Monday, June 30, 2008

Love The Tentacle

There's a reason I consider Futurama to be the greatest animated show to ever be aired. Several actually. The writing was subtly intelligent, the plotline never followed the traditional sitcom formula, but what really got me was the emotional depth that was instilled in the show. WHile this was present in early seasons of The Simpsons, and managed to work its way into one, count it, ONE FUCKING EPISODE of Family Guy.

Which is why it killed to watch Futurama's newest DVD movie, The Beast With A Million Backs. On it's own, it can be considered a legitimately good movie. But when you compare it to either the series, or even Bender's Big Score, it just falls flat.

The plot (one of its first problems) involves a tear in the fabric of space, which opens up new universe which no one wants to enter. Well as it turns out, the universe is inhabited by a monster with millions of tentacle penises, which leads me to believe this was written by a room full of horny japanese businessmen. The plot is simple, concise, and to the point. Which is why it is all wrong.

I fell in love with Bender's Big Score because the plot played out so beautifully, each scene, line and story melting into one another until the payoff at the end. The Million Backs, on the other hand, just feels like a brick, everything forced into one dense, solid lump. And while the jokes were funny enough (one scene involving Kip's parents made me shoot what I can only hope was milk out of my nose), it doesn't measure up with its predecessors.

It's ultimate downfall, however, is that overall, it just doesn't feel like the Futurama I remember. Futurama is the show I used to watch every Sunday night, the show I watched to destress, the show I watched with the door closed and the sound turned up while my parents fought in the other room. This isn't the same show.

That being said, it's still a pretty good movie. It's decently funny, the plot makes sense, and the voice acting is terriffic (Not much of a surprise, considering David Cross is in it). But overall, it just doesn't have the same emotional depth that the original had. The ending of both Jurassic Bark and The Devil's Hands Are Idle Play Things made me cry hysterically, and the Story of Fry and Leela actually followed Canon. The first DVD movie felt like reconnecting with an old friend, and revisiting the good old days. The Beast With A Million Backs feels like catching up on his life and finding out he's changed, and you're not sure if this is the same person you remember.

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