson
Brian C. Anderson is the editor of City Journal, a quarterly magazine, published by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.-Background:Anderson received his BA and MA from Boston College...

 wrote, "the film’s utter disgust with air-headed, left-wing celebrity activism remains unmatched in popular culture." However, political and social commentator Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Michael Sullivan is an English author, editor, political commentator and blogger. He describes himself as a political conservative. He has focused on American political life....

 considers the film brilliant in its skewering of both the left and right's approach on terrorism. Sullivan (a fan of Stone and Parker's other work, as well) popularized the term "South Park Republican
South Park Republican
"South Park Republican" was a term that first circulated in blogs and articles on the Internet between the years circa 2001 and 2002, used to describe what some modern commentators describe as a "new wave" or generation of young adults and teenagers who hold center-right political beliefs that are,...

" to describe himself and other like-minded fiscal conservatives/social libertarians. Parker himself is a registered Libertarian
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

.

The film suffered oppositional criticism before it was released. In August, Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge
Matt Drudge
Matthew Nathan Drudge is the American creator and editor of the Drudge Report, a news aggregation website. Drudge is self-described as being conservative and populist. Drudge has also authored a book and hosted a radio show and a television show.-Early years:Matthew Drudge was raised in Takoma...

 blasted Paramount and the filmmakers for trying to "mock the terror war." A week later, the conservative group Move America Forward
Move America Forward
Move America Forward is a conservative political action group based in California that grew out of the campaign to recall California Governor Gray Davis. Move America Forward seeks to advance many conservative causes by lobbying of politicians at the local, state, and federal levels, through media...

 criticized the film, saying it was "inconceivable" that filmmakers would have spoofed the Nazis during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Before the film was released, statements were released by a "senior Bush administration official" condemning the film. Upon receiving the news, the duo called and found it was instead a "junior staffer," causing Stone to quip "What is it - junior or senior? What are we talking about here? Who knows? It might have been the janitor." The two eventually decided it was free publicity, which they were fine with. Some media outlets interpreted the film's release on October 15 to be in theaters before the November elections. In reality, the release date had nothing to do with the elections; in fact, the film was intended to be released earlier but production fell behind.

Box office

Team America made $12.1 million in its opening U.S. weekend. The film eventually grossed a total of almost $51 million, with $32.8 million in U.S. domestic receipts and $18.1 million in international proceeds.

Filmmakers' response

In an interview with Matt Stone
Matt Stone
Matthew Richard "Matt" Stone is an American screenwriter, producer, voice artist, musician and actor, best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with creative partner and best friend, Trey Parker....

 following the film's release, Anwar Brett of the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 asked the following question. "For all the targets you choose to take pot-shots at," he asked, "George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 isn't one of them. How come?" Matt Stone replied, "If you want to see Bush-bashing in America you only have to walk about 10 feet to find it. Trey and I are always attracted to what other people aren't doing. Frankly that wasn't the movie we wanted to make."

In another interview, Parker and Stone further clarified the end of the film which seems to justify the role of the United States as the "World Police".

Because that's the thing that we realized when we were making the movie. It was always the hardest thing. We wanted to deal with this emotion of being hated as an American. That was the thing that was intriguing to us, and having Gary (the main character) deal with that emotion. And so, him becoming ashamed to be a part of Team America and being ashamed of himself, he comes to realize that, just as he got his brother killed by gorillas -- he didn't kill his brother; he was a dick, he wasn't an asshole -- so too does America have this role in the world as a dick. Cops are dicks, you fucking hate cops, but you need 'em.

Music

Marc Shaiman
Marc Shaiman
Marc Shaiman is an American composer, lyricist, arranger, and performer for films, television, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for writing the music and co-writing the lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the cult John Waters film Hairspray, for which Shaiman won Tony and Grammy...

 was originally hired to compose the original score
Film score
A film score is original music written specifically to accompany a film, forming part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes dialogue and sound effects...

 and help Parker compose the film's songs. He helped compose "Everyone Has AIDS" and "Derka Derk (Terrorist Theme)". He submitted a score, but the studio rejected it and fired Shaiman, hiring Harry Gregson-Williams
Harry Gregson-Williams
Harry Gregson-Williams is a prolific British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer. He is best known for his film scores, of which he has composed over sixty using electronic music and orchestral pieces...

 as a last minute replacement (Parker had instructed Shaiman to score the film as if it were a typical action film, which they agreed would make it funnier, while the studio felt the score should play up the comedy). However, Shaiman still conducted the orchestra in the film's scoring sessions.

The film's songs include:
  • "America, Fuck Yeah": Played throughout various parts of the film, along with the "America, Fuck Yeah (Bummer Remix)", intended to mock the stereotypical American's freedom-loving, jingoist form of patriotism.
  • "Freedom Isn't Free": Played when Gary decides to take a "detour" with Baxter, the limo driver. The song concludes with the declaration that freedom in fact costs $1.05 ("a buck oh five"). It is a parody of nationalistic country songs like "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)" by Toby Keith
    Toby Keith
    Toby Keith Covel , best known as Toby Keith, is an American country music singer-songwriter, record producer and actor. Keith released his first four studio albums — 1993's Toby Keith, 1994's Boomtown, 1996's Blue Moon and 1997's Dream Walkin, plus a Greatest Hits package for various divisions of...

    , "Have You Forgotten?" by Darryl Worley
    Darryl Worley
    Darryl Wade Worley is an American country music artist. Signed to DreamWorks Records Nashville in 2000, Worley released four albums for the label: Hard Rain Don't Last , I Miss My Friend , Have You Forgotten? , and Darryl Worley in 2004...

     and "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)
    Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)
    "Where Were You " is the title of a song written and recorded by American country music artist Alan Jackson. Written in the wake of the September 11 attacks, it was introduced at the Country Music Association's annual awards show on November 7, 2001...

    " by Alan Jackson
    Alan Jackson
    Alan Eugene Jackson is an American country music singer, known for blending traditional honky tonk and mainstream country sounds and penning many of his own hits. He has recorded 13 studio albums, 3 Greatest Hits albums, 2 Holiday albums, 1 Gospel album and several compilations, all on the Arista...

    .
  • "Derka Derk (Terrorist Theme)", an instrumental parody of "Cantina Band" from Star Wars.
  • "Only a Woman": Played during the love scene between Gary and Lisa; a parody of Diane Warren
    Diane Warren
    Diane Eve Warren , is a US songwriter. Her songs have received six Academy Award nominations, five Golden Globe nominations, including one win and seven Grammy Award nominations, including one win. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001...

    -penned powerballads from Jerry Bruckheimer
    Jerry Bruckheimer
    Jerome Leon "Jerry" Bruckheimer is an American film and television producer. He has achieved great success in the genres of action, drama, and science fiction. His best known television series are CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Eleventh Hour, Without a Trace, Cold Case, The...

    -produced action films ("I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
    I Don't Want to Miss a Thing
    "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" is a song performed by American rock band Aerosmith for the 1998 film Armageddon. Written by Diane Warren, the song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 . The song stayed at number one for four weeks from September 5 to September 26, 1998...

    " from Armageddon, "How Do I Live
    How Do I Live
    "How Do I Live" is the title of a song written by Diane Warren. It was originally recorded by LeAnn Rimes in 1997 and shortly afterward by Trisha Yearwood...

    " from Con Air
    Con Air
    Con Air is an Academy Award–nominated 1997 American action-thriller film directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It stars Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and John Malkovich...

    , "There You'll Be
    There You'll Be
    "There You'll Be" is a song by Faith Hill, which became a hit single in 2001. Written by Diane Warren and Alan Menken, known for his Disney film scores such as "The Little Mermaid", "Beauty and the Beast", "Aladdin", "Pocahontas" and "Tangled", it was featured on the Pearl Harbor soundtrack...

    " from Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor (film)
    Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American action drama war film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay...

    .)
  • "I'm So Ronery": Sung by Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

     when he feels everyone else is incompetent.
  • "Montage": Sung when Gary is training with Spottswoode. The song is a stylistic parody of "Push It to the Limit
    Scarface (Push it to the Limit)
    "Scarface " is the title of a song written by Italian record producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, and recorded by American musician Paul Engemann. It appeared on the soundtrack for the 1983 motion picture Scarface...

    " by Paul Engemann
    Paul Engemann
    Paul Robert Engemann is a 1980s pop musician best known for his 1983 song "Scarface ". The song featured prominently in the film Scarface, which was released in the same year....

    , "Hearts on Fire" by John Cafferty
    John Cafferty
    John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band is the name of an American rock band from Narragansett, Rhode Island, that began their career in the 1970s and achieved mainstream success in the 1980s...

     (Rocky IV soundtrack
    Rocky IV (album)
    Rocky IV is the original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same name. It was originally released in 1985 on the Scotti Brothers label. Scotti Brothers re-released the album on compact disc on March 10, 1992...

    ) — the song even features the line 'even Rocky had a montage' — and "Holding Out for a Hero
    Holding Out for a Hero
    "Holding Out for a Hero" is a song written by Jim Steinman and Dean Pitchford, originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler. It was released in 1984 on the soundtrack to the film Footloose. It later appeared on Tyler's Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire album. It hit #96 for the first time in UK in 1984,...

    " by Bonnie Tyler
    Bonnie Tyler
    Bonnie Tyler is a Welsh singer, most notable for her hits in the 1970s and 1980s including "It's a Heartache", "Holding Out for a Hero" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart".-Early life:...

    , songs famed for appearances in '80s films. A slightly different version of the song was featured in the 6th season South Park episode
    South Park (season 6)
    Season six of South Park, an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, began airing on March 6, 2002. The sixth season concluded after 17 episodes on December 11, 2002. This season is notable for being the only one without Kenny as a main character, as he was...

     "Asspen
    Asspen
    "Asspen" is the second episode of the sixth season of the Comedy Central series South Park. It originally aired on March 13, 2002. It parodies several sports movies of the 1980s.-Plot:...

    ."
  • "North Korean Medley": Gibberish song used to distract the group of people in Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il
    Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

    's large mansion before Alec Baldwin
    Alec Baldwin
    Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

    's speech. A parody of North Korean pop music by artists such as the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble
    Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble
    The Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble is an orchestra from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea . It is famous for its performances of revolutionary and folk songs...

     and Mansudae Art Troupe
    Mansudae Art Troupe
    The Mansudae Art Troupe is a North Korean troupe of musicians that create operas and music, as well as dance pieces.It is the successor to the Central Art Troupe that was formed on September 27, 1969...

    , which generally extols the virtues of Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung
    Kim Il-sung
    Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

    ; Kim Jong-il's name is repeated over and over.
  • "The End of an Act": Played after Gary quits Team America and gets drunk; a ballad which poses the question, "Why does Michael Bay
    Michael Bay
    Michael Benjamin Bay is an American film director and producer. He is known for directing high-budget action films characterized by their fast edits, stylistic visuals and substantial practical special effects...

     get to keep on making movies?" It's a love song featuring the refrain "Pearl Harbor
    Pearl Harbor (film)
    Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American action drama war film directed by Michael Bay and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Randall Wallace, who wrote the screenplay...

    sucked, and I miss you". This song's lyrics and musical style are parodies of love ballads commonly written for action films that the film satirizes, such as "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith
    Aerosmith
    Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many...

     which appeared on the Armageddon soundtrack and "Take My Breath Away
    Take My Breath Away
    American pop singer Jessica Simpson covered "Take My Breath Away" and released it as the third single from the album In This Skin in 2004. Her version was produced by Billy Mann. Simpson chose to cover this song because she felt that it was the theme song of her relationship with her then husband,...

    " by Berlin
    Berlin (band)
    Berlin is an American New Wave/Synthpop band. The group was formed in Los Angeles in 1978 by John Crawford . The band contained Crawford, Terri Nunn , David Diamond , Ric Olsen , Matt Reid and Rod Learned . Learned left during the first EU tour and was replaced by Rob Brill...

     from Top Gun
    Top Gun
    Top Gun may refer to:* Top Gun is a 1986 film starring Tom Cruise.**Top Gun , soundtrack to the movie**Top Gun , a number of games based on the movie...

    .
  • "Everyone Has AIDS", sung by Gary in the Broadway
    Broadway theatre
    Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

     musical Lease (a parody of Rent
    Rent (musical)
    Rent is a rock musical with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème...

    ).
  • The song played while the team is debriefing and partying is Steppenwolf
    Steppenwolf (band)
    Steppenwolf are a Canadian-American rock group that was prominent in the late 1960s. The group was formed in 1967 in Los Angeles by vocalist John Kay, guitarist Michael Monarch, bassist Rushton Moreve, keyboardist Goldy McJohn and drummer Jerry Edmonton after the dissolution of Toronto group The...

    's "Magic Carpet Ride
    Magic Carpet Ride
    "Magic Carpet Ride" is a rock song written by John Kay and Rushton Moreve from the Canadian-American band Steppenwolf. The song was initially released in 1968 on the album The Second. It was the lead single from that album, peaking at No. 3 in the US, and becoming the band's second-biggest hit,...

    "
  • The song playing when the team walks through Kim Jong-il's palace is Tomoyasu Hotei
    Tomoyasu Hotei
    is a Japanese musician, guitarist and actor. In 2003, HMV Japan ranked Hotei at number 70 on their list of the 100 most important Japanese pop acts.- Life and career :...

    's "Battle Without Honor or Humanity
    Battle Without Honor or Humanity
    "Battle Without Honor or Humanity" is an alternate version of "Shin jingi-naki tatakai", an instrumental piece by Tomoyasu Hotei, originally used in the 2000 film Another Battle by Junji Sakamoto, in which Hotei also performs as an actor. The original version was also available in Hotei's live...

    ", which was also featured in Kill Bill
    Kill Bill
    Kill Bill Volume 1 is a 2003 action thriller film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. It is the first of two volumes that were theatrically released several months apart, the second volume being Kill Bill Volume 2....

    .
  • There is also a bonus song sung by Kim Jong-il named "You Are Worthress, Arec Barwin" during the end credits of the film. In it, Kim Jong-il explains that he is one of the Zypods from the planet Gyron, who are in a losing war with a race of giant bees called Barmacks. His motivation for conquering Earth was to provide a new home for the Zypods.
  • Stylistically, the Gregson-Williams score is reminiscent of the Hans Zimmer/Trevor Rabin style used in several Michael Bay films (Gregson-Williams was at one point a member of Zimmer's Media Ventures group), which further plays up the parody aspects of the film. In fact, several cues seem to be direct parodies of music from Bay's films, most notably Rabin's Armageddon score, echoed in the tracks "Lisa & Gary" and "Putting a Jihad on You," while parts of "Kim Jong Il" are lifted from the track "Attack" from Zimmer's Pearl Harbor score.

External links

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