a hilarious mix with personalities that make sense for the insanity of the show…
In March of 1999, Matt Groening and David Cohen created Futurama after their extremely successful undertaking, The Simpsons. It was a chance to further use their imaginations and create what they felt the future would be like. The show initially ran until August of 2003 before getting cancelled for the first time. It wasn’t until Comedy Central picked up the show in June 2009 that it really took off. It’s now into their 7th season with all-new half hour episodes and, for now at least, has no ending in sight.
Billy West voices various characters including Philip Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, and Zapp Brannigan. Katey Sagal voices Leela, John DiMaggio voices Bender, Lauren Tom voices Amy, and Phil LaMarr voices Hermes. I’m glad that when the show was moved over to Comedy Central, no one was left out of the deal. As a whole, the cast is perfectly matched to each characters personality and I couldn’t imagine other actors replacing them.
The ensemble of characters are a hilarious mix with personalities that make sense for the insanity of the show. There is Phillip J. Fry, the dumb but spirited delivery boy who was locked in a cryo-freeze and let out 1000 years later, only to work with his distant relative, Dr. Farnsworth. He is an old, senile scientist and he runs a company called Planet Express who go on delivery missions to far off places. His love interest is Leela, the brilliant one-eye pilot is as tough as they come and pilots the ship. There is Bender or Bender Bending Rodriguez who is an alcoholic robot and a scheming criminal that is usually getting in trouble, Dr. Zoidberg, a crustacean-like alien who is probably the worst doctor ever, Hermes the Jamaican accountant, and Amy, the Asian slutty girl.
The Bots and the Bees – the crew gets a soda machine and Bender gets it pregnant.
A Farewell to Arms – The Crew deals with a prediction that the world will end in 3012.
Decision 3012 – Leela gets involved in politics and joins a presidential campaign.
The Thief of Baghead – an actor who has avoided pictures being taken is now being followed by Bender.
Zapp Dingbat – Zapp Brannigan, the idiot space captain dates Leela’s mom.
The Butterjunk Effect – Leela and Amy become obsessed with a sport called Butterfly Derby and become addicted to the enhancer called Nectar.
The Six Million Dollar Mon – Hermes becomes bionic after being jealous of machines.
Fun on a Bun – Fry has an accident when Bender makes sausages for Octoberfest.
Free Will Hunting – Bender tries to find the meaning of life.
Near-Death Wish – Professor Farnsworth’s parents leave a retirement home on the Near-Death Star.
Viva Mars Vegas – The Robot Mafia has the crew of the Planet Express rob a casino.
31st Century Fox – Bender rescues a robot fox and gets involved with a hunt.
Naturama – the crew are re-imagined as wild animals for a nature documentary.
Being on DVD doesn’t mean the transfer can’t look good. To minimize compressing the video they made sure to divide up the features and episodes evenly between the 2 discs for maximum sharpness. Even though this isn’t in HD, the coloring is very nice and the animation is smooth. The only distracting issue is the overall brightness. The picture looks dark and if the brightness on the TV is turned up, it washes out the picture.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track on this release is very clean. The audio spacing in the channels is great for not being in DTS. Throughout the episodes, there are very few times where the use all of the channels is utilized. There may be a sound effect here or there when something happens in speaker but it’s just nothing impressive. When music or the score is playing is where the rear speakers get to do a little work.
This volume is loaded with extras and special features. Also, I really art design on the packaging for the release. It’s a cardboard slip over case, with boarded inserts to house the 2-discs. Every inch of the case has artwork of the characters including Dr. Zoidberg on the cover. There is just one problem: due to the lack of anything sturdy keeping the discs in place, the discs have the tendency to fly out the case. When I was taking the inner case from the slip cover, I guess I did it too fast. Both discs went across my TV stand and behind my speakers. It’s really a poor design.
-Full-length Commentary on All 13 Episodes – every episode has a commentary by the executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen as well as the episode’s director, animators, cast members, and writers.
-Bonus Commentary on Episode 7.02, “A Farewell To Arms” – this commentary was done by the animators from Rough Draft Studios.
-Alternate Ending for episode 5, “Zapp Dingbat”
-Christopher Tyng’s Big Score: A Jam Session with Futurama’s Innovative Composer – A little featurette with Christopher Tyng and he explains how he scores the episodes.
-Futurama Karaoke: Sing Along with Your Favorite Characters – this is a karaoke extra of some of the songs in the show and you get to sing with some of the characters.
-Möbius Trip: Infinite Futurama Screen Loops – a cool extra that are screen savers for your TV.
-Too Good For TV: A Smorgasbord of Deleted Scenes – a reel of deleted scenes from each episode, unpolished and very funny.
English Dolby digital
16×9 widescreen. Enhanced.
This a great show with subtle jokes, great animation, and a collection of characters that work so well together. As I said, The artwork on the packaging is nice and slim to minimize the space needed on a shelf. However, the housing for the discs needs a change. I would’ve been very upset if I damaged the discs just by trying to take them out. I’m very glad that studios aren’t just throwing poor quality releases out there and put all focus on the other available formats. It’s a very good release and it’s worth picking up for fans and first timers alike.
|Futurama: Volume 7|
Price : $14.99