Futurama: Bender's Game
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens who like the television show Futurama are going to want to see this DVD. It's not for sensitive viewers, or those who get grossed out easily. One character slaps her sons frequently, there's a rather gruesome dragon-slaying scene, and the Dark Matter that the characters in the movie are chasing for fuel is actually poop from creatures called nibblers -- you get the idea. Zany, wacky, sometimes violent, often funny mature cartoon action.
What's the story?
The plot is twofold: Bender (voiced by John Di Maggio) the robot wants to have an imagination so that he can play a Dungeons and Dragons-style game with the other kids. Meanwhile, fuel prices are soaring, prompting Professor Farnsworth (Billy West) to seek out his old flame, Mom, who controls the output of the Dark Matter fuel pellets. When Bender's imagination sends him over the edge (straight into an insane asylum for robots) as Farnsworth is activating all Dark Matter, Bender's whacked-out imagination morphs into an alternate universe where all the characters' alter egos meet for a medieval adventure.
Is it any good?
Beginning with a scene straight out of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, and ending in a tribute to Lord of the Rings, FUTURAMA: BENDER'S GAME is a zany ride. There are so many funny cultural references, hilarious one-liners, colorful characters, and crazy situations that even the most ADD-addled viewer will be riveted. Of course, along with any cult fave, you'll find plenty of swings between humor and over-the-top, crossing-the-line behavior -- fine for forgiving fans but squirm-inducing for many parents.
Violence as a theme is addressed, as Leela is forced to wear a shock collar to keep her thoughts from veering toward violence or lying. Mom smacks her kids around enough to really push the envelope, and they engage in slapstick smacks and eye pokes as well. But the political commentary found in the quest for fuel is amusing, as is the reference to the Dungeons and Dragons lifestyle. Fans will definitely enjoy this addition to the Futurama series.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how Mom behaves with her sons. Is it offensive to see a mother figure slapping her children? Is it humorous? Or is it pushing the boundaries of decency? Why does Bender want to fit in so badly? What happens when he tries too hard?