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Futurama: Volume One

4.6 out of 5 stars 276 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description



Set in the year 3000, Futurama is the acme of sci-fi animated sitcom from Simpsons creator Matt Groening. While not as universally popular as The Simpsons, Futurama is equally hip and hilarious, thanks to its zippy lateral-thinking contemporary pop cultural references, celebrity appearances (Pamela Anderson and Leonard Nimoy are among a number of guest stars to appear as disembodied heads in jars), and Bender, a distinctly Homer Simpson-esque robot. Part of Futurama's charm is that with decades of sci-fi junk behind us, we've effectively been living with the distant future for years and can now have fun with it. Hence, the series stylishly jumbles motifs ranging from Lost in Space-style kitsch to the grim dystopia of Blade Runner. It also bridges the gap between the impossible dreams of your average science fiction fan and the slobbish reality of their comic reading, TV-watching existence. Groening himself distinguishes his two series thus: "The Simpsons is fictional. Futurama is real."

The opening season (premiered in 1999) sees nerdy pizza delivery boy Fry transferred to the 31st century in a cryogenic mishap. There, he meets the beautiful, one-eyed Leela (voiced by Married with Children's Katey Sagal) and the incorrigible alcoholic robot Bender. The three of them join Fry's great (great, great, etc.) nephew Professor Farnsworth and work in his intergalactic delivery service. Hyper-real yet strangely recognizable situations ensue--Fry discovers he's a billionaire thanks to 1,000 years' accrued interest, Leela must fend off the attentions of Captain Kirk-like Lothario Zapp Brannigan, and Fry accidentally drinks the ruler of a strange planet of liquid beings. --David Stubbs

Special Features

  • 13 episodes on 3 discs
  • Commentary on all episodes
  • Animatic, script, and storyboards for "Space Pilot 3000"
  • Deleted scenes from six episodes
  • Featurette
  • Concept art gallery (videos and stills)

Product Details

  • Actors: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Phil LaMarr
  • Writers: David X. Cohen, Matt Groening
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Fox Film Corporation
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 22 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000083C6W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,697 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Futurama: Volume One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Campy and hilarious cartoon by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons. Futurama makes fun of politics, other movies, people, TV, advertising, social concerns, environmental issues, religion, se$x, and everything both touchable and untouchable.

The combination of in-your-face one-liners and tongue-in-cheek humor is as good as it gets for an evening of enjoyable escapism. The entire premise of the show is that Philip J. Fry, a pizza delivery boy, was accidentally frozen back in 1999 and reawakened in the year 3000. He goes to work for his great nephew, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, who's 150 years old and senile.

Katey Sagal was the perfect choice for the voice of Leela, a feisty spaceship captain with one eye and a purple ponytail. Wherever she goes, Leela really kicks hinder. Bender is a foul-mouthed girder-bending robot who becomes Fry's friend, and who must drink alcohol to charge his batteries. There Hermes the Jamaican accountant, Amy the intern, and Dr. Zoidberg, the giant lobster physician. (he also eats everything in sight)

Because it's a space cartoon, the creators are not bound to any kind of realism, which is good. Some of the creatures and situations in the series really showcase the sick and twisted minds behind the show, freeing Groening from the restrictions of The Simpsons and allowing his darker side to soar. Nothing is too sacred to take advantage of in this comical and entertaining series. Also, watch for the quips at the bottom of the screen during the opening credits, very similar to Bart writing on the chalkboard during the opening theme of The Simpsons.
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Format: DVD
"Futurama" Season 1. I love Futurama. Absolutely love it. There's a lot of hand-wringing about what's better, Futurama, Simpsons, etc., and I will say this - Futurama is far better than the Simpsons have been since Season 7. It's very much a mixed blessing that we'll never get to see Futurama go down the tubes with ridiculous, unfunny plot lines like The Simpsons did.

This might anger a lot of people, but Futurama is actually better than even Family Guy. Family Guy may have brilliant moments, but Futurama has a heart and a soul - Family Guy has cutaways and flashbacks but there's no warmth. Futurama expertly balances genuine emotion with sidesplitting comedy. Futurama is probably my second favorite show of all time, hands down. I love it. It's like somebody with my exact sense of humor wrote this show. "Let's try and get out through this steam pipe. No good, it's full of steam!" Oh man.

Anyway, enough of that. This is the first season of Futurama on DVD. First of all, let me say that, unlike Family Guy, I really ejoy the fact that they have commentaries on all of the episodes (take that FG and your 2 commentaries per disc). The commentaries make watching the episodes over and over again a must. In a way, they almost double the number of episodes in the series - the antics of John DiMaggio, Billy West, David X. Cohen, and Maurice LaMarche in particular (Morbo, Horrible Gelatinous Blob, and Lrrr sounds nothing alike) are at times almost as howlingly funny as their onscreen counterparts. By all means, watch *all* the commentaries.

With that said, let's not gloss completely over the negative. Why Futurama is an amazing show, Season 1 is the worst season of Futurama. They haven't quite found the groove yet, in the commentaries or the episodes.
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Format: DVD
This DVD set is, hands-down, the best treatment of a show's first season I've ever seen. If you're a fan, or even just sorta liked the show, you should check this out. First, some thoughts on the show itself:
I never warmed up to "Futurama" while it was on, really. The Fox Network's dubious handling made it difficult for me to see unless it was a rerun out of its usual timeslot. And "The Simpsons" set the bar almost unrealistically high. Also, "Futurama" sports a cast of ruthlessly flawed characters, with Fry's laziness and Bender's anti-social tendencies almost constantly at the fore. While heroic and competent, Leela is also meddlesome and petulant with some obviously serious self-esteem issues. Even Kif, long-suffering aide to the incredibly obnoxious Zapp Brannigan, turns out to be more than a little annoying when away from his oppressive master.
Cartoon Network's recent airings of the first four seasons and this DVD set, however, have given me a chance to appreciate the quality that reeks from this show, however. The animation is top-notch, the jokes are densely packed and originally presented, the voice acting is peerless, and the characters =do= grow on you after a while. It never reaches the sublime insanity of the best "Simpsons" episodes but, as you learn in this DVD set, that was a conscious choice. (Because of the futuristic setting, the producers wanted more coherent storylines. In retrospect, that may have been a mistake.)
This DVD has commentary for each of the 13 episodes (unlike, e.g., the one commentary on "The Simpsons" first season set) and, for the most part, the commentary is really good.
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