Futurama, Roger Rabbit DVDs

Among this week’s most eagerly awaited home video releases are a collection of classic TV episodes and a supped up anniversary edition of a groundbreaking smash hit. Futurama Season 1 and the Vista Series edition of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? both hit shelves today.

Futurama didn’t last in the Fox primetime lineup as long as Matt Groening’s other animated brainchild, The Simpsons. However, the witty comedy about a cryogenically frozen pizza delivery boy thawed out in the distant future has built a dedicated fan base and continues to deliver strong ratings as part of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim Block.

Now fans can get their fix of Fry’s futuristic follies any time they want with the three-disc set containing all 13 episodes from the show’s first season. Extra features include deleted scenes and commentary by Groening, writer/executive producer David X. Cohen, co-director/supervising director Rich Moore, co-director/supervising director Gregg Vanzo, and John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender. In addition, fans can view the animatic, script, and storyboards for the show’s premiere episode, “Space Pilot 3000.” The Twentieth Century Fox Home Video release retails for $39.98.

Winner of four Academy Awards, the groundbreaking live-action/animated classic Who Framed Roger Rabbit? gets the full treatment this time around with a deluxe Vista Series 2-disc DVD set and an exclusive VHS bonus edition. The release will be available from Touchstone Home Ent. for the suggested retail price of $29.99 DVD and $19.99 VHS.

Robert Zemeckis (Cast Away, Forrest Gump) directed this comedic romp about a gumshoe detective, played by Bob Hoskins, who teams up with a mischievous cartoon rabbit to solve a whodunit involving players in Hollywood and Toontown.

The cast features Christopher Lloyd (Hey Arnold! The Movie, Back To The Future), Joanna Cassidy (Six Feet Under) and the legendary vocal talents of Mel Blanc and June Foray. Many classic characters from the Walt Disney and Warner Bros. catalogs also make appearances.

The family-friendly disc one contains a full-frame version of the film and three Roger Rabbit Shorts: Tummy Trouble, Roller Coaster Rabbit and Trail Mix-Up. Also included are a feature on the making of the film and the set-top game Trouble in Toontown.

Disc two, geared toward the enthusiast, features a widescreen version of the film, audio commentary by director Robert Zemeckis and fellow filmmakers, deleted footage, a photo gallery, an in-depth look at the making of the film and pop-up-style trivia. Other behind-the-scenes glimpses include before and after comparisons of a scene with and without animation.

The exclusive video bonus edition VHS of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? will include the Roger Rabbit short Tummy Trouble.