DVD Special Features:
Episodes--Space Pilot 3000; The Series Has Landed; I, Roommate; Love's
Labor's Lost in Space
Special Features--Commentary for each episode; Animatics for "Space
Pilot 3000"; Deleted scenes from "The Series Has Landed" (2)
and "Love's Labor's Lost in Space" (1); Script and storyboard for
"Space Pilot 3000"
Episodes--Fear of a Bot Planet; A Fishful of Dollars; My Three Suns; A Big
Piece of Garbage; Hell is Other Robots.
Special Features--Commentary for each episode; Trailer for Futurama Season
One; Deleted scenes from "My Three Suns" (1) and "Hell is
Other Robots" (1)
Episodes--A Flight to Remember; Mars University; When Aliens Attack; Fry
& The Slurm Factory.
Special Features--Commentary for each episode; Special featurette; Deleted
scene from "When Aliens Attack"; Interactive gallery of
stills/concept art--this gallery consists of 44 still images, four of which
have buttons to select video segments
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Dutch
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Sound: 2.0 Surround
is indeed a God! After dropping several hints my wife
surprised me on my recent birthday with . . . Futurama Complete Season
One on DVD!
So what is Futurama then? you ask. Been in suspended animation for
the past thousand years or so?! Well, actually that is the plot of Futurama,
a prime time animated TV show about a pizza delivery boy who is accidentally
put into cryogenic suspension and reawakened in the Year 3000. It was
created by Matt Groening whose main claim to fame and fortune (those T-shirt
sales went through the roof in the early 1990s) of The Simpsons. A
lot of talent involved in The Simpsons also contributed to Futurama
and the net effect is the same: Futurama is a hilariously funny
Before you think low-brow comedy, it some unexpected flashes of
intelligence such as visual references to George Melies' 1906 flick Trip to
the Moon and paintings by Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali. Science fiction
fans will also have a field day spotting all the genre conventions that are
being sent up - everything from Buck Rogers in the 25th
Century to Star Trek. Oh, and there's
low-brow humor too . . .
At its heart Futurama is as anarchistic and offbeat as a Monty
Python sketch. If you love The Simpsons and South Park,
then it's probably a given you'd like Futurama. It is perfect for the
DVD format since it is so packed with fast background visual gags that
you'd find yourself often using the Pause button on your DVD remote.
The animation is as basic as that of The Simpsons, but not as
crude as that of South Park. There are some scenes that are 3-D
computer generated and these scenes look quite excellent on DVD. The image
look crisp and sharp, unlike some bits of the recent Simpsons Seasons One
and Two DVD box sets. If you have viewed more recent Simpsons
episodes on DVD such as the Region 2 Simpsons - Backstage Pass DVD
then you'll have an idea of just how crisp and clear the sound and image can
THE DISCS: Futurama Season One is a miracle to behold on DVD -
much much better than these very same episodes I taped from TV when they
originally aired. Menus are basic and rather similar to those of The
Simpsons. This box set consists of three discs in standard DVD jewel
cases and a cardboard box. Some reviewers complained that the packaging here
aren't as elaborate or fancy as those of The Simpsons, but I prefer
it like this to be honest: while impressive, the Simpsons box sets
packaging (made largely of carton) will become worn with time and use. Especially if
you view them as often as I do.
The extras are a bit disappointing. All the episodes have rather
informative and entertaining audio commentaries featuring major talent
involved (all of them feature Matt Groening himself unless I'm mistaken -
I've only listened to about half of the audio commentary tracks). There is a
sprinkling of small featurettes, trailers, storyboards, deleted scenes and
the like but they seem rather thinly spread to be honest.
WORTH IT? To be honest I bought my DVD player to view The
Simpsons box sets and some Woody Allen movies. I've found that it is
practically the only stuff I can truly rewatch endlessly (how many times can
one watch The Abyss - Special Edition? Or
even classics such as Blade Runner or Star
Wars?). Futurama comes a close second to The Simpsons
though . . .
RECOMMENDATION: Unless you are sure that your wife and family plot
behind your back, I'd reach deep into my pockets. One cannot buy the discs
separate which is unfortunate since it would have been easier on one's bank
account to purchase them over a period of time instead of all at once.
Still, buy these discs today if you know what's good for you!
NOTE: Unfortunately Futurama was cancelled about halfway
through its fourth season earlier this year (2002). Hyped massively upon its
first screening in 1999 I suppose the show never performed as well as Fox
hoped back then. It however says something depressing about humanity when a
show this excellent is cancelled while something as horrendously dismally
crap as Walker - Texas Ranger seems to run forever. At least we still
have The Simpsons and now this box set, the first step towards the entire series
appearing on DVD. I for one can't wait . . .