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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder - Blu-ray DVD / television series DVD / comedy DVD / animation DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr
Directors: Peter Avanzino Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 20 January 2009 Runtime: 89 min.
(1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen, Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p High Definition, Aspect ration 1.78:1, Audio tracks (DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound - English), Subtitles (English, French, Spanish, Cantonese, Finnish), Audio Commentary (Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski, Patric M. Verrone, Peter Avanzino), Storyboard Animatic: Into the Wild Green Yonder Part 1, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen in Space!, Docudramarama: "How We Make Futurama So Good," "Louder! Louder!": The Acting Technique of Penn Jillette, Golden Stinkers: A Treasury of Deleted Scenes, How To Draw Futurama In 10 Very Difficult Steps, 3D Models w/ animator discussion, Bender's Movie Theater Etiquette, Zapp Brannigan's Guide to Making Love at a Woman, Picture-in-picture commentary (Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Michael Rowe, Lee Supercinski, Patric M. Verrone, Peter Avanzino)

If you're familiar with Futurama, the animated show created by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, you know it's about a regular schlub named Fry who gets transplanted a thousand years into the future. Philip J. Fry (Billy West) is your standard everyman to whom most ill fate happens.

We begin our story with heartless developer Leo Wong (also Billy West) destroying all of Mars Vegas in order to replace it with New Vegas. He destroys as many pockets of life as he can with his greedy opportunism. In the midst of this, a group of feminist environmental extremists step in to stop any more destruction. Wong blows them up and in the process injures Fry. When Fry comes to, he can read minds. This gets to be a bit much for him, so he wears a tinfoil hat most of the time to shield others' thoughts from him. The thing you never think of with tinfoil hats is how they can be fashioned into virtually any style. Thankfully, the creators were wise enough to showcase this feature.

Fry falls in with a group of tinfoil hat-wearers who fill him in on the plot for the film. Suffice it to say there are warring factions, and have been for many eons, one of which wants to destroy a particular violet star system. Wong is also scheduling the destruction of said system. Fry must work to stop this destruction, so he gets a security job with Wong. Leela (Katy Sagal) has joined the environmental extremists and is a fugitive from the law. Naturally Zapp Brannigan (Billy West again) is on the case.

If you like Futurama, you'll dig Into the Wild Green Yonder, though I don't think it is the franchise's strongest work. The Blu-ray edition offers great video commentary (picture-in-picture style), storyboards a go- go, audio commentary, and some other extras to appeal to the geek-set. Groening really knows his audience and how to cater to them with his extra features. Also included is a short featurette on the Penn Jillette acting method. Fans of Jillette (who plays his head in a jar here) and his works will recognize that this bit was filmed at the recording studio in The Slammer (his home).

On the whole the story isn't too riveting, but the extra features really increase the appeal, especially the video commentary. I'm a sucker for that.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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