Co-creator David X. Cohen talks about sending fans on a 4-disc bender.
Fox Home Entertainment today released Futurama Volume Two on DVD. The four-disc set includes all nineteen episodes from the second season (1999-2000) of the animated satire of pop culture and science-fiction from the minds of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and co-creator David X. Cohen.
Futurama follows the misadventures of Fry, a pizza delivery boy who accidentally gets cryogenically frozen in the present and thawed out a thousand years in the future. He must adjust to this strange new world with the help of a misfit crew of space truckers that counts among its ranks a humanoid crustacean, a wisecracking robot and a sexy cyclops.
Animation Magazine Online recently spoke with Cohen about the show and it’s sophomore year. “I think this second season’s package is definitely an improvement over the first season,” he says. “We’ve moved up from 13 to 19 episodes, and I think we have a better selection of episodes, because we were kind of finding our way during the first season but hit our stride with the second season.”
While Cohen believes all the season’s episodes are solid, he doesn’t shy from playing favorites. He is particularly fond of the Eric Kaplan-penned installment Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love, in which Dr. Zoidberg experiences the trials of mating season on his planet. “When I first saw the animatics for it, I laughed so hard that I was crying,” Cohen recalls. “Before that, it hadn’t occurred to me that I was actually a fan of the series! The second season also includes the first time we did an ‘Anthology of Interest’ episode. It featured the voices of Stephen Hawking and Gary Gygax. I got to meet all my nerd heroes.”
Bonus features on the season two release include commentary for all episodes, deleted scenes, Easter eggs, a trailer for the Futurama video game coming to all platforms, a still and concept art gallery, alien alphabet, Int’l clips and four "sponsor" clips.
Commenting on the upcoming Futurama video game, Cohen states, “It’s a great game because a lot of animation footage (about 25 minutes total) is included between each level. The animated sequences were written by Stuart Burns, our writer who did the [Emmy-winning] ‘Roswell that Ends Well’ episode. Both Matt Groening and I were also heavily involved in the development of the game.”
Cohen believes the series has done well on DVD because the amount of detail packed into each episode makes multiple viewings mandatory. “DVDs allow you to stop the scenes and go back and get all the jokes that are speeding by,” he says. He goes on to note, “The fans are so much into the show and appreciative of it. They are dedicated to have it all on their shelves. They are the collector types and sci-fi types that like all the information and detail. Somebody gave me a backhanded compliment the other day, saying, ‘Hey, I think the commentaries are more entertaining than the episodes!’”
With the second season finally on shelves, collectors can look forward to the third and fourth season DVDs. “Season Four might be the greatest DVD package ever,” Cohen boasts. “The menus are like a mini video game. They are randomized, so that a different scenario plays out each time. Characters from the show yell at you when you make a selection. It keeps getting fancier and fancier.”
Futurama Volume Two lists for $49.98. Episodes are presented in full frame (1:33:1), English Dolby Surround, Spanish Dolby Surround and French Dolby Surround.
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