The Futurama movies resurrected the beloved animated sitcom following its original cancelation in 2003, but which of the four feature-length adventures is the best? Futurama was created by Matt Groening (The Simpsons) and follows former pizza delivery boy Fry, who is accidentally frozen in 1999 and wakes up in the 31st Century. He has to adjust to this strange new world while befriending a foul-mouthed robot named Bender and Planet Express ship captain Leela.
The original run of Futurama featured great characters and outlandish comedy, but due to being erratically scheduled by Fox, the ratings started to suffer. The show was canceled during season 4, with "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" acting as a finale. Comedy Central later came to the rescue, reviving the show as four straight-to-DVD Futurama movies, which could also be split into 16-episodes to make up season 5 of the show.
Let's explore all four Futurama movies and see how each entry holds up.
4. Futurama: Into The Wild Green Yonder
The fourth and final of the Futurama movies Into The Wild Green Yonder is sadly also the weakest. The story finds the Planet Express crew flying to Mars in a scattered story that involves Fry becoming psychic, gender politics and a golf course. While Into The Wild Green Yonder is fitfully funny, a lot of gags fail to land and the pacing is messy. Still, the success of the final movie would later convince Comedy Central to revive Futurama for season 6.
3. Futurama: The Beast With A Billion Backs
The second of the Futurama movies find Fry, Leela and the gang dealing with the aftermath of the first movie, where Bender tore a hole in the universe. It's soon discovered a Lovecraftian entity is behind the anomaly and it uses Fry for its own ends. Overall, The Beast With A Billion Backs is a solid entry with great jokes and it also featured the return of fan-favorite side character the Robot Devil. That said, the story doesn't really hold together and feels like a bunch of ideas randomly tied together.
2. Futurama: Bender's Game
Bender's Game was the third entry and finds the crew being sucked into a fantasy world inspired by Dungeon's And Dragons and The Lord Of The Rings. Bender's Game has a tendency to recycle famous gags from the show and it takes a little while for the fantasy plot to actually kick in, but overall it's a fun, silly adventure. The plot buckles under the weight of a feature-length runtime, however, and the fantasy references feel a little too board at times.
1. Futurama: Bender's Big Score
Easily the highlight of the Futurama movies, Bender's Big Score was also the first entry. The plot involves scammers taking control of Planet Express and using a tattoo of Bender found on Fry's butt to travel back in time and steal valuable treasure. Fry also becomes depressed when Leela falls for a mysterious new character. Bender's Big Score had all the laughs and silly sci-fi concepts that defined the show, but also the emotion Futurama fans had come to expect from the series.