Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

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Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
Cartoon image of purple tentacles coming from bright tear in the red sky. The tentacles hold Leela in the air. Below, other characters shake fists in anger, while Fry runs away. The text reads "Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs. All new feature-length adventure!"
DVD cover
Directed byPeter Avanzino
Produced byLee Supercinski
Claudia Katz
Screenplay byEric Kaplan
Story byEric Kaplan
David X. Cohen
StarringBilly West
Katey Sagal
John DiMaggio
Tress MacNeille
Maurice LaMarche
Phil LaMarr
Lauren Tom
David Herman
Brittany Murphy
David Cross
Dan Castellaneta
Music byChristopher Tyng
Edited byPaul D. Calder
Production
company
Distributed by20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release date
  • June 24, 2008 (2008-06-24)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs is a 2008 American direct-to-video adult animated science-fiction comedy-adventure film and the second of the four Futurama straight-to-DVD films.[1] The film was released in the United States and Canada on June 24, 2008,[2][3] followed by a UK release on June 30, 2008 and an Australian release on August 6, 2008.[4] It has been confirmed by David X. Cohen on the audio commentary that the title refers to a euphemism for sexual intercourse—"the beast with two backs"—that originated in English with Shakespeare's Othello. Comedy Central aired the film as a "four-part epic" on October 19, 2008.[5] The movie won an Annie Award for "Best Animated Home Entertainment Production".

Plot[edit]

A month after the universe was ripped open in Bender's Big Score, people decide to go on with their lives. Amy and Kif get married. Fry starts dating a girl named Colleen, but breaks up with her when he discovers she has many other boyfriends.

At a conference, Professor Farnsworth proposes an expedition to investigate the anomaly. When Bender explores the anomaly, his touch causes it to emit a shock wave that sends him and the ship flying. Farnsworth discovers that only living beings can pass through the anomaly; electrical objects are either repelled or destroyed. His plans for another expedition are rejected in favor of a military assault led by Zapp Brannigan.

During Zapp's unsuccessful attack, Fry enters the anomaly while Kif is killed. On the other side of the anomaly, Fry comes across a colossal, one-eyed, tentacled creature which begins forcing its appendages through the anomaly. The tentacles touch everyone in the universe, and nothing can stop them since they are made of "electro-matter", which can only be harmed by other electro-matter. Fry returns to Earth with a tentacle attached to the back of his neck and tells everyone to "love the tentacle." The tentacles attach themselves to nearly everyone, causing their victims to fall in love with it, eventually leaving Leela as the only one unattached. Fry becomes the pope of a religion established to worship the tentacles.

Leela examines a tentacle fragment and discovers that they are actually reproductive organs, revealing this to everyone at a universal religious gathering. The creature, named "Yivo", admits that mating with everyone in the universe was its original intention but claims that it is now truly in love with them. As a sign of good faith, Yivo resurrects Kif. Yivo begins the relationship anew and removes its tentacles from everyone.

Yivo takes everyone in the universe out on a date at the same time, which goes well. However, the universe's leaders feel that Yivo has made no commitment and send a delegation to break up with it. Before they can do so, Yivo proposes marriage and they accept. Bender becomes frustrated from being neglected by Fry and makes a deal with the Robot Devil for an army of robots to take over the world in exchange for his first-born son. His attack is made unnecessary when humanity leaves Earth willingly to live on Yivo, along with the other civilizations of the universe. This leaves Bender lonely and stagnates the robot population, who are built to serve humans. The universe's residents promise Yivo that they will never contact other universes. Fry, however, cannot help writing a letter to Bender, which is sent without Yivo's knowledge.

Bender receives Fry's letter, which is made out of electro-matter, and decides to set out and "rescue" his friend from his relationship with Yivo. He and his army harpoon Yivo from the other side of the anomaly and tow it into their own universe. Fry convinces Bender to spare Yivo, but Yivo discovers that the robots' weapons are lined with the electro-matter from Fry's letter, allowing them to harm it. Since Fry broke his promise, Yivo breaks up with the universe and makes everyone leave. Yivo finds consolation with Colleen, and they begin a relationship as they return to the other universe and close the anomaly.

Fry decides to find love elsewhere and tries to ask Leela out, but she rejects him. Kif and Amy's relationship is strained due to Amy's affair with Zapp. Bender breaks up his friends' quarrel and assures them that what they experienced was not love, as love is a jealous, hard-to-obtain emotion that does not share itself with the world. Bender shares his own love with Fry and Leela by giving them a big hug, which chokes them.

Cast[edit]

Features[edit]

Opening[edit]

Futurama's common opening sequence and opening caption are present in the film as in all its episodes, though unlike the first film the opening sequence is not extended for a cast list. The opening subtitle reads "The proud result of prison labor" and the opening cartoon consists of a short black-and-white cartoon after the normal sequence. However, rather than immediately crash through the large television billboard, the Planet Express Ship is absorbed by it and is transformed into an appropriately animated black-and-white version of itself. The cartoon to which they're transported is a spoof of Steamboat Willie starring Zoidberg, Leela (in the Mickey role), Fry, and Bender. The Planet Express Ship then flies by the moon and zaps the Hydroponic Farmer from "The Series Has Landed" with the ship's ray gun. Following the cartoon, the Planet Express Ship crashes out from the television billboard.

In the Comedy Central broadcast, the opening sequence is shortened to remove the entire scene where the Planet Express crew flies by the moon. In the opening sequence of the second part, the opening subtitle reads "It Makes a Nice Sandwich", and the third part's opening subtitle is "0100100001101001", which is the binary representation of the ASCII encoding of the word "Hi", and the fourth part's opening subtitle is "The Robots are Coming! The Robots are Coming!". The opening cartoon of the first part is the 1931 Flip the Frog cartoon The Soup Song, while the opening cartoons for the last three parts is the same one seen in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", that of Futurama's own opening sequence.

Guest stars[edit]

The film features voice talents from: Brittany Murphy as Colleen, Fry's new polyamorous girlfriend; David Cross as Yivo, the planet-sized tentacled omnipotent alien; Professor Stephen Hawking reprising himself, this time as his own head in a jar; and Dan Castellaneta reprising his role as the Robot Devil.[6] Aside from her regular work on the animated series King of the Hill, this was Murphy's last voice-over role before her death in December 2009.

DVD[edit]

The DVD features a commentary track, deleted scenes, and footage animated for the Futurama video game retitled Futurama: The Lost Adventure. The Lost Adventure also features its own commentary track.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vo, Alex (2007-07-30). "Comic-Con Premieres New Futurama Footage; Plus, We Interview Futurama's Rich Moore". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  2. ^ Lambert, David (2008-02-28). "Futurama — Release Date, Cost, Extras, & More for The Beast with a Billion Backs". Archived from the original on 2008-03-02.
  3. ^ "Friday Night Lights and Other Announced Releases". TV Guide. 2008-02-28. Archived from the original on 2008-05-02.
  4. ^ "Futurama — The Beast With A Billion Backs @ EzyDVD". EzyDVD. 2008-05-13. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17.
  5. ^ "Comedy Central Press - Press Release". Comedy Central. 2008-09-25.
  6. ^ "Can't Get Enough Futurama: Four New Futurama DVDs". Retrieved 2007-08-01.

External links[edit]