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Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Directed by Peter Avanzino
Produced by Lee Supercinski
Claudia Katz
Written by Teleplay:
Ken Keeler
Story:
Ken Keeler
David X. Cohen
(Parts One and Four)
Starring Billy West
Katey Sagal
John DiMaggio
Tress MacNeille
Maurice LaMarche
Phil LaMarr
Lauren Tom
David Herman
Music by Christopher Tyng
Editing by Paul D. Calder
Distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release date(s) United Kingdom
February 23, 2009 (2009-02-23)
United States
02009-02-24 February 24, 2009
Running time 89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Preceded by Futurama: Bender's Game
Followed by Season 6

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder is the last of a series of four straight-to-DVD Futurama movies.[1] The movie was written by Ken Keeler, based on a story by Keeler and David X. Cohen, and directed by Peter Avanzino. Guest stars include Phil Hendrie, Penn Jillette (credited with Teller), Snoop Dogg and Seth MacFarlane, who sings the theme song.[2] In the movie, Leela becomes an outlaw when she and a group of ecologically-minded feminists attempt to save an asteroid of primitive life forms from being destroyed, while Fry joins a secret society and attempts to stop a mysterious species known as the "Dark Ones" from destroying all life in the universe.

The DVD and Blu-Ray were released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on February 23, 2009, while the film itself premiered on February 6, 2009 at New York Comic Con.[3] It made its broadcast premiere on Comedy Central on August 30, 2009.[4] The film and its predecessors together comprise season five of Futurama, with each film being separated into four episodes of the broadcast season.[5] Twentieth Century Fox and Comedy Central cited sales of Into The Wild Green Yonder and the other Futurama direct-to-DVD movies as one reason Comedy Central decided to renew the Futurama television series in 2009.[6][7]

Contents

Plot

The Planet Express crew visits Amy's parents, Leo and Inez, who are destroying the "old" Mars Vegas and constructing a more extravagant one. A group of eco-feminists led by Frida Waterfall protest the destruction of the environment, leading to an accident wherein a piece of Frida's jewelry lodges inside Fry's brain. The destruction upsets Leela, but Leo asserts that he has received environmental clearance—from a bribed Professor Farnsworth. Unconvinced, Leela saves a Martian muck leech, the last of its species, from the site.

In new Mars Vegas, Fry starts to act strangely, after unknowingly having the piece of jewelry lodged in his head, Fry gains telepathy, and starts to go mad when he can't stop hearing the thoughts of everyone around him. Outside he meets Hutch, a transient who, advises Fry to wear a tin foil hat to keep other people's thoughts out of his head and warns Fry never to reveal his powers and to beware the "Dark Ones". Fry and Bender both enter a professional game of poker with hopes of winning the grand prize, Bender going completely on luck while Fry uses his new telepathic abilities, Bender wins due to a mix up that results in him getting "five kings" (though there are only supposed to be four in a poker deck), one of which is a coaster from the bar called "The King of Beers" that somehow got into the deck.

Later while golfing with the crew, Leo reveals his plan build the universe's largest miniature golf course, which requires him to destroy 12% of the galaxy, which disgusts Leela. Farnsworth and the crew survey the site and discover an asteroid in a violet dwarf star system, teeming with primordial life forms. Over Leela and Fry's objections, Farnsworth approves Leo’s project, disgusted Leela then joins the eco-feminists and begin sabotaging the project.

The asteroid in the violet dwarf system.

Hutch introduces Fry to the "Legion of Mad Fellows", a secret society of other tin foil hat wearing telepaths led by the No. 9 man. No. 9 tells Fry an ancient story of two species that worked together to survive, until one started broke the cycle and caused an "evolutionary arms race", both species rushing to evolve to defeat the other. One became the now-extinct "Encyclopods" who evolved to preserve the DNA of all endangered species so they could restore them should they ever become extinct. The other became the "Dark Ones" who evolved to crave the destruction of all life. Fry learns that the violet dwarf is the only surviving egg of the Encyclopods. Due to a resurgence in the life-giving force "Chi", the Encyclopod will soon be reborn. As Fry is immune to the Dark Ones' psionic powers he alone can save the star by stopping Leo Wong's plans of turning it into a black hole at the end of his golf course (as a ball return), and from the Dark Ones, who not having died out have continued to evolve to the point that no one knows what they look like, and have developed psychic powers.

Leela continues to lead the eco-feminists in trying to gain support for their cause and making crucial blows against Leo's construction project. Leo enlists Zapp Brannigan and Kif Kroker to capture the eco-feminists, they in turn hire Bender to help track them down as he is an experienced criminal. Fry infiltrates Leo's empire as a security guard, at the construction site Amy is angered by her father's constant sexist jokes and leaves to join Leela, while Bender bugs Fry's phone just in case he comes in contact with Leela. Fry later runs into Frida and has her take a discreet message of support to Leela, but an unseen Dark One later murders Frida.

Back on Earth, Farnsworth prepares to close Planet Express for good, with their delievery team missing there is no way for their them to continue, Farnsworth then painfully removes Zoidberg and Hermes' "career chips" (which permanently binds them to their certain job), just as he does Leo Wong calls and hires them to put up a fence around the whole construction site paying them a fortune to do it. Farnsworth cancels the closing and they all go to do the job themselves of, they are then captured by the eco-feminists (now joined by Amy, LaBarbara Conrad and others), who commandeer the Planet Express ship. When the rest of the eco-feminists suspect Fry of murdering Frida, Fry and Leela arrange a rendezvous. But they are ambushed by the Zapp in the Nimbus, who was tipped off by Bender, having listened in on Fry's conversation. The eco-feminists are captured and put on trial, the majority of the judges vote to free them, but are overturned due to the female judge's votes only counting as half, and are sent to prison.

At a Legion meeting, No. 9 explains that Fry must not only stop the implosion of the violet dwarf, but also identify and thwart the Dark One who is sure to be present. Though no one knows the current form of the Dark One, its mind cannot be read, allowing Fry to identify it. No. 9 gives Fry the Omega device, a device which when, activated can temporarily disable the Dark One at close range.

Bender breaks into prison to free the eco-feminists from prison, for the sole reason holding his record for most crimes committed at once. The escape is assisted by Hermes, Zoidberg, Scruffy and a repentant Farnsworth arrive in the Planet Express ship, and they are whisk off to stop the implosion ceremony.

At the ceremony Fry is unable to locate an unreadable mind in the massive audience, he then comes to the conclusion that he himself must be the Dark One. The Eco-Feminists disrupt the ceremony, but Fry convinces Leela to allow him to proceed. Instead of imploding the star, Fry activates the Omega Device believing himself to be the Dark One, the device creates a small dome around the two that appears to have no effect. Leela's leech then fall to the ground and it reveals itself to be the lone surviving Dark One before collapsing. The violet dwarf system forms a giant sperm and flies into the star, creating an Encyclopod embryo which quickly reaches adult form. It takes the form of a stingray with a nature dome on its back. The Dark One kills Hutch, whose dying act is to pull Frida's necklace out of Fry's forehead, causing Fry to lose his telepathy. The Encyclopod then kills the Dark One using its laser vision, Fry convinces it to take its DNA, but Zoidberg eats the remains before it can. The Encyclopod instead preserves Hutch's DNA before flying off.

The crew of the Planet Express ship and the Eco-feminists escape. Fry and Leela profess their love for each other as the Nimbus chases the Planet Express ship toward a wormhole, which the Professor warns could take them trillions of light years away with no way of knowing if they could ever return. Everyone unanimously agrees to go for it. Fry and Leela kiss as the ship enters the wormhole in a flash of blue lights similar to the show's opening sequence.

Cast

Actor Character
Billy West Philip J. Fry
Professor Farnsworth
Dr. Zoidberg
Zapp Brannigan
Leo Wong
Additional voices
Katey Sagal Turanga Leela
John DiMaggio Bender
Joey Mousepad
Additional voices
Tress MacNeille Fanny
Additional voices
Maurice LaMarche Kif Kroker
Donbot
Clamps
Calculon
Additional voices
Phil LaMarr Hermes Conrad
Additional voices
Lauren Tom Amy Wong
Inez Wong
Additional Voices
David Herman Number 9 Man
Additional voices
Dawnn Lewis LaBarbara Conrad
Prison Warden
Snoop Dogg Himself
Phil Hendrie Frida Waterfall
Hutch Waterfall
The Encyclopod
Seth MacFarlane Mars Vegas singer
Penn & Teller Themselves

Continuity

The movie draws upon several major and minor running themes of the Futurama series. As in previous environmentally-minded episodes such as "The Problem with Popplers", "A Taste Of Freedom" and "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz", the Waterfall family makes an appearance, with Frida Waterfall reappearing along with a new member, Hutch (identifying himself as Frida's brother by removing her jewelry from Fry's head as Hutch dies), and in keeping with tradition both Frida and Hutch Waterfall meet an untimely end.[2] The Encyclopod's decision to preserve Hutch's DNA defines it as Hutch's successor and serves as a warning about the fragility of the existence of the human species.[2] With dark matter now useless as fuel[8] the Planet Express ship has been modified to run on whale oil, an alternative introduced in "Bendin' in the Wind".[2]

Fry was originally frozen and brought to the future by Nibbler[9] because a Nibblonian prophecy foresaw that he and his unique, Delta-wave-deficient mind (a consequence of him being his own grandfather[10]) would be required to save the universe.[11] In Yonder Fry is once again appointed for such a task (though by the Legion of Mad Fellows instead of the Nibblonians), due to his immunity from the Dark Ones' psionic attacks.[2]

The No. 9 man, a recurring background character throughout the series, is given a significant role in the movie, though quite different from the role in the series for which he was originally conceived.[12]

This screenshot shows approximately 198 minor characters from the Futurama series.

As a fan service, the climactic scene of the film features a scene with up to 200 characters on screen at once; most minor characters from Futurama's history can be seen (Unit 2013 appearing twice) with the exception of the children (like Dwight and Cubert), who were removed when the production team realized that Morbo mentions that there are no children present. In the DVD commentary, producer David X. Cohen notes that Rough Draft Korea, Futurama's overseas animation studio, charged a significant premium because of the difficulty of animating this scene.[2]

In the final scene of the movie, Amy and Kif are reunited after being estranged.[13] After years of Fry trying to win her over, Leela finally returns Fry's love in full; Cohen notes that there was considerable debate among the Futurama writers about how to end the movie, and that Futurama creator Matt Groening himself pushed for the actual conclusion.[2]

The movie was initially intended to end the series. After Futurama was renewed, its creators were unsure if the storylines in the film would be continued. Groening stated that he wanted to ignore the film's ending and move on with the show. Cohen felt differently, stating that the revelations at the end should be resolved, even if the resolutions were brief.[14]

Production

The Futurama staff began working on the movie in 2006, and at two different points labor issues affected the production process. According to producer Lee Supercinski, the Futurama studio realized that they were going to receive the animatic of the movie from Rough Draft Studios two weeks before the deadline for the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike. As a result, the writers were forced to make revisions to the script without having completely reviewed the animatic; no writing was done during the strike.[15] The Futurama studio then received the colored film in June 2008, weeks before a proposed Screen Actors Guild strike deadline, again forcing the writers to revise the script without completely reviewing the picture.[15]

Aware that Into the Wild Green Yonder could have been the final Futurama episode at the time of writing, the writers inserted numerous references to that fact. The title screen displays the message "The Humans Shall Not Defeat Us" in Alien Language 1; according to Cohen, the message is a defiant statement regarding the possible end of the series.[16] Midway through the movie, a shot of the exterior of the Planet Express building draped with a banner reading "Going Out Of Business Forever! Again!" is shown, a reference to the original series' previous cancellation in 2003.[2] The scene where Professor Farnsworth removes Zoidberg's and Hermes's career chips and the countdown scene at the violet dwarf implosion ceremony both reference events from the pilot episode, "Space Pilot 3000" and also "The Cryonic Woman".[2] The cliffhanger nature of the final scene in the movie was devised so that it could conclude the series on an emotional note but also provide a point of departure for a series renewal, according to Cohen.[17]

The script contains several detailed scientific references, such as the Keeler Gap in the rings of Saturn, the asteroid 2261 Keeler and the Keeler crater on Mars, all named after astronomer James Edward Keeler.[2] In the movie the violet dwarf star is located at "galactic coordinates 167.84, -58.03, Mark 948", and Cohen mentions in the DVD commentary that the first two coordinates refer to another astronomical object.[2] In addition, the Martian muck leech is given the scientific name Cyprinodon martius. Writer Ken Keeler adapted the name from Cyprinodon salinus, the scientific name of the Death Valley pupfish, which like the Martian muck leech lives in the desert and is nearly extinct.[2]

The opening musical theme is a Frank Sinatra-style number sung by Family Guy and American Dad! creator Seth MacFarlane as the Planet Express ship flies around the casinos of Mars Vegas.[2]

Reception

Overall the film has received mixed reviews. Alynda Wheat of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of B, saying that it catered to established fans.[18] Scott Collura of IGN rated the movie itself 5/10, praising the use of both major and minor characters from the series and the science-fiction content, but criticizing the movie for being disjointed and for its "underwhelming climax" and concluding that it "never fully captures the greatness of the original series." Collura rated the DVD 7/10, noting the high quality of the video transfer, the image detail and depth, and the use of surround sound and low-frequency effects.[19] Martin Liebman of Blu-ray.com rated the movie 2.5/5 and the Blu-ray release 3.5/5 overall. Liebman praised the film for its development of the primary characters in a way that would appeal to longtime fans and new viewers, but criticized the messy plot and haphazard pacing of the movie. Liebman lauded the Blu-ray release for its crisp images, resolution of detail in the animation, lossless soundtrack and use of surround sound.[20] Movie Critic Bruce Kirkland of Sun Media Corporation wrote that the movie was "just as good as Bender's Big Score", praising its send-ups of Las Vegas and science fiction themes and writing that it "nicely handles its environmental message with trenchant wit".[21] Jeffrey Kauffman of DVD Talk rated the movie four stars out of five, calling it a "a fun and frenetic windup to a perhaps undervalued television gem".[22]

According to the-numbers.com, the DVD sold approximately 83,000 units for a total of $1.6 million during its initial week of release, placing it 20th in sales across the USA. As of April 19, 2009, estimated DVD sales in the USA stand at approximately 159,000 units for a total of $3.03 million.[23] Comedy Central cited sales of the DVD as one reason it decided to renew the Futurama television series.[24]

References

  1. ^ Fritz, Steve (2007-11-29). "Animated Shorts: David X. Cohen on Futurama, 2". Newsarama. http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=137914. Retrieved 2007-11-30.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Cohen, David X. (2009). Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder commentary. [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  3. ^ Seijas, Casey (2009-02-06). "Live from New York Comic Con! Fans Treated To Futurama World Premiere". ugo.com. http://tvblog.ugo.com/index.php/tvblog/more/live_from_new_york_comic_con_fans_treated_to_futurama_world_premiere/. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  4. ^ Mitovich, Matt (2009-06-10). "The Futurama Looks Bright as Comedy Central Revives 'Toon". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Futurama-new-episodes-1006745.aspx. Retrieved 2009-06-10.  
  5. ^ "Rhymes With Raining". Craveonline.com. 2007-02-26. http://www.craveonline.com/articles/filmtv/04647510/rhymes_with_raining.html. Retrieved 2009-03-08.  
  6. ^ "'Futurama' returns with new episodes". Variety. 2009-06-09. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118004722.html?categoryId=1050&cs=1. Retrieved 2009-06-14.  
  7. ^ "Comedy Central resurrects 'Futurama'". The Hollywood Reporter. 2009-06-09. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i388dc3328f74c5ee953fdf2f59564bb2. Retrieved 2009-06-14.  
  8. ^ Bender's Game
  9. ^ "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid" and "The Why of Fry"
  10. ^ "Roswell That Ends Well"
  11. ^ Cohen, David X. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "The Why of Fry". [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  12. ^ Groening, Matt. (2009). Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder commentary. [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  13. ^ Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs
  14. ^ http://tv.ign.com/articles/100/1007511p1.html IGN: SDCC 09: The Future of Futurama
  15. ^ a b Supercinski, Lee. (2009). Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder commentary. [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.  
  16. ^ White, James (2009-02-20). "Film features: 9 Odd Things We Now Know About Futurama". Totalfilm.com. http://www.totalfilm.com/features/9-odd-things-we-now-know-about-futurama/page:5. Retrieved 2009-02-28.  
  17. ^ Kolan, Patrick (2009-03-03). "'Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder' interview". IGN.com. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/959/959081p1.html. Retrieved 2009-03-08.  
  18. ^ Wheat, Alynda (2009-02-18). "Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder DVD Review". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20259741,00.html. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  19. ^ Collura, Scott (2009-02-08). "Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder Review". ign.com. http://dvd.ign.com/articles/956/956729p1.html. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  20. ^ Liebman, Martin (2009-02-25). "Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder Blu-ray Review". blu-ray.com. http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/movies.php?id=3160&show=review. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  21. ^ Kirkland, Bruce (2009-02-27). "MovieNews - Bender and pals deliver the goods". Edmonton Sun. http://www.edmontonsun.com/Entertainment/MovieNews/2009/02/27/8552201-sun.html. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  22. ^ Kauffman, Jeffrey (2009-03-01). "Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (Blu-ray)". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/36463/futurama-into-the-wild-green-yonder/. Retrieved 2009-03-09.  
  23. ^ "Futurama - Into the Wild Green Yonder - DVD Sales". the-numbers.com. 2009-04-10. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/0FT04-DVD.php. Retrieved 2009-04-10.  
  24. ^ ""FUTURAMA" RETURNS TO PRODUCTION WITH AN INITIAL ORDER OF 26 NEW EPISODES TO PREMIERE MID 2010". Comedy Central. 2009-06-09. http://www.comedycentral.com/press/press_releases/2009/061009_futurama_returns.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-06-09.  

External links


Simple English

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Directed by Peter Avanzino
Written by Ken Keeler
Starring Billy West
Katey Sagal
John DiMaggio
Tress MacNeille
Maurice LaMarche
Music by Christopher Tyng
Distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release date(s) April 2009 (UK)
Country
Language English
Preceded by Bender's Game
IMDb profile

Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder is the fourth and last movie in the Futurama movie series. The first three are Futurama: Bender's Big Score, Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, and Futurama: Bender's Game. Not much is known yet.

Cast

Actor Character
Billy West Philip J. Fry
Professor Farnsworth
Dr. Zoidberg
Additional voices
Katey Sagal Turanga Leela
John DiMaggio Bender
Additional voices
Tress MacNeille Additional voices
Maurice LaMarche Additional voices
Phil LaMarr Hermes Conrad
Additional voices
Lauren Tom Amy Wong
Additional voices
David Herman Additional voices
Frank Welker Nibbler
Additional voices
Snoop Dogg Himself
Phil Hendrie TBA
Penn Jillette TBA







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