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Published: Wednesday, 7/2/2008

Movie augments Futurama adventures


Futurama is a cartoon series whose aficionados have made sure it survives in the odd hours of Cartoon Network s Adult Swim bloc and now is scheduled to move into the Comedy Central lineup.

As it grows older, it appears to grow stronger and more interesting, as shown by The Beast With a Billion Backs ($29.98, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment), a full-length, sometimes mildly erotic and ironic cartoon adventure that has rounded up the usual Futurama gang among other 31st-century denizens of a world not quite sinking to depths of science-fiction horror but never rising to the exalted future of, let s say, The Jetsons.

Add to this a love misadventure for one-time 20th-century pizza delivery boy Philip Fry and his new girlfriend and a wedding for Amy and Kif, and you have the entry to a romantic and very unsettling affair between Earth s population and a lonely tentacled creature who breaches the barrier torn open between two universes in the first of four (this is the second ) direct-to-DVD movies that will later be broken up to augment the running episodes.

It does help to already be a fan of the series, but a great number of special features will help novice viewers create a background to understand some of the interstellar interplay. There is a raucous commentary track by creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, storyboards, deleted scenes, and a brief history of the game of deathball, which is played in the movie.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Larry Roberts is the assistant managing editor/photo for the Post-Gazette.

Contact him at: lroberts@post-gazette.com

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