One of my favorite shows that started in the 90’s was and still is Futurama. This cartoon follows the exploits of a delivery company in the year 3000, it was created by David X. Cohen and Matt Groening for Fox animation.
Of course this seemed like a great idea, the guys behind the Simpsons have a new cartoon and it sounds like The Simpsons in space, but Futurama is clearly not Simpsons and that’s part of what makes it great, hell the only similar think to The Simpsons in this show was the character designs and even that isn’t 100% as the characters skin pigment is more realistic in this show.
The series originally aired with an episode called “Space Pilot 3000” In this episode we meet our three main protagonists Phillip J. Fry a guy from the 90s stuck in the future (hey that sounds familiar), Taranga Leela, a cyclops who we are to believe is an alien orphan at first, but later it turns out has a bigger back story that really brings a tear to the eye and finally Bender Bending Rodriguez a bending unit robot without inhibition, he loves woman, booze, and cigars (a man clearly with the finer tastes). We later of course meet the rest of the crew including Prof. Hubert Farnsworth, Hermes Conrad, Amy Wong, and John Zoidberg .
This show did well for four seasons on FOX and recently re-surged with four movies to create a revival of the series on the network Cartoon Central, since FOX didn’t continue the contract but this didn’t bother me at all, more Futurama is a good thing. One of the reasons I love the show is for the amazing voice talent, these are people that fit the role and make you believe the character and the role they are playing. Time to drop some facts and blow some minds with actors you may or may not know:
1) Fry / Prof. Farnsworth / Zoidberg – All these characters are done by Billy West and he is so talented that he even plays some side characters, like a recurring one known as Zapp Brannigan
2) Leela – voiced by none other than Katey Segal, you may best remember her as the role of Peg in Married with Children but she has proven to be a great voice actor and I would have no other be Leela, they even had an homage to Married with Chidren in an episode called “A Biclops Built for Two” I recommend looking it up
3)Bender – Played by the talented John Dimaggio, he even plays various other characters in the show. I highly recommend checking his IMDB page it may surprise you how many roles he has played behind the mic.
4)Hermes – is played by Phil Lamar a man who has many voices, even a great early career on Mad TV. One roll of which you may remember him doing the voice for is the Green Lantern John Stewart on Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, and I know when I read the comics I picture his voice for John Stewart in my mind
5)Amy – Introducing the talented Lauren Tom probably one of the best Asian voice actors out there, due to the fact that she gets the feel right with and without the accent of how an Asian character should sound and she can still hit the comedic timing while doing it, I know she makes me laugh.
As you can see with strong voice talent like this, and a creative team as strong as Matt Groening and David X. Cohen there is nothing but a winning team here. However as fans of the series we get the bonus of the show being geared towards adults with the joke material not to mention the animation is top notch and has been great to watch since day one. If you haven’t started watching Futurama yet I recommend you start and if you have you probably know the reason I made this post to begin Futurama is awesome , so as usual I will leave you with a pic from the show and a link to the theme song.
Guess they’re watching the show too.