Comic and tragic visions of the future lead off this week’s animated DVD releases.
Up first is Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (Fox, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray), the fourth and apparently final outing for the long-running series from Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. Directed by series regular Peter Avanzino, this new adventure finds Bender in love with a married fembot and Leela on the run from the law’Zapp Brannigan’s law, while Fry emerges as the last hope for the universe. Guest voices include illusionist Penn Jillette, hip-hop star Snoop Dogg and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In addition, fans get to discover the truth about ‘Number 9 Man,’ an enigmatic character from the earliest days of the series.
The DVD offers a slew of bonus features, including clever audio commentary from Matt Groening, David X. Cohen, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, writers and animators, a making-of mockumentary, deleted scenes, How to Draw Futurama, ‘Bender’s Movie Theater Etiquette,’ and ‘Zapp Brannigan’s Guide to Making Love at a Woman.”
Coming for the first time in high-def is the Blu-ray release of Akira (Banda/Honneamise, $49.98), the groundbreaking 1988 anime from Katsuhiro Otomo adapting his popular manga epic.
Also coming to DVD is Wonder Pets Join the Circus, available as a single disc (Paramount, $16.99) or as part of a new three-disc collection called Wonder Pets: Big Missions, Little Heroes (Paramount, $36.99).
Recently announced animated DVD releases include Franny’s Feet: Princess Franny (Peace Arch, March 3, $14.99), Gulliver’s Travels, (E1 Entertainment U.S., March 10, $14.98 DVD, $19.98 Blu-ray), South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (Paramount/Comedy Central, March 10, $49.99 DVD, $69.99 Blu-ray) and Tom and Jerry’s Greatest Chases, Vol. 2 (Warner Home Video, June 16, $14.97).