Did you know Leave it to Beaver starred an actual beaver? And that the Revolutionary War can be summed up as, “George Washington crossed a river. Remember the Alamo. America wins?” This is the version of history narrated by South Park co-creator Trey Parker’s college roommate, Junichi Nishimura, and animated by Parker and Chris Graves for a 1992 student film at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Parker recorded Nishimura (a Japanese citizen) explaining everything about American history he could remember, which, to be fair, was far more than any of us could explain about Japanese history. Then Parker and Graves animated the audio track with paper cutouts, an animation style familiar to fans of South Park.
In 1993, “American History” won a silver medal in animation and the accompanying $3,000 prize at the Student Academy Awards. Graves went on to be the director of photography on Trey Parker’s Cannibal! The Musical. Parker went on to start South Park with Matt Stone, and Nishimura worked as an animator on several episodes of the series. Remember the Alamo.