Futurama-Season 1 (Box Set) (1999)

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Released 25-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Animatic from Space Pilot 3000
Script-Space Pilot 3000 with Notes from David X. Cohen
Storyboards-Space Pilot 3000
Deleted Scenes-Episode 2: The Series Has Landed; I, Roommate
Deleted Scenes-Love's Labours Lost In Space; My Three Suns
Theatrical Trailer
Deleted Scenes-Hell Is Other Robots; When Aliens Attack
Easter Egg-Poster x3
Featurette
Gallery-Image
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time ?
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Multi Disc Set (3)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Matt Groening
David X Cohen
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Billy West
Katey Sagal
John DiMaggio
Case Gatefold
RPI $79.95 Music Christopher Tyng


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Italian
French Titling
Italian Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during selected episodes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Futurama is a new animated television series from the people behind The Simpsons and it shows. The character designs and humour are similar, but the setting and storylines have a more science fiction feel rather than being a take on suburban family life as is The Simpsons.

    The story begins on New Years Eve 1999 when ordinary pizza delivery boy Fry (Billy West) is accidentally cryogenically frozen for a thousand years due to sheer dumb luck. Fast forward to the 31st Century where Fry is now trying to cope with living in a very different, yet oddly familiar, world and working at Planet Express, an interstellar delivery service with many a strange co-worker including his two new friends, cycloptic spaceship captain Leela (Katey Sagal) and Bender (John DiMaggio), the abusive but loveable heavy drinking robot.

    The first series is comprised of 13 episodes. They are presented as follows:

DISC 1: Space Pilot 3000; The Series Has Landed; I, Roommate; Love's Labours Lost in Space.

DISC 2: Fear of a Bot Planet; A Fishful of Dollars; My Three Suns; A Big Piece of Garbage; Hell is Other Robots. 

DISC 3: A Flight to Remember; Mars University; When Aliens Attack; Fry and the Slurm Factory.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Unlike the crudeness of the earlier series of The Simpsons, Futurama pretty much nailed its look from the get go and it looks great presented on DVD. The video is very clear and this is a fantastic transfer.

    The transfer is presented in its original 1.33:1 full screen format and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    The animation is rather sharp and clean looking. The darker scenes do not exhibit any problems with shadow detail. No low level noise was detected at any time during the series.

    The colours were very sharp for this animated show. Unlike the hand painted cels used for The Simpsons, Futurama's 2D and 3D animation is coloured using computers and this shows with good solid colouring and shading effects.

    There were no MPEG artefacts detected. Aliasing was not detected, leading me to believe that the DVDs may have been sourced directly from the digital source files. Film artefacts were also non-existent due to the series' digital origins.

    The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles matched closely what was being said on-screen. Only small cuts and abbreviations have been used, mostly due to screen space considerations. Other subtitle languages included are Dutch, French, and Italian.

    These discs are RSDL-formatted, with the layer changes placed between episodes so they are unnoticed and not disturbing to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio transfer for the series on DVD is a big improvement in quality from when it was screened on television.

    There are 4 language tracks for Futurama; English, French, Italian, and an English Audio Commentary. All audio tracks are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. I listened to all of the English and Commentary tracks and sampled the French and Italian language tracks.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. Even with the expected sound problems with all animation, particularly the lip sync, the audio sync is rather good. No dropouts were detected.

    The music score by Christopher Tyng really suits the show's atmosphere, from the incidental background tunes to major song and dance numbers such as found in the Hell is Other Robots episode. A fantastic job.

    The surround and subwoofer channels are used effectively to add subtle effects to the audio, the surrounds handling such things as crowd and background noises and the subwoofer adding some welcomed depth, mainly to the action scenes, while not being distracting.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    All extras are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks.

Menu

    The menus consist of still pictures based on the show accompanied by some background audio. Other Menus are the same sans audio. They are not 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentary

    The audio commentaries for each episode were humorous, with next to no silence, and they all maintained an informative yet entertaining feel.

Scene Selection Animation & Audio

    Scene selection menus are themed from the series, and were easy to navigate and execute. The scene selections are animated with audio tracks in the background.

Featurette - Animatic from Space Pilot 3000

    This is a rather interesting feature which contains the first episode in its animatic form, with storyboards spliced together with voices and a few sound effects. Differences can be spotted between the work in progress and the final version.

Script - Space Pilot 3000 with Notes from David X. Cohen

    The original script from the first episode Space Pilot 3000 with editorial notes from director David X. Cohen.

Storyboards - Space Pilot 3000

    Storyboards from the first episode Space Pilot 3000.

Deleted Scenes - The Series Has Landed; I, Roommate; Love's Labours Lost In Space; My Three Suns; Hell Is Other Robots; When Aliens Attack

    Some interesting deleted scenes from various episodes contained in the first series. Because they were not used in the final production of their respective episodes, the video and audio are of a poorer quality when compared to the completed versions.

Theatrical Trailer

    Trailer for the first series of Futurama.

Gallery - Image

    An image gallery containing various works in progress, early character designs, doodles, and final versions of the environments and characters in Futurama.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    At this point in time, there is no R1 release of Futurama. However, there is an R2 release. There seems to be no differences.

Summary

    Futurama is a brilliant animated show, with the artwork and comedic stylings of The Simpsons, but with a science fiction flavour, and is presented on well put together discs that form this great box set. This set can be used as the standard by which to compare future animated television shows transferred to DVD. A truly remarkable show and a quality DVD release.

    The video quality is spectacular.

    The audio quality is amazingly good.

    The extras are numerous, interesting and entertaining, and of good quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mitchell Healey (Biohazard)
Friday, November 29, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDOmni SL-P3003D, using S-Video output
DisplayNEC FS8001 (80cm).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationKenwood KRF-V7050D
SpeakersJensen SPX-9 Fronts, Jensen SPX-15 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rears, Jensen SPX-19 Subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
R2/R4 -
R2/R4 comment edited -
Most astute observation ever -
Futurama Audio Comentary? -
Re:Futurama audio commentary -
R1 Release - plane_mad
Re: Futurama audio commentary -
Great news everybody box set price drops -
Boxes form big picture -