Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs

Movie review by
Erika Milvy, Common Sense Media
Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs Movie Poster Image
More risque, adult jokes in TV show's feature DVD.
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Certainly world domination and star wars represent socially objectionable behavior as does affixing ones "gentacles" to another without their knowledge. But the series regulars are mostly decent folk who are good friends -- even Bender, who is obnoxious and foul-mouthed but has a hidden tender side. Fry grapples with issues of jealousy and the meaning of fidelity, themes that are actually treated thoughtfully for such a zany film.

Violence

Death of cute animals, specifically a koala; robot brawls; use of day-glow colored laser ray guns; Kiff (Amy's new husband) is killed but comes back to life.

Sex

A very randy captain Zapp Brannigan makes sexual suggestions and sexual overtures. Characters are seen in bed together. A key plot point involves giant tentacles/ "gentacles," which enable a creature to have sex with scores of humans.

Language

Frequent rudeness, the worst of which is "shut up" "crackpot moron," and "bite my ass."

Consumerism

As in The Simpsons, the characters eat, drink, and use fictitious products. The Futurama franchise is expansive, from TV shirts to video games to collectible waste baskets. This direct-to-DVD set includes four movies total.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Robot smokes a cigar; depictions of silly inebriation; a post-coital cigarette is shared.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this animated straight-to-DVD movie (the second of four Futurama films) has the same level of sassiness as the Fox TV series. There's bad behavior galore, lots of cheekiness and discourtesy -- oh yes, and tons of intergalactic warfare, planetary peril, diabolical scheming, threats of human obliteration, pummeling, name calling, and the like. A god-like alien who seems at first fiendish, attaches its tentacles to the bodies of humans in what is later explained to be copulation. At one point most earthlings are mind-controlled into cult-like compliance. It's however mostly harmless silliness and so "out there" as to have minimal real-life relevance.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5, 9, 11, and 14 year old Written byJamesRobertson January 4, 2009
Adult Written byJmisss April 9, 2008

Futurama

This is a adult show younger kids shouldnt watch it
Kid, 11 years old June 16, 2009

Great Movie. Mild Concerns

I have always been a really big fan of the series so this was a real enjoyable movie for me. I think though even if u don't watch the show or haven't... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 25, 2009

What's the story?

Following directly after the events of the first in the DVD series, Bender's Big Score, a giant rift in space and timeallows an alien monster to invade Earth. The monster takes control of Fry (voiced by Billy West) making him Pope of a new religion or cult, that spreads among earthlings who are grasped by one of the giant tentacles of the alien. The tentacles are later revealed to be "gentacles" and, as it turns out, the alien (Yivo, played by David Cross) has been having his version of intercourse with all the humans. He convinces them that he really wants love and a meaningful relationship (with all of humanity). Only Leela (Katey Sagal) Fry's gutsy, competent one-eyed pal, is skeptical.

Is it any good?

A straight-to-DVD movie, THE BEAST WITH A BILLION BACKS is a lesser and longer version of Futurama, which is itself a lesser version of the brilliant and enduring Simpsons TV show. Which basically means this is a stretched-out form of a water-downed copy of a TV classic. That said, it does have some elements of Matt Groening's zany wit, his absurdist humor, and quick-as-lightening visual gags.

These moments are partially eclipsed by an over-stimulating assault of goings on that go by much too fast. From an adult perspective, this is a case of more being less. The antics are nonstop, preposterous, and often silly enough for the young, but the actual storyline, which concerns dating, polygamy, sex, and in essence, going steady with and shacking up with God, is a tad complex and too sophisticated for younger viewers. Still, Futurama's vast creativity, out-of-the-box storytelling, and eye-catching animation makes this movie, like the series, terrifically unique.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the future might look like in 100 years. What transportation will we have? What will science be capable of? Would you want to be frozen (as Fry was in the original Futurama back-story)?

Movie details

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