Even though Futurama ended in 2003, there have been several straight-to-DVD releases before the series returned in 2010. My most favorite is Futurama: Bender’s Game.
It starts with Leela losing her temper after rednecks insult her. That drives Leela to enter a demolition derby, which featured some creative ships. They include a LEGO ship, an Erector Set ship, and two mini Enterprise ships. One had George Takei’s head (voice of George Takei) and the other had Scott Bakula’s head. This combination was such an interesting parody to classic pop culture.
Meanwhile, Bender manages to develop an imagination while playing the Dungeons & Dragons board game as Titanius Englesmith of Cornwood. Unfortunately, it goes too far. Bender becomes insane and sent to the robot asylum, where we get to see the classic inmates again.
Fans might remember Roberto, the Mad Hatter bot, and the defective vending machine. There was also a bot, which looked like Rosie from The Jetsons. I couldn’t help but notice that her crazy behavior was a lot like from the Jetsons episode when Rosie ate the defective lug nut.
With fuel prices too high, the Planet Express group infiltrates a dark matter mine owned by MOM. It’s real exciting when they fly past the robot guards that blast at the ship. They also end up blasting each other because it’s hard to hear. After that, Fry, Leela, and Professor Farnsworth get inside past some more robot guards and to the heart of the mine.
Okay. The story is interesting so far, but I was expecting more of a fantasy adventure quest like it shows on the cover. Soon, it finally happens. After falling through the Earth, Fry, Leela, and Farnsworth end up in an enchanted world based on Bender’s imagination called Cornwood as different types of epic fantasy characters.
There’s also a dice of power, which is used like on the Dungeons & Dragons game. It’s definitely not a power source you would see in any other Dungeons & Dragons film.
This adventure soon becomes more like a Lord of the Rings quest, only with the dice of power that must be destroyed at the Geysers of Gygax from whence it came.
During the quest, Fry becomes obsessed with the dice of power and acts like Gullom. “Hands off the dodecahelicous,” he says. As Fry talks to his reflection, it becomes like a QVC ad. I found it funny at first, but the gag ran a bit long.
The others gather allies at Wipe Castle, which is appropriate for what it’s based on. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out. So now it’s just Bender and his team against the army of orcs. That becomes a real exciting battle, but it’s not over yet.
This was a well-made film. If there’s one thing Fururama is known for, it’s adventurous parodies that I find creative.