Friday, September 9, 2011

Three Animation Styles on Futurama

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Futurama "Reincarnation" (S06E26): We start with an old-timey cartoon with some sing-song lyrics. [excellent work!]
Futurama TM and © 2010 Twentieth Century
Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Fry tells Bender that he wants to propose to Leela, but he's afraid she won't accept because he doesn't have riches to offer her. The Professor finds a giant diamond in the sky so the crew goes after it to collect some diamond dust. While there, Fry sneaks off and tries to get part of the rock for an engagement ring, but it doesn't work. [you know, since diamond is the hardest substance in the world.] Fry and Leela wind up encapsulated in a diamond themselves and passed on a billion years later in a ring. [strange ending, but overall I thought it was cute, to the point, and well-done.]

The second part is done like an 8-bit game of sorts. [always a great style to see parodied!] The Professor has a lens that came from the diamond, and they put it in a microscope to better magnify things. [okay, interesting way to tie together the stories...] Soon, they're looking at "a snail on the tail of the frog on the bump on this log that I found in a hole in the bottom of the sea." [definitely my favorite moment of the entire episode.] However, I imagine that the math & science folks preferred the joke about how "things only rhyme below 10-5 angstroms." The diamond-lensed microscope allows you to see everything, so it helps to answer all of the remaining questions. And, with no questions left to answer, there are no more Nobel prizes to be won. The only thing left would be to use dump trucks of grant money to fund thousands of scientists for decades, hoping to recreate the conditions before the Big Bang. [funny enough, though kinda trite in the end.]

The third and final segment of the episode was done in an anime style, which I previewed at Comic-Con back in July. There's some sort of disturbance out in space, and some slugs ride in bananas and destroy buildings, like Rockefeller Center. [there's a slight chance that they rode in semi-husked corn, but I think they were partially-peeled bananas.] Before long, it's necessary to evade the slugs, so the team transforms their uniforms and spaceship to head toward the bananas, since trying to establish a peaceful relationship fails. They're destroyed and return to regroup, figuring out that the slugs communicate through movement, not words. So, Fry and Bender play DDR to communicate, but the message ends up not being polite. [hahaha on both the DDR as a language and the synched moves without a screen to follow.] Zoidberg busts out of his shell to do the dance of peace, which works. [see, this made sense to me from the beginning... Zoidberg is pink, the slugs are pink, LoL.]
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