Futurama is back, and now we know in what form. The show will return on November 27th as a full-length high-def film sold on DVD. It will be followed by three additional films, and each film will be divided into four episodes each to be aired on Comedy Central. So, that's 4 DVD movies or 16 new episodes depending on how you look at it.
Via Boing Boing comes this lengthy essay from Michael Schmitz that looks at Human Computer Interaction in both movies and television. Some of the technology explored in this essay comes from shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation, Futurama, Star Trek: Enterprise, and an old German series called Raumschiff Orion.
Schmitz's essay looks at the technology used in these series and compares them to similar technology in the real world. The essay is a bit heavy, but I think sci fi nerds will appreciate it. All true science fiction is grounded somewhat in real science, and this essay delves into that world quite extensively and shows how often modern technology began as a fictional concept before we were finally able to catch up and make it a reality. For example, the "Wil Wheaton" in the picture on the right is now a real person. I know, it's spooky.
See that robot on the right? Does he look familiar at all? Does he perhaps resemble a certain womanizing, hard-drinking robot from a certain recently-resurrected animated series that rhymes with "Futurama," and is, coincidentally, also called "Futurama?" And didn't I essentially give away the answer in the title of this post?
Internet scuttlebutt has it that the robot featured on the old comic book cover, drawn by artist Alex Schomburg, is what inspired the design of Bender from Futurama. The Web site Samuel Design seems to have conclusive proof that Bender did in fact spawn from this cover. It has a screenshot from the season four episode "Crimes of the Hot" that features a "bending unit" with very similar head features of the nameless robot on the cover.
This sci fi and comic book stuff gets into territory I'm not completely familiar with, so I give the floor to you readers who know more about this than I do. Is it obviously the inspiration for Bender, or is everyone reading too much into it?
Thanks to Wild Bill for the link.
Groening gives the show's loyal fans all the credit in the world for helping the show come back. "The continued devotion of the fans, chiefly on the Internet, kept us thinking that maybe we could bring this back," he said.
The deviantARTist known as Space Coyote recently received copius praise and accolades for her anime-renditions of characters from The Simpsons and Futurama. Now, it seems her drawings have also captured the attention of both Bongo Comics and 20th Century Fox. According to a message on her deviantART page, Space Coyote has been hired to draw for a one-off Simpsons comic in manga style for Bongo Comics. She further writes that 20th Century Fox has also contacted her about doing work, possibly for the newly-resurrected Futurama.
She also writes on her Live Journal that the details are still being hammered out, but needless to say, this is a great example of a relatively unknown artist getting some decent exposure through this crazy thing called the Web. She has also worked on the Web comic Saturnalia since 2002, which is also worth checking out.
So, when I found this artist's group shots of The Simpsons' and Futurama's ensembles, I was pretty amazed. Each character looks totally different, but it's still easy to tell who's who (a most important element in good fan-art). I think it's fantastic, but, I must admit, I'm a little disturbed by Lisa's striking resemblance to the characters of Dragon Ball. It must be a hair thing.
- The entire original cast is returning
- You'll find out some of Nibbler's secrets
- Al Gore is back
[Thanks, Justin and Jeff]
As he was cruising through IMDb, he found this listing for the much anticipated direct-to-DVD Futurama movie. According to the listing, the movie is going to be called Futurama: Bender's Big Score, and is tentatively coming out around Christmas 2007. Here's what the listing says the plot is going to be: "Planet Express sees a hostile takeover and Bender falls into the hands of criminals where he is used to fulfill their schemes." The movie is in post-production , with voice recording completed.
Now, all this information comes with the caveat that IMDb, while good, always has changing information. So take what I just gave you with whatever appropriate skepticism that you apply to IMDb stuff. But, if this is correct, it'll be a nice way for fans to get their Futurama fix before the show starts new episodes on Comedy Central in 2008.
If you didn't get your fill of voice actor Billy West when Joel interviewed him awhile ago, you can listen to an audio interview with the voice actor on the Paul Harris Show by clicking here. West, who, as many of you know, did the voices of a bunch of the characters on Futurama, plus the voice of both Ren and Stimpy during part of that show's run, not to mention a ton of other characters both classic and new. West talks about how he comes up with voices for the characters, and tells a funny story about watching The Diary of Anne Frank because one of the actors, Lou Jacobi, was part of his inspiration for the voice of Zoidberg on Futurama. He also talks about how voice actors often get treated like second class citizens in Hollywoodland. A very funny interview, definitely worth checking out.
[via Mark Evanier]
Speed Bump also provides a clip showing the computer rough-draft of the CGI Bender, and an opportunity to download the Bender model (for fun only, of course). Good stuff, and a fun way to close out the week.
(S01E13) So we've come to the last episode of Futurama Season One (or, if you believe Fox, the fourth episode of Season Two). As you can tell, it was a good start to a show that continued to get better over its four years on the air. Even in this season, you could tell that the characters became more refined, and the episodes got progressively funnier as the year went on. It all seemed to culimnate with this episode, which I think is the funniest of the season. It shows us what's really in the ubiquitous drink Slurm, whose tagline is the one I think Red Bull should use: "It's Highly Addictive!"
Maurice LaMarche is a voice actor who has done more cartoons than you can shake a stick at. Just to reference a few, he played Dizzy Devil on Tiny Toons, The Brain on Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain, and most recently did the voice of Kif and Calculon (among others) on Futurama. The Canadian-born LaMarche started out doing stand-up comedy and eventually moved to voice acting. Quick Stop Entertainment has a really long interview with the man, so if you're into voice acting, and every single thing Maurice has ever done in his life, you should check it out. Also, if you want to read about someone from Canada bashing the country he came from, it's good for that as well.
[via Mark Evanier]
Oh, and there's a talking monkey in a bowler. But that's a whole 'nother story.
But this is a little insane. Seems like one big Futurama fan decided to create case mods in the shape of his favorite characters. First he did Bender, then, taking what he learned from that project, he created a Leela-shaped PC, complete with bendable legs. Ooookay. Even the geek-centric website The Inquirer thought the guy who created these, Jan Erik Vangen, had way too much time on his hands. Here's my question: Is he actually gonna use these as PCs? Neither one exactly fits under a desk. Anyway, just having these life-sized models around my apartment all the time would creep me out, but I guess that's just me.
[thanks to reader Mack Swift for the tip.]
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