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Futurama - Volume 4


TITLE: FUTURAMA - VOLUME 4


Info:

DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004 (20th Century FOX)
color/approx. 414 min.
MSRP: $49.95
Number of discs: 4
Number of episodes: 18
Languages and subtitles: English, Closed Captioned; Subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.
Special features: Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Storyboard Images, International Video Clip, Animatics, Animated Menus, 3-D Models, Still Gallery, How To Draw Characters: Bender and Professor, Character Pencil and Test Segments, and Easter Eggs.


Introduction:

Bite my shiny metal DVD! 20th Century FOX presents the final collection for Futurama in volume #4! The volume features 18 episodes produced for season four, but nearly all of them aired in season five. This set is packed with extras all over the four-discs. All episodes have audio commentaries and most episodes also have deleted scenes. This set is a must buy for all fans, especially for those who have the first three volumes.

Futurama comes from Matt Groening, who is the mind behind FOX’s The Simpsons. Futurama is a highly acclaimed and probably prophetic vision of the future, in all its robot-drenched glory. Eat your heart out Jetsons! Can Bender beat Rosie the Robot? No one will ever know… Futurama spoofed lots of classic sitcoms over the years, like Three’s Company, The Odd Couple, and Sanford & Son.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Futurama has a great all-around voice cast which includes, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Frank Welker, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Kath Source and Billy West. The series won an Emmy in 2002 for Outstanding Animated Program, snapping The Simpsons’ seven year winning streak. The series was also nominated in 1999, 2001, and 2003. Some famous episodes in volume four include: “Love and Rocket,” “Jurassic Bark,” “Obsoletely Fabulous” and “Spanish Fry.” The famous celebrity voices for this volume include, Al Gore (“Crimes of the Hot”), Roseanne (“Three Hundred Big Boys”), Sigourney Weaver & Lucy Liu (“Love and Rocket”) and William Shatner & the Star Trek cast (“Where No Fan Has Gone Before”).


Packaging:

The packaging on this set comes in a slip sleeve. The slip sleeve has the Futurama logo in red and yellow and a mention of volume 4. There is also a photo of Fry floating and Leela floating backwards. On the back of the slip sleeve is Bender. When removing the slip sleeve, you get the box in black with the same photos but not colored in. The box holds single cases for each disc. Each case has a different colorful photo on each. The back of each case has episode numbers & titles, a photo from the episode, and a one sentence synopsis of the episode. Also, a yellow box listing all the special features are on each case.


Menu Design and Navigation:

When you open each case you will get a list of all the scene selections on each episode. There are 5 scene selections on each episode. The discs are colorful. All but disc three features a dark blue space background with different characters. Disc three has a sky blue background.

The menu screens are interactive. Each disc has a different menu screen. They all start off with a binocular view. I like how it is interactive and the cool sound effects, but I found it a bit tough to navigate since each disc was different. The main menu screen lists the episode titles on each disc. You select one and you get to an episode menu screen. The options in that are Play Mission, Language Selection, Scene Selection, Special Features, and Home. Again, each episode menu screen is different on each disc. The languages option has audio commentaries and subtitles in English, French, and Spanish.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are very good. They should be since these episodes were made in 2001 and were aired in 2002 and 2003. It is just about perfect. Closed captioning is also available.


Special Features:

There are a lot of special features on this set. Audio commentaries and deleted scenes are the bulk of them. Let’s start with the audio commentaries. They are located under each episode’s language option. The following people all were in at least one episode doing commentaries: Matt Groening (executive producer), David X. Cohen (executive producer), Bill Ordenkirk (writer), Billy West (voice of Fry/Professor), Maurice LaMarche (voice), Rich Moore (supervising director), Kristen Gore (writer), Swinton O. Scott III (director), Dan Vebber (writer), Brian Sheesley (director), Ron Weiner (writer), Susie Dieffer (director), Eric Horsted (co-executive producer and writer), John DiMaggio (voice of Bender), James Purdum (director), Eric Kaplan (writer), Ken Keeler (writer), David Goodman (writer), Peter Avarizino (director), Jeff Westbrook (writer), Brett Haaland (director), Wes Archer (director), Pat Shinagwa (director), Patrick M. Verrone (writer), Michael Rowe (writer), Dwayne Carey-Hill (director) and Ron Hughart (director). Wow! I hope I listed them all and didn’t misspell any of them (or listed them twice!).

There are deleted scenes on most of the episodes. They are really short scenes. Disc one: “Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch” is just over 3 minutes, “Leela’s Homeworld” is just over a minute, “Love and Rocket” is about 13 seconds, “Less Than a Hero” is about 20 seconds and “A Taste of Freedom” is about 45 seconds. Disc two: “Crimes of the Hot” is about 20 seconds, “Teenage Mutant Leela’s Hurdles” is about 45 seconds and “The Why of Fry” is about 25 seconds. Disc three: “Where No Fan Has Gone Before” is about 8 seconds, “The Sting” is just under 1 minute 40 seconds, “Bend Her” is 50 seconds and “Obsoletely Fabulous” is over one minute. Disc four: “The Farnsworth Parabox” is over 40 seconds, “Three Hundred Big Boys” is under one minute, “Spanish Fry” is over 1 minute 10 seconds and “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” is one minute 25 seconds. So every episode in this volume has deleted scenes but three of them from disc two.

On disc one (in addition to the deleted scenes and audio commentaries) there is a storyboard for “Kif Gets Knocked Up A Notch.” There are about 89 images or so. Half colored, most are in black & white with dialogue underneath. “Love and Rocket” episode has an international video clip with audio in German, Portuguese, Spanish and English. The clip runs for 90 seconds. On disc two (in addition to the deleted scenes and audio commentaries) there is bonus commentary for “Jurrasic Bark” on the writing process. On disc three (in addition to the deleted scenes and audio commentaries) there is an Animatic for the episode “Obsoletely Fabulous.” It runs over 25 minutes. It’s not colorized, it’s basically the storybook style from disc one, but with moving images. There is also an Easter Egg on this disc – a panel discussion at a Star Trek convention. For the life of me, I can’t find this on this disc anywherw! Maybe you will have better luck with it. Finally, on disc four (in addition to the deleted scenes and audio commentaries) there are eleven narrated segments of 3D models. Each are in the range of 15-50 seconds or so. There is also a “How to Draw Characters” galleries for Bender and Professor Farnsworth. A still gallery is also featured. There are also nine pencil test segments. Which is like a continuation of the storybooks and animatics, it’s almost like the finished product with no color. There are also two Easter Eggs on this disc, too. Again, I can’t find them. “Alternate Show Opening Quotes” and a table read of the “The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings” episode.


Final Comments:

I’ve never really watched this show. I’m not at all an expert on the show. If you have the first three volumes, then of course, buy this set to complete your collection. The set has tons of special features and behind the scenes stuff, so its any fans dream. So, buy the DVD before Bender eats it!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video quality: 4.8/5
Audio quality: 4.8/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.7/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/10/04

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002B15J2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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