Futurama is back… again, this time with The Beast with a Billion Backs. The second in a series of four planned movies which will eventually be chopped up into a 12-episode “Season 5” that will be shown on Comedy Central. The Beast with a Billion Backs can definitely be described as a full-length movie with a plot that builds nicely with a nice payoff.
While there are plenty of recurring characters back in Beast, you’re never inundated with them. This time you’ll actually get some new characters, which you can be assured will be making appearances in future releases. David Cross’ spotlight as Yivo fits into Futurama’s insane universe brilliantly, and Cross’ deliverance makes you genuinely empathize for the planet-sized tentacle beast that just wants to be loved. Brittany Murphy also puts in a good performance as Fry’s new polyamorous girlfriend Colleen. We’re also treated to a major development for Kif and Amy and Calculon turns up in perhaps the best ever “All My Circuits” short yet, and later as part of the fantastic League of Robots, who at times almost steal the show. Lastly, we’re treated to our first glimpse of the Globetrotter home-world.
The Beast with a Billion Backs picks up where Bender’s Score left off. It’s been a month “since space ripped open like flimsy human skin”, and it turns out that the cosmic anomaly is actually a gateway to another universe. In the other universe they encounter an encompassing, tentacle-heavy alien life form called Yivo, whose methods are reminiscent of Invasion of the Body Snatchers although its motivations are a bit less sinister. We also find that Fry has a new girlfriend, who turns out to be polygamous, and while at first he thinks he can deal with it he can’t and he dumps here. Unable to bear his loneliness, Fry throws himself into the giant space tear.
Meanwhile, Bender becomes obsessed with his favorite TV star Calculon and becomes his “official” stalker. His hatred of humans grows because of their apparent apathy towards robots so he seeks out the League of Robots. Unfortunately for him they’re not all they’re cracked up to be and Bender decides to take charge and take the organization into a different route. One of conquering mankind. Back on Yivo, Fry becomes attached to the space being, literally, and they both set off to bring the entire universe into harmony. And that means using Yivo as the root, literally.
The film finds itself at a standoff when Bender an Fry come head to head, with the fate of humanity resting on the robots shoulders. All the while you’ll enjoy the typical Futurama humor and at times jabs at modern day society. The writers found their groove with this movie and it shows, everything is fluid and well though out. The dialogue is witty, humorous and striking. The animation is also what you’d expect from a Futurama film, top notch. To say I enjoyed this film would be an understatement. I just can’t wait until the other two films are released.