As an adolescence I remember watching re-runs of Futurama. In doing so I will always be imbued with the sense of awe that show instilled. It was during that moment in my life where I had been pruned on watching Nickoldean and Cartoon network shows, which the late night “adult shows” were still a new world filled with programs of unseen hilarity.
Fast-forward several years in the future and you see that due to fan loyalty (and increased sales of the season sets) there is a resurgence of interest; this culminates with the announcement that Futurama is going back on the air. Leading the charge of new content is a slew of new movies. Bender’s Big Score is the first of several and as any super-fan might suspect it had a lot to live up to.
As one of those “super fans” I believe that the movie lived up to its burden rather well. No easy feat to be sure. There were certainly the expected slips and odd near collisions with the much venerated “fourth wall” but at the end of the day the humor is solid and is a jolly jaunt through an “old house”.
The plot is this: after being “rehired” the Planet Express crew enjoys a relaxing trip to the beach. On the warm sand and bright sun, however, lurks danger. A foe which the unsuspecting crew falls easy prey to: Scammers! These scammers are a devious alien race which fills unsuspecting peoples email address full of spam in the hopes that they fall for one of their phony deals.
With one thing leading to another the scamming reaches such a point where the entire Earth is swindled away from the humans. With desperation running high, and a mysterious time code on the loose, the Planet express delivery crew not only must win back their planet but also defeat the aliens while fixing the timeline, restoring all to its former glory.
The story is handled right. The progression is snappy, yet not forced, and the settings are as varied as they are creative. In regards to the voice actors all have returned to voice their respective characters. This is in conjunction with the classic soundtrack that feels original yet improved. While there are, of course, the typical instances of strange direction such moments are confined almost exclusively towards the beginning of the film.
In all this is a film which any fan of sassy animation cannot miss. The cast is unforgettable, the threads zany and wild, and the package wonderful. For fans of the show this is especially important. Very few missteps mean this introductory movie doesn’t take much effort to see: view it and I can promise that you will not regret it.