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FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER ($40) is the latest, and hopefully not the last, in the series of direct-to-video follow-ups to the hilarious animated television series. Although presented in movie form, FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER has a somewhat episodic structure, which is indicative of the intention to break the story up into pieces to become episodes included in the series syndication package. With an ecological theme running through it, FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER tells the continuing adventures of 20th century pizza delivery boy Philip J. Fry, who was cryogenically frozen for a thousand years and living out his life as a delivery boy of the future for Planet Express.

The main story points involve Leela joining the eco-feminists, when Amy's wealthy parents expand their dealings beyond destroying and rebuilding Martian real estate, to instead destroy a large chunk of the galaxy and build the universe's largest miniature golf course. As for Fry, he takes to the wearing of tinfoil hats, after developing mind reading abilities and becomes entrenched in a cosmic conspiracy involving the Dark Ones. Meanwhile, Bender begins having an affair with Fanny, the wife of the robot mobster referred to as the Donbot, while at the same time, Zapp Brannigan and Kif Kroker are brought in to apprehend the eco-feminists, who have run afoul of the law. The vocal talent behind FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER features Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, David Herman, Dawnn Lewis, Snoop Dogg, Phil Hendrie, Seth MacFarlane, Penn Jillette and Teller.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has made FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. The 1080p presentation looks fantastic. Image sharpness is everything one should expect from this type of 2D animation, with every character and every background appearing incredibly. Colors virtually leap off the screen, with the primary and secondary hues being fully saturated and totally stable. Blacks and whites are pure. Contrast is excellent. Not produced on film, FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER is free from the grain and print flaws.

FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This is efficient sitcom sound, pure and simple, so there isnít a whirl of sonic activity. Much of what we hear is front and center, since that is where the dialogue is coming from. There is occasional use of the surround channel for major sound effect falling to the rears, but they generally few and far between. However, the outlying channels are well utilized for ambient sounds and fill. Fidelity is terrific for a direct-to-video production; the music sounds fine and sound effects are convincing. There is also a pretty decent bottom end for the soundtrack. Dialogue is crisp and always easy to understand. No other language tracks have been included on the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the disc's interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some supplements. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary track with creator Matt Groening, executive producer David X. Cohen, voice actors John DiMaggio and Maurice LaMarche, co-writers Patric Verrone and Mike Rowe, producer Lee Supercinski and director Peter Avanzino. In the Bonus View mode one will find a picture-in-picture Video Commentary version of the same track (requires a Profile 1.1 player). Featurettes include: Docudramarama: How We Make Futurama So Good, Louder, Louder!': The Acting Technique Of Penn Jillette, Matt Groening And David X. Cohen In Space!, How To Draw Futurama In 10 Very Difficult Steps, 3D Models With Animator Discussion, Bender's Movie Theater Etiquette and Zapp Brannigan's Guide To Making Love At A Woman. Storyboard Animatic: Into the Wild Green Yonder Part 1, Golden Stinkers: A Treasury of Deleted Scenes and some Postcards close out the supplements.

FUTURAMA: INTO THE WILD GREEN YONDER had me laughing my shiny metal ass off. The Blu-ray presentation is terrific. Definitely recommended to fans.



Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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