Futurama-Season 1 (Box Set) (1999)
Main Menu Audio
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
Deleted Scenes-Hell Is Other Robots; When Aliens Attack
Easter Egg-Poster x3
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
David X Cohen
Twentieth Century Fox
|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|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during selected episodes|
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.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
All extras are presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks.
The audio commentaries for each episode were humorous, with next to no silence, and they all maintained an informative yet entertaining feel.
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.
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.
The original script from the first episode Space Pilot 3000 with editorial notes from director David X. Cohen.
Storyboards from the first episode Space Pilot 3000.
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.
Trailer for the first series of Futurama.
An image gallery containing various works in progress, early character designs, doodles, and final versions of the environments and characters in Futurama.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
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.
|DVD||Omni SL-P3003D, using S-Video output|
|Display||NEC FS8001 (80cm).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Jensen SPX-9 Fronts, Jensen SPX-15 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rears, Jensen SPX-19 Subwoofer|