Futurama

Futurama

[fyoo-chuh-ram-uh, -rah-muh]
Futurama is an Emmy Award-winning animated American sitcom created by Matt Groening, and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox network. The series follows the adventures of a former New York pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, after he is cryogenically frozen, seconds after the start of the twenty-first century, and wakes up in the year 3000.

In the United States, the series aired from March 28, 1999 to August 10, 2003 on Fox before ceasing production. Futurama was then aired on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, from January 2003 to December 2007, when the network's contract expired. The series was revived in 2007 as four straight-to-DVD films which would then be split into a sixteen-episode fifth season. Comedy Central entered into an agreement with 20th Century Fox Television to syndicate the existing episodes and air the films as new episodes in an episodic format. Comedy Central began airing Futurama on January 2, 2008, with new episodes starting on March 23, 2008.

The name "Futurama" comes from a pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Designed by Norman Bel Geddes, the Futurama pavilion depicted how he imagined the world to look in 1959.

Cast and characters

Futurama is essentially a workplace sitcom whose plot revolves around the Planet Express delivery company and its employees, a small group that doesn't conform to future society. Episodes invariably feature the central trio of Fry, Leela and Bender, though storylines centered on the other main characters are common.Philip J. Fry (Billy West): Philip J. Fry is an immature, slovenly pizza delivery boy who is frozen just after midnight on January 1, 2000, reawakening on New Year's Eve, 2999. He gets a job as a cargo delivery boy at Planet Express, a company owned by his closest living relative, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. Though he is dim-witted and accident-prone, he has some redeeming characteristics, including his love of Leela. Fry is, through actions which he takes in the episode "Roswell That Ends Well", his own grandfather.Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal): Leela is the competent, one-eyed captain of the Planet Express Ship. Abandoned as a baby, she grew up in an Orphanarium believing herself to be an alien from an unknown race. She later learns that she is actually a mutant from the sewers. She used to work as a career assignment officer at the cryonics lab where she first met Fry. She acts as Fry's primary love interest.Bender Bending Rodríguez (John DiMaggio): Bender is a heavy drinking, cigar-smoking, kleptomaniac, misanthropic, egocentric, ill-tempered robot, originally programmed to bend girders for suicide booths, and is now assistant sales manager of Planet Express. He is Fry's best friend and roommate. He is also known to have deep desires to be a folk singer or a chef. Bender is also the chef of the Planet Express Ship.Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth (Billy West): Roughly 168 years old, Professor Hubert Farnsworth is Fry's distant nephew and closest living relative. Farnsworth founded Planet Express to fund his mad scientist-esque experiments and inventions. At some point in the series, he clones himself to create a successor, Cubert Farnsworth, whom he treats like a son.Dr. John A. Zoidberg (Billy West): Zoidberg is a lobster-like alien from the planet Decapod 10 and is the neurotic staff physician of Planet Express. Although he claims to be an expert on humans, his knowledge of human anatomy and physiology is woefully inadequate. Zoidberg is basically penniless and held in contempt by virtually all. Fry is his only friend as he claims. He is stricken with poverty and often goes into weeping about it.Amy Wong (Lauren Tom): Amy is an incredibly rich, blunt, spoiled, and extremely accident-prone long-term intern at Planet Express. She is an engineering student at Mars University and heir to the western hemisphere of Mars. Though born on Mars, she is ethnically Chinese, prone to frequently cursing in Cantonese, and overuses 31st century slang. Her parents are the wealthy ranchers Leo and Inez Wong. Although initially portrayed as somewhat promiscuous, she eventually develops a relationship with Kif Kroker.Hermes Conrad (Phil LaMarr): Hermes is the Jamaican accountant of Planet Express. A 37th level bureaucrat and proud of it, he is a stickler for regulation. Hermes is also a former champion in Olympic Limbo, a sport derived from the popular dance and similar to the track event of hurdling. He quit limbo when he was heartbroken at the 2980 Olympics, where a kid who tried to be like him, bent too far, broke his back and subsequently died from his injuries. He has a wife, LaBarbara, and a 12-year-old son, Dwight.Zapp Brannigan (Billy West): Zapp Brannigan is not a member of the Planet Express crew, but appears regularly in Futurama. He is a strutting, egocentric, sleazy and incompetent starship captain, who pursues Leela relentlessly, following her misguided sexual encounter with him in an early episode.Kif Kroker (Maurice LaMarche): Zapp Brannigan's 3rd Lieutenant/long-suffering assistant, and Amy's partner since season 3, Kif is a member of the amphibious species which inhabits the aptly-named planet Amphibios 9. Although usually extremely timid, he frequently expresses resentment and spiteful sarcasm toward Zapp.Nibbler (Frank Welker): Nibbler is Leela's pet Nibblonian, whom she found in the wild and adopted early in the series. He is capable of eating much larger animals, and produces dark matter (spaceship fuel) as a waste product. Although apparently only an animal, Nibbler is actually a highly intelligent superbeing whose race is responsible for maintaining order in the universe. He is revealed in "The Why of Fry" to have been directly responsible for Fry's cryonic freezing.

Futurama has numerous recurring minor characters, many of them voiced by regular cast members Billy West, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, and Maurice LaMarche.

Setting

Futurama is set in New New York at the turn of the 31st century, in a time filled with technological wonders. The city of New New York has been built over the ruins of present-day New York City, referred to as "Old New York". Various devices and architecture are similar to the Populuxe design. Global warming, inflexible bureaucracy and substance abuse are a few of the subjects given a 31st century exaggeration in a world where the problems have become both more extreme and more common.

Numerous technological advances have been made between the present day and the 31st century. The ability to keep heads alive in jars was invented by Ron Popeil (who has a guest cameo in "A Big Piece of Garbage") which has resulted in many historical figures and current celebrities being present; this became the writers' excuse to feature and poke fun at celebrities in the show. Curiously, several of the preserved heads shown are those of people who were already dead well before the advent of this technology; one of the most prominent examples of this anomaly is frequent Earth president Richard Nixon, who died in 1994. The Internet, while being fully immersive and encompassing all senses--even featuring its own digital world (similar to Tron or The Matrix), is slow and largely consists of pornography, pop-up ads, and "filthy" chat rooms. Some of it is edited to include educational material ostensibly for youth. Television is still a primary form of entertainment. Self-aware robots are a common sight, as well as being the main cause of global warming thanks to their alcohol-powered systems. The wheel is obsolete (no one but Fry even seems to recognize the design) having been forgotten and replaced by hover cars and a network of large, clear pneumatic transportation tubes.

Futurama's setting is a backdrop, and the writers are not above committing continuity errors if they serve to further the gags. For example, while the pilot episode implies that the previous Planet Express crew was killed by a space wasp, the later episode "The Sting" is based on the crew having been killed by space bees instead. The "world of tomorrow" setting is used to highlight and lampoon issues of today and to parody the science fiction genre.

Society and culture

Earth is depicted as being multicultural to the extent where there are a wide range of human, robot, and extraterrestrial beings shown in the series who interact with the primary characters. In some ways the future is depicted as being more socially advanced than Fry's, and thus the audience's, reality. The future is often shown, though, to have many of the same types of problems, challenges, mistakes and prejudices of the present. Robots make up the largest "minority" in the series. While a few are depicted as wealthy members of the upper-class, they are often treated as second-class citizens. Most robots are self-aware and have been granted freedom and free-will. However, at times of crisis, robots may have their free-will removed when their "patriotism circuits" are activated, forcing them to serve humans or to serve in the military in times of war. Sewer mutants are mutated humans who must live in the sewers by law. They hold urban legend status and are regarded as fictional by some members of the public.

Religion is still a prominent part of society, although the dominant religions have evolved. A merger between the major religious groups of the 20th century has resulted in the First Amalgamated Church, while Voodoo is now mainstream. New religions include Oprahism, Robotology, and the banned religion of Star Trek fandom. Religious figures in the series include Father Changstein-El-Gamal, the Robot Devil, Reverend Preacherbot and passing references to The Space Pope. While very few episodes focus exclusively on the religious aspect within the Futurama universe they do cover a wide variety of subjects including predestination, prayer, the nature of salvation, and religious conversion.

Earth has a unified government headed by the President of Earth - Richard Nixon's head (from season 2 onwards). Earth's capital is Washington, D.C., and the flag of Earth is similar in design to the flag of the United States, with the western hemisphere (described as "the best hemisphere" by Dr. Farnsworth) of planet Earth displayed in place of the fifty stars.

The Democratic Order Of Planets (D.O.O.P.) is a fictional organization in the Futurama universe which has been compared to both the United Nations and to the United Federation of Planets of the Star Trek universe. Numerous other galaxies have been colonized or have made contact by the year 3000. Mars has been terraformed and is home to Mars University as well as tribes similar to Native Americans.

Linguistics

There are two alternative alphabets that appear often in the background of episodes, usually in the forms of graffiti, advertisements or warning labels. Nearly all messages using alternative scripts translate directly into English. The first alphabet consists of abstract characters and is referred to as Alienese, a simple substitution cipher from the Latin alphabet. The second alphabet uses a more complex modular addition code, where the "next letter is given by the summation of all previous letters plus the current letter". The codes often provide additional jokes for fans dedicated enough to decode the messages. Aside from these alphabets, most of the displayed wording on the show uses the Latin alphabet.

Several English expressions have evolved since the present day. For example, the word Christmas has been replaced with Xmas (pronounced "EX-mas) and the word ask with aks (pronounced axe). According to David X. Cohen it is a running joke in the series that the French language is extinct in the Futurama universe (though the culture remains alive), much like Latin is in the present. In the French dubbing of the show, German is used as the extinct language instead.

Humor

Although the series utilized a wide range of styles of humor including: self-deprecation, black comedy, off-color humor, slapstick, and surreal humour; its primary source of comedy was its satirical depiction of everyday life in the future and its parodical comparisons to the present. Matt Groening notes that, from the show's conception, his goal was to take what was, on the surface, a goofy comedy and show that underneath were "legitimate literary science fiction concepts". The series contrasted "low culture" and "high culture" comedy; for example, Bender's catchphrase is the insult "Bite my shiny metal ass" while his most terrifying nightmare is a vision of a number 2, a joke referencing the binary numeral system.

The series developed a cult following partially due to the large number of in-jokes it contains, most of which are aimed at "nerds". In commentary on the DVD releases, David X. Cohen points out and sometimes explains his "nerdiest joke[s]". These jokes included mathematical jokes--such as "Loew's aleph_0-plex" (aleph-null-plex) movie theater, as well as various forms of science humor--for example, Professor Farnsworth complains that judges of a quantum finish "changed the outcome by measuring it", a reference to the observer effect in quantum mechanics. Over its run, the series passes references to quantum chromodynamics (the appearance of Strong Force-brand glue), computer science (two separate books in a closet labeled P and NP respectively, referring to the possibility that P and NP-complete problem classes are distinct), electronics and genetics (a mention of Bender's "robo- or R-NA", which could be a reference to RNA). The show often features subtle references to classic science fiction. These are most often Star Trek - many soundbites are used in the series as an homage - but also others, such as the reference to the origin of the word robot made in the existence of a robot-dominated planet named Chapek 9, or the black rectangular monolith labeled "Out of Order" in orbit around Jupiter (a reference to Arthur C. Clarke's 3001: The Final Odyssey). Bender and Fry sometimes watch a television show called The Scary Door, a humorous pastiche of The Twilight Zone. References to Star Trek include the use of "Classic"-series sound effects, for example just about any automatic sliding door (even those that, like the swinging doors in the Slurm factory, don't slide), and some electronic devices.

Opening sequence

Much like the opening sequence in The Simpsons with its chalkboard, sax solo and couch gags, Futurama has a distinctive opening sequence featuring minor gags. As the show begins, the word "Futurama" is displayed across the screen along with a joke caption such as "Painstakingly Drawn in Front of a Live Audience", "Filmed on location", "Soon to be a Major Religion", or "Dancing Space Potatoes? YOU BET!" After flying through downtown New New York and past various recurring characters, the Planet Express Ship crashes into a large screen showing a short clip from a classic cartoon. These have included clips from Looney Tunes shorts, cartoons produced by Max Fleischer, a short section of The Simpsons from a Tracey Ullman episode, and the show's own opening sequence in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings". In Bender's Big Score, the opening clip is from the first Futurama episode where Fry gets frozen.

In most episodes, the ship physically crashes into the screen, destroying the glass and getting stuck in the process. In The Beast with a Billion Backs, the ship passes through the screen's glass and temporarily becomes part of the environment depicted thereon (a Futurama cartoon clip drawn in the style of Disney's Steamboat Willie). The ship and crew eventually escape this environment, crashing through the screen's glass on the way out.

The Futurama theme song was written by Christopher Tyng and is based on the song "Psyché Rock" by Pierre Henry. The theme is played on the tubular bells but is occasionally remixed for use in specific episodes including a version by the Beastie Boys used for the episode "Hell Is Other Robots" in which they guest starred.

Production

Matt Groening began thinking of Futurama in the mid-1990s. In 1997, he enlisted the help of David X. Cohen, then a Simpsons writer and producer, to assist in developing the show. The two then spent time researching science fiction books, television shows, and films of the past. By the time they pitched the series to Fox in April 1998, Groening and Cohen had composed many characters and story lines. During that first meeting, Fox ordered thirteen episodes. Shortly after, however, Groening and Fox executives argued over whether the network would have any creative input into the show. With The Simpsons the network has no input. Groening explains, "When they tried to give me notes on Futurama, I just said: 'No, we're going to do this just the way we did Simpsons.' And they said, 'Well, we don't do business that way anymore.' And I said, 'Oh, well, that's the only way I do business.'" After negotiations, he received the same independence with Futurama.

Production process

It took six to nine months to make an episode of Futurama. This long production time meant many episodes were worked on simultaneously.

Each episode began with the writers discussing the story in a group. Then a single staff writer wrote an outline and then a script. Once the first draft was finished, the writers and executive producers got together with the actors to do a table read. After this script reading, the writers rewrote the script as a group before eventually sending it to animation. At this point the voice recording was also started and the script was out of the writers' hands.

The animation in Futurama was done by Rough Draft Studios, which Groening insisted be used. Rough Draft received the completed script of an episode and storyboarded it into over 100 drawings. Then they created a pencil-drawn animatic with 1000 frames. From there, Rough Draft's sister studio in Korea put together the 30,000-frame finished episode. The show was also sometimes animated overseas by Tokyo Movie Shinsha.

CGI

In addition to traditional cartoon drawing, Rough Draft Studios often uses CGI for the fast or complex shots, such as during the movement of spaceships, explosions, nebulae, snow scenes, and others. Most of the opening credits are rendered in CGI. The CGI is rendered at 24 fps (opposed to hand-drawn often done at 12 fps) and the lack of artifacts makes the animation appear very smooth and fluid. CGI characters look slightly different due to spatially "cheating" hand-drawn characters by drawing slightly out of proportion or off-perspective features to emphasize traits of the face or body, improving legibility of an expression. PowerAnimator is used to draw the comic-like CGI.

Broadcast

When it came to deciding when the show would air, Groening and Cohen wanted Futurama to be shown at 8:30 Sunday nights, following The Simpsons. The network disagreed, opting instead to show two episodes in the Sunday night lineup before moving the show to its regular time slot on Tuesday. Beginning its second broadcast season Futurama was again placed in the 8:30 Sunday spot, but by mid-season the show was moved again. This time Futurama began airing in the 7:00 p.m. Sunday timeslot, its third position in under a year.

Due to the 7:00 p.m. Sunday timeslot, the show was often pre-empted by sports and usually had a later than average season premiere. It also allowed the writers and animators to get ahead of the broadcast schedule so that episodes intended for one season were not aired until the following season. By the beginning of the fourth broadcast season all the episodes to be aired that season had already been completed and writers were working at least a year in advance.

Ratings

When Futurama debuted in the Fox Sunday night line-up at 8:30 p.m. between The Simpsons and The X-Files on March 28, 1999, it managed 19 million viewers, tying for 11th overall in that week's Nielsen Ratings. The following week, airing at the same time, Futurama drew 14.2 million viewers. The show was then moved to Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. Futurama's first episode airing on Tuesday drew 8.85 million viewers. Though its ratings were well below The Simpsons, the first season of Futurama rated higher than competing animated series: King of the Hill, Family Guy, Dilbert, South Park and The PJs.

When Futurama was effectively cancelled in 2003, it had averaged 6.4 million viewers for the first half of its fourth broadcast season.

Cancellation

Even by the fourth season Futurama was still being aired erratically. This was parodied in the opening sequence of the last episode of Season 4 with a picture of Fry, Leela and Bender captioned, "See You On Some Other Channel." Due to being regularly pre-empted by sporting events, it became difficult to predict when new episodes would air. This erratic schedule resulted in Fox not airing several episodes that had been produced for seasons three and four, instead holding them over for the fifth season. Although Futurama was never officially cancelled, midway through the production of the fourth season, Fox decided to let it go out of production.

Fox's decision to stop buying episodes of Futurama led Rough Draft Studios, the animation producers, to fire its animators. Futurama was not included in Fox's fall 2003 lineup.

Syndication

In late 2002, Cartoon Network acquired the exclusive cable syndication rights of Futurama for a reported ten million dollars. In January 2003, the network began airing Futurama episodes as the centerpiece to the expansion of their Adult Swim cartoon block. In October 2005, Comedy Central picked up the cable syndication rights to air Futuramas 72-episode run at the start of 2008, following the expiration of Cartoon Network's contract. It was cited as the largest and most expensive acquisition in the network's history. It is currently airing every night, followed by South Park. A Comedy Central teaser trailer announced the return of Futurama March 23, 2008, which was Bender's Big Score divided into four episodes followed by the other three movies.

International syndication

The series aired on the Seven Network in Australia when the show first began but was left off-air for a few years until 2005. It was then picked up by Network Ten which aired repeats of the series until late 2007, as well as airing the episode format of Bender's Big Score, which premiered on June 19, 2008. The series is also shown on subscription based channel FOX8.

In the United Kingdom, repeats are broadcast on the digital channels Sky1, Sky2 and Sky3 on weekends which previously aired the continuous run of seasons 1-4. Repeats were also shown on Channel 4 until late 2005.

In Latin America, the show is re-run by the cable channel Fox, during prime time Monday through Friday.

In Canada, certain syndicated episodes are shown on Teletoon everyday during the detour and on YTV Monday to Thursday in prime time and each day of the week at or after midnight.

In Germany, all episodes were aired on ProSieben.

In Malaysia, episodes of the first two seasons were originally aired on TV3, while episodes from the last two seasons were aired on 8TV after a rather long hiatus between TV3's airing of the last episode of season 2 and 8TV's airing of the first episode of Season 3. Both channels aired the show late at night, around 10:30 PM, with the appropriate ratings, as indication that the series was not suitable for minors. Nevertheless, some episodes were not aired for unknown reasons. Additionally, Futurama was also available on the Asia-wide STAR World network.

In Poland, the show is broadcast by Sci Fi Channel.

In Romania, the show is broadcast by TVR1 and TVR2.

In Russia, all episodes, dubbed in Russian, were originally aired by the channel REN TV. As of September 2008, the show is re-rerun by the 2x2 channel.

In Ukraine, the show is broadcasted by M1 from 2007 to present, dubbed in Ukrainian.

In Portugal, the show is broadcast by TV network Fox Broadcasting Company.

DVD movies

When Comedy Central began negotiating for the rights to air Futurama reruns, Fox suggested that there was a possibility of also creating new episodes, partially stemming from the fact that the network had already revived Family Guy (its other short-lived series that ended up on Adult Swim), but not Futurama. Negotiations were already being made with the possibility of creating two or three straight-to-DVD films. When Comedy Central committed to sixteen new episodes, it was decided that four films would be produced. On April 26, 2006, Groening noted in an interview that co-creator David X. Cohen and numerous writers from the original series would be returning to work on the movies. All the original voice actors still take part in the series. In February 2007, Groening explained the format of the new stories: "[The crew is] writing them as movies and then we're going to chop them up, reconfigure them, write new material and try to make them work as separate episodes.

The first movie, Futurama: Bender's Big Score, is written by Ken Keeler and Cohen, and includes return appearances by the Nibblonians, Seymour, Barbados Slim, Robot Santa, the "God" space entity, Al Gore, and Zapp Brannigan. It was animated in widescreen and was released on standard DVD on November 27, 2007, with a possible Blu-ray Disc release to follow.. A release on HD DVD was rumoured but later officially denied. Futurama: Bender's Big Score was the first DVD release for which 20th Century Fox implemented measures intended to reduce the total carbon footprint of the production, manufacturing and distribution processes. Where it was not possible to completely eliminate carbon output carbon offsets were used. They refer to the changed processes as "carbon neutral".

The second movie, The Beast with a Billion Backs, was released on June 24, 2008.

According to Rich Moore the titles of the other two movies are Bender's Game, to be released on DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc on November 4, 2008, and Into the Wild Green Yonder.

Impact

References in popular culture

Awards

Wins Nominations
Annie Awards:

Emmy Awards:

Environmental Media Awards:

Writers Guild of America Award:

Annie Awards:

  • Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Program
    • 1999 — Futurama. The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Program
    • 2000 — Futurama. The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production
  • Outstanding Achievement in a Primetime or Late Night Animated Television Production
    • 2001 — Futurama. The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Production
    • 2003 — Futurama. The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Television
  • Outstanding Music in an Animated Television Production
  • Outstanding Writing in an Animated Television Production
    • 2004 — Patric Verrone for episode "The Sting".

Emmy Awards:

Nebula Award:

Writers Guild of America Award:

  • Animation
    • 2004 — Patric Verrone for episode "

The Sting"

Media

DVD releases

Full season releases

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released all 4 seasons of Futurama on DVD in order:
DVD Name Ep # Release dates Additional Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Volume 1 13 March 25, 2003 January 28, 2002 November 27, 2002 This three disc boxset includes the 13 episodes from production season 1. Bonus features include commentary on every episode, Animatics for "Space Pilot 3000", Deleted scenes, Script/storyboard for "Space Pilot 3000", Featurette, Interactive still gallery (stills & video) and easter eggs.
Volume 2 19 August 12, 2003 November 11, 2002 May 13, 2003 This four disc boxset includes the 19 episodes from production season 2. Bonus features include commentary on every episode, deleted scenes, easter eggs, still gallery/concept art, alien alphabet.
Volume 3 22 March 9, 2004 June 2, 2003 September 24, 2003 This four disc boxset includes the 22 episodes from production season 3. Bonus features include commentary on every episode, deleted scenes, animatics, still gallery/character art, 3D models from rough draft sequences, easter eggs.
Volume 4 18 August 24, 2004 November 24, 2003 November 24, 2003 This four disc boxset includes the 18 episodes from production season 4. Bonus features include commentary on every episode, deleted scenes from 16 episodes, storyboard, character art and "How To Draw" galleries, animatics, 3-D Models, pencil tests, easter eggs.
Note: The box sets in Region 2 and 4 are marketed as "Season" rather than "Volume".
Note: Each of the box sets represent one of the four production seasons of the series. However, Fox spread out the series over 5 television seasons, often airing the series out of production order. Of note: after the production of Futurama was originally canceled, Fox aired the 16 previously unaired episodes, all from production seasons three and four, as a "season 5", running sporadically between November 2002 and August 2003. The box sets restore the episodes to production order.

Other DVDs

DVD Name Ep # Release dates Additional Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Futurama:
The
Complete
Collection
72 March 22, 2005 October 25, 2004 November 22, 2005 A fifteen disc collection containing the first four seasons of Futurama. All bonus features from the first four box sets are included. The Region 4 version of the collection is significantly smaller than the others.
Monster
Robot
Maniac
Fun
Collection
4 August 23, 2005 May 30, 2005 August 22, 2005 Contains four episodes, one from each previously released season: "Hell Is Other Robots", "Anthology of Interest I", "Roswell That Ends Well" and "The Sting". New bonus features include an animatic for "Hell Is Other Robots" with commentary, special introductions and an easter egg.

Films

DVD Name Release dates Additional Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Bender's Big Score November 27, 2007 April 7, 2008 March 5, 2008 Bonus features include complete commentary, full-length episode of Everybody Loves Hypno-Toad, Futurama math lecture, and promo for An Inconvenient Truth starring Bender and Al Gore.
The Beast with a Billion Backs June 24, 2008 June 30, 2008 August 6, 2008 Bonus features include complete commentary, animatic, deleted scenes, storyboards, blooper reel, "lost episode" taken from the video game, recording sessions, 3D models with audio description, Celebrity featurette: David Cross, Bender or Cast reads credits, new character design sketches and a trailer for Benders Game.
Bender's Game November 4, 2008 November 3, 2008 December 10, 2008 Bonus features include complete commentary, deleted scenes.
Into the Wild Green Yonder April 2009

Comic books

First started in November 2000, Futurama Comics is a comic book series published by Bongo Comics based in the Futurama universe. While originally published only in the US, a UK, German and Australian version of the series is also available. Other than a different running order and presentation, the stories are the same in all versions. While the comics focus on the same characters in the Futurama fictional universe the comics may not be canonical as the events portrayed within them do not necessarily have any effect upon the continuity of the show.

Like the TV series, each comic (except US comic #20) has a caption at the top of the cover. For example: "Made In The USA! (Printed in Canada)". Some of the UK and Australian comics have different captions on the top of their comics (for example, the Australian version of #20 says "A 21st Century Comic Book" across the cover, while the US version does not have a caption on that issue). All series contain a letters page, artwork from readers and previews of other Bongo Comics coming up.

Toys, games and figurines

While relatively uncommon, several action and tin figurines of various characters and items from the show have been made and are being sold by various hobby/online stores. When the show was initially licensed plans were made with Rocket USA to produce wind-up, walking tin figurines of both Bender and Nibbler with packaging artwork done by the original artists for the series. The Bender toys included a cigar and bottle of "Olde Fortran Malt Liquor" and featured moving eyes, antenna and a functioning compartment door; it received an "A" rating from Sci Fi Weekly. A can of Slurm cola actually contains a deck of cards featuring the Planet Express crew as the face cards. A two deck pack of cards was also released.

I-Men released two packs of high figures: Fry and Calculon; Zoidberg and Morbo; Professor Farnsworth and URL; Robot Devil and Bender; Leela and Roberto. Each figure comes with a corresponding collectable coin that can also double as a figure stand.

The collectible releases include a set of bendable action figures, including Lieutenant Kif Kroker, Turanga Leela, and Bender. There have also been a few figures released by Moore Action Collectibles, including Fry, Turanga Leela, Bender, and the Planet Express Ship. In late 2006, Rocket USA brought out a limited edition 'super' heavyweight die cast Bender. Another special edition Bender figure was released at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) in 2006; the figure was called "Glorious Golden Bender".

Toynami is currently producing new Futurama figures. The first series of the Toynami figures is separated into 3 waves; wave one, released in September 2007, featured Fry and Zoidberg, while wave two, released January 2008, consisted of Leela and Zapp (Who comes with Richard Nixon's head-in-a-jar). The third wave was released in June, 2008, and includes Bender and Kif. Each figure comes with build-a-figure piece to assemble the Robot Devil. The second series of Toynami figures will include Captain Yesterday (A Fry variant from "Less Than Hero") and Nudar in the first wave. The second wave includes Clobberella (Leela from "Less Than Hero") and Calculon, and the third includes Lrrr and Super-King (Bender from "Less Than Hero"). Each figure in series 2 includes pieces to build Robot Santa.

Video game

On September 15, 2000, Unique Development Studios acquired the license to develop a Futurama video game for the consoles and handheld systems. Fox Interactive signed on to publish the game. Sierra Entertainment later became the game's publisher, and it was released on August 14, 2003. Versions are available for the PS2 and Xbox, both of which use cel-shading technology, however, the game was subsequently canceled on the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance in North America and Europe.

See also

References

External links

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