After having their brains re-attached, the people in charge of bringing back Futurama finally make it happen in the form of this made-for-DVD movie, “Bender’s Big Score” where we catch up with the Planet Express Crew two years after we left them. Their hiatus is hilariously explained, and the stage is set for the biggest Futurama adventure ever made. What's better is that three more DVD movies are slated for release between now and through 2009.
With all the voice talent, animators, and hilarious characters back, and with a great storyline, this DVD is a must-buy for any level of Futurama fan, along with people that might just be getting on the bandwagon.
- Commentary by Matt Groenig, David X Cohen, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, Claudia Katz, Dwayne Carey-Hill, and Ken Keeler
- Futurama Returns! A Live Comic Book Reading by the Futurama Cast Featurette
- Everyone Loves Hypotoad – 22 minute episode (including commercials!!!)
- A Terrifying Message from Al Gore – Animated Promo for An Invonenient Truth
- Bite My Shiny Metal X – A Mind- Shattering Futurama Math Lecture Featurette
- Bender’s Big Score : The Original First Draft of the Script
- New Character Sketches
- Original 5 minute Comic-Con promo video
- Deleted Scenes
I’m a huge Futurama fan, so my standards of how funny and entertaining this DVD was going to be were pretty high. I know a lot of fans are holding their breath just thinking “man I hope this doesn’t suck!” because the stakes are set. If the DVD sells well, and eventually shows well on Comedy Central (the plan is to chop it up into 4 episodes and air in 2008) the show can and will be back full time.
With the bar and stakes set so high I can wholeheartedly say this might be some of the best work the Futurama crew has put together. Without giving away the plot, Bender and Fry are at their best, and the writing for this mind-bending time-travelling adventure definitely hits the roots of what makes Futurama better than The Simpsons (oooh did I just say that?? Oh yes I did!). Although Fry’s an idiot, and Bender’s a jerk, there’s always been fantastic chemistry between the characters, and in the end a heartwarming bitter-sweet tale of the near romance between Fry and Leela. It all comes together exceptionally well in this 85+ minute feature, and fans of the show will be totally satisfied and left wanting more. Even better, there's a nice stage set at the ending which builds up for the next installment.
I watched it last night, and I want to watch it again. The writing is so good for “Bender’s Big Score” that there’s no way you could have caught everything (especially the hidden animations) during the first viewing. Since time-travel and the crux of the story is actually somewhat complex, I think fans have a great opportunity to enjoy this DVD over and over again just to catch everything.
AUDIO & VIDEO QUALITY
Thankfully, Futurama has never looked better. Finally presented in 16×9 widescreen, Futurama’s colors and aspect are fanastic. With 5.1 surround sound, the space battles (oh yes, there are space battles!) sound awesome rounding out a great A/V experience.
There really isn’t anything on the air like Futurama, and really sets itself apart from The Simpsons in terms of character relevancy and development, whereas when The Simpsons were at their best they were able to socially commentate on American lifestyle. If you haven’t caught the show (not surprising since Fox never stuck the show at a regular timeslot during its entire existence and regularly pre-empted it for football), it’s time to come on board. The characters are highly original and hilarious.
It’s great to see Futurama back, and not just back but better than ever. If you have a favorite character besides Bender and Fry, chances are they’re in the DVD (for me, it’s Zap Brannigan!). The extras included are pretty plentiful, although they aren’t tremendously insightful into the “how did Futurama get back on the air” rather than the “this is how the DVD was made”.
Fans, casual and die-hard alike, will fall in love with “Bender’s Big Score” and laugh at the hilarious Futurama crew once again. Between the high entertainment value, great audio and video quality, and nice extras, this is a must-buy this holiday season. And for those of you that haven’t checked it out yet – it’s time to come aboard the bandwagon!
Also, as an editor’s note, being a huge fan of a now-revived series there’s a few people I’d like to thank.
1st – I’d like to thank the crew at GotFuturama.com for keeping all of us fans in the loop, even when it looked like the show had absolutely no chance of survival. Through the diligent work of the team there, we all got to stay informed, and involved, to get the show back.
2nd – Matt Groenig and David X. Cohen, and the rest of the Futurama team for coming back to put together a show they know is better than any other animated series to date.
3rd – The people at Fox and Comedy Central for having the faith and foresight to revive a hilarious show that never got a fair shake in the first place.