I am a huge Futurama fan, it’s often up there in my top 5 TV shows, so when the final of their 4 DVD “movies” and possibly the final Futurama ever appeared on my doorstep yesterday, I tore open the packaging and shoved it in my DVD player almost immediately. I literally couldn’t wait to see how it all ends. Thankfully I can happily say, it’s no dissapointment.
The DVD opens with a different title sequence than usual, it’s Las Vegas themed, coupled with some good gags and a great Sinatra-esque tune sung by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, who’s incredible singing talents always blow me away. the earlier parts are based in Mars Vegas, a brilliant alternate version of Las Vegas, all completely owned by the Wongs. There are some great gambling gags and it sets up things nicely, Bender falls in love with a fembot and Fry becomes able to read minds and it all comes together when they enter a poker tournament, however, with the excpetion of Fry’s mind reading ability, this is pretty much all over in about 20 minutes and would have made a good single episode.
The plot twists around a lot and ends up with Planet Express going out of business, Fry, Leela and Bender all on different sides of conflict with each other and then of course there’s the main story which they’re all connected by. Some of Futurama’s best moments are when it’s up to Fry to save the universe (such as The Day The Earth Stood Stupid) and this film really gives one of those stories time to shine, it also adds a bit to the mythology in the form of the number 9 man, dissapointingly his purpose for stalking Fry within crowd scenes throughout the series isn’t mentioned at all and then there’s the return of the Delta brainwave. His story and Leela’s half of the story really compliment each other well and the whole scope feels bigger than a DVD movie.
As ever, the cast are fantastic, Billy West once again does a sterling job as Fry, Farnsworth and Zap Brannigan and John DiMaggio could still run for best cartoon voice for Bender. There are also some great guest voices that amused me greatly, Penn Jilette (I think he’s some magician or something…) plays himself as a big head in a jar. Then there’s also Snoop Dogg, again as a head in a jar and Chief Justice of The Supreme Court, which lends itself some fantastic lines (If it plizzles the cizzle, instead of if it pleases the court) and as ever, the writing is top notch and almost cinematic, as the DVD reaches it’s climax, the main villian turns out to be a leech Leela saves at the start in a great twist (I thougt it would be Leo Wong…) and at the end, the characters enter a big wormhole and Fry and Leela confess their love for each other, leaving the series in a possible eternal cliffhanger. It should tick me off, but it doesn’t, it really feels like an incredible end to an incredible series and quite frankly, as much as I want to see more Futurama, if it ends on a note this high, It’s the best note I’ve ever heard.
In conclusion, Into The Wild Green Yonder is easily the best of the 4 DVD movies, although it doesn’t quite reach the highs of the last seasons, it’s still up there with the best TV conclusions. The only real downside I’ve found with this is that it’s on DVD, I would happily pay £5.50 for a cinema ticket to go see this on the cinema. Ah well, I’ll just play it with surround sound next time. However in the end, I’m just happy to see the show come to a close in the most exceptional way possible.