Futurama: The Future Is Now. How Futurama uses the discourses and ideologies of science fiction to critique contemporary social issues.
By Chris Wood
Futurama: The Future Is Now
How Futurama uses the discourses and ideologies of
science fiction to critique contemporary social issues.
By Christopher Gary Wood
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for
the degree of B.A. (Hons.) Media & Popular Culture
School of Cultural Studies Faculty of Arts & Society
Leeds Metropolitan University
Page 3: Abstract
Page 4: Acknowledgements
Page 5: Introduction
Page 8: Chapter One: How Futurama uses the discourses and aesthetic of science fiction to critique contemporary social issues
Page 26: Chapter Two: Analysing how successful Futurama is in conveying its messages
Page 33: Conclusion
Page 35: Appendix I: Futurama Production Notes
Page 38: Appendix II: Character Information
Page 42: Bibliography
With my dissertation, I am
aiming to explore how the television cartoon show Futurama
uses the established science fiction aesthetic, discourse and lexicon
to comment on contemporary American society, and then assess how
successful the show is at conveying these messages. The piece is
essentially split into two chapters: the first concerns itself with
exploring the show’s general ideology on various social issues,
whilst the second analyses how successful the show is conveying its
messages to its audience.
Word Count: 10,535
Firstly I would like to thank my parents for their unconditional love
and support. I’d also like to acknowledge the contribution made
by the teaching staff at Leeds Metropolitan University, who have been
extremely helpful and approachable over the last three years.
Finally, big thanks to Holly and Rachael for keeping me in university
this long, Jack and Ben for keeping me entertained and Morgan and
Kirsty for proving that hard work really does pay off.
My dissertation is a textual analysis of the television show
Futurama, a cartoon series that is set in the year 3000. I am
aiming to explore how the show uses the sci-fi aesthetic to discuss
and critique contemporary social issues, and then determine to what
extent the show is successful in delivering its messages to its
The important areas of analysis in my dissertation will include how
Futurama comments on environmental issues; the rise of
celebrity and fan culture; popular culture in the information age;
and contemporary American politics. In analysing how the show
comments on these factors, I will draw comparisons between other
notable sci-fi discourses (particularly Star Trek).
The first chapter is essentially an analysis of the meta-narrative of
American culture at the turn of the twenty first century, discussing
the relationships between commercialisation, homogenisation,
globalisation, secularisation environmentalism and how Futurama
utilises science fiction discourses to critique these issues.
The second chapter is a theoretical overview of how successful the
show is as a platform for airing the political views of its creators,
and develops into a wider argument about viability of a cartoon
series to inform and advise its audience on serious social issues.
The bulk of the research is the textual analysis of the show, as well
as the audio commentaries that are provided on each episode and
contain some useful information from the writers, producers and voice
talent on the show. Unlike The Simpsons, which has warranted
copious amounts of academic assessment, there has been very little
written directly about Futurama. As a result, most of the
research that I have accumulated has been appropriated to make sense
within the context of Futurama. I found that many things
written about The Simpsons or Star Trek could be
applied to Futurama.
The other aspect of my research that I found interesting was the
relatively small amount written on the subject of environmental
issues in the media. It would appear that this topic has only really
been the subject of serious academic debate for the last ten years,
and even in that timeframe the body of work is slim.
Initially, my dissertation was a purely explorative piece examining
the ways in which the show applies science fiction discourses to
construct its ideology. As I collated my research, however, I became
interested in not just what Futurama was saying and how it was
saying it, but also the effect of its ideologies on its audience.
Because of this, my dissertation is almost a two stage piece: the
first chapter being an exploration of how the show uses science
fiction discourses to critique contemporary society, and the second
actually concerning itself with how successful the show is in
conveying its messages.
Trying to determine to what extent the show was successful in getting
across its values and ideologies. This may prove to be a very
difficult thing to assess, as there won’t be any decisive
quantitive evidence. However, by analysing the mainstream American
media’s attitude to issues such as environmentalism before and
after Futurama it is possible to see whether the show was
ahead of the cultural zeitgeist.
In a wider sense, I want to determine whether the show, as a science
fiction cartoon, had the ‘cultural capital’ to deliver a
message that would be respected and listened to, and, looking at the
bigger picture, perhaps draw some conclusions on the viability of a
prime time comedy show being a catalyst for social change and an
opinion former. In doing this I will be assessing the show’s
position in the traditional ‘high/low culture’ debate,
which will involve discussing and critiquing the ideas of Adorno and
questioning whether this dichotomy is still a useful and viable
framework in the Postmodern era.
Chapter One: How Futurama uses the discourses and aesthetic of science fiction to critique contemporary social issues
The secret of all science
fiction: it’s not really about the future, it’s about
here and now. (Matt Groening, Futurama: Welcome To The World Of
Futurama is a cartoon show centred on Fry, a pizza delivery
boy living in modern day New York City. Sent out on a fake delivery
to a cryogenics laboratory on New Year’s Eve 1999, Fry
accidentally becomes frozen and emerges one thousand years later on
the eve of the year 3000. (For more information on the characters and
the production of the show, please see the Appendices).
Fry is in many ways the perfect protagonist for a show set in the
future. Just like the audience watching the show, he is an innocent
abroad in a strange new world, meaning that when a concept needs to
be explained to the audience it can be explained to Fry without it
disrupting the diagetic flow of the scene. Fry is also a profoundly
stupid character, which accentuates the need for things to be
described to him or for Fry to be reminded of past instances. A good
example of this occurs in episode 219 ‘The Cryonic Woman’,
where the concept of implanted career chips is resurrected from the
Leela: ‘Fortunately, I
still have our old career chips.’
Fry: Our what?
Leela: Career chips. You
remember, they assign you the job that you’re best at?
(Fry stares blankly at her)
Leela: I tried to give you one
and you ran away?
(Fry still stares blankly at
Leela: It’s how we met?
Fry: And then what happened?
(Futurama, 200o, episode
There are two key elements to how the show uses science fiction to
make meaning. Firstly, Futurama uses the fact that Fry is a
representative of twentieth century values to critique the society
that we live in by contrasting it with the show’s perception of
the future. Secondly, the show uses, appropriates, parodies and
modifies the established sci-fi aesthetic to create a world that
refracts contemporary society through the prism of science fiction.
In creating this futuristic world, co-creators Matt Groening and
David X. Cohen were very deliberate about making sure that it
contained the balance necessary to mirror the aspects of 20th
Century society that they were going to comment on.
Most science fiction is either a
complete dystopia, like Blade Runner, or a bland utopia, like The
Jetsons. We wanted it to be somewhere in between, like the real
world. (David X. Cohen in Futurama: Welcome To The World of
In a similar fashion to Matt Groening’s first television series
The Simpsons, Futurama bases a lot of its intrinsic
character and humour around popular culture. Both shows take modern
day pop culture ephemera and iconography and play with the audiences
schematic expectations to create comedy.
Perhaps more so than even The Simpsons, Futurama imagines
a world where current pop cultural discourses are exaggerated and
warped to comedic effect. Several examples of this can be seen over
the course of the show, from Star Trek fandom being elevated
to the status of religion (which will be discussed later) to the
broadcast of advertisements in people’s dreams. The latter
practice, seen in episode 108 (‘A Fishful of Dollars’),
outrages Fry, who explains to his 31st century workmates
that things were much better in the year 2000:
Leela: Didn’t you have ads
in the 20th century?
sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio. And in magazines
and movies and at ball games and on buses and milk cartons and
T-shirts and written in the sky. But not in dreams. No, sir-ee!
The rampant commercialism of the twentieth century is ruthlessly
lampooned by the show. In ‘A Fishful of Dollars’, it is
revealed that planet Earth’s biggest captain of industry is an
elderly lady referred to as Mom. Mom’s public persona is that
of a lovely old lady (‘the world’s most huggable
industrialist’), but off screen she is a foul mouthed, ruthless
businesswoman who abuses her three sons and constantly tries to find
underhand ways to take out her competitors.
The public image of Mom strikes me as the show mocking the manner in
which certain companies, most notably Coca-Cola, have attempted to
brand such diverse and originally non-commercial concepts as
Christmas and America’s rose-tinted past. In an advert for
Mom’s Old-Fashioned Robot Oil, a voice over tells us that
“Mom’, ‘love’ and ‘screen door’
are all trademarks of the Mom Corporation’, which is a scarily
logical progression of marketing. If Coca-Cola can effectively claim
Christmas as its own, then surely one day even the word ‘love’
will be up for grabs?
The commodification of love is also explored in relation to
Valentine’s Day, which is already seen by many people as being
an overtly commercialised event devoid of any real meaning. In the
episode ‘Put Your Head On My Shoulder’, Bender starts a
dating service to profit from people’s loneliness on
Valentine’s Day. At the end of the episode, Fry and Leela’s
dates have gone off together, leaving them with just each other.
[to Fry] Anytime. I actually enjoyed hanging out with you.
[Enter Bender, counting his
Yep, everything worked out great thanks to good old Bender.
Come on! It's not like you intentionally set us up with bad dates so
we'd spend Valentine's Day together.
Didn't I, Leela? Didn't I?
[He winks and a heart wipe
closes the scene but opens up again.]
No! You didn't! You just corralled a bunch of stiffs at the bus
station and pocketed our money!
True. But in the end, isn't that what Valentine's Day is really all
I guess so.
2000, episode 2acv7)
The undeniable dependence of America’s politics on its
capitalist economy is frequently highlighted in the show. In episode
405 ‘A Taste of Freedom’, the American ideal of freedom
is brought under close inspection. During Earth’s annual
‘Freedom Day’ (the 31st century equivalent of
modern America’s Independence Day), Earth President Nixon
delivers a speech celebrating the nature of the world’s
My fellow Earthicans, we enjoy so much freedom it's almost sickening.
We're free to choose which hand our sex-monitoring chip is implanted
in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a
weekend with the Pain Monster.
Monster: See you April 15th, folks!
Cue the fireworks guy! [A man jets up to the sky and blows up a
firework.] Incidentally, tonight's Freedom Day celebration is brought
to you by ... [A firework explodes and "Shankman" lights up
the sky.] ... "Shankman's Rubbing Compound". When something
needs rubbing, think "Shankman".
[The crowd cheers.]
It costs a little more but it's worth it!
Our planet has been through so much this past year: Wars, droughts,
impeachments! But we've never lost our sense of what's truly
important: The great taste of "Charleston Chew"! [A
"Charleston Chew" firework explodes.] And now, let us
salute that beloved symbol of freedom, our flag, Ol' Freebie!
2002, episode 4acv5)
The juxtaposition of something as frivolous and superficial as a
candy bar with a speech about the most deeply held belief in the
American psyche makes a cutting remark about the priorities of the
modern day America, where everything is for sale. In fact, in the
very first episode, Fry meets Bender whilst mistakenly queuing for a
‘suicide booth’ (‘’Stop And Drop’,
America’s favourite suicide booth since 2008’). It would
appear that the natural progression of the American Dream is the
commodification of freedom and death.
all the nations of the world, the United States comprehends and
manifests history's purpose," namely, "freedom, achieved
through the spread of democratic capitalism, and embodied in the
American Way of Life." Accordingly, US hegemony is the
realization of history's purpose; the merest truism, "virtually
immune to challenge." (Chomsky, 2001)
Futurama, in its own small way, does challenge the ingrained
American manifestation of freedom in ‘A Taste Of Freedom’.
In the episode, Doctor Zoidberg eats the Earth flag (‘Ol’
Freebie’) to celebrate his freedom, but is vilified by the
people of Earth and ends up causing a war between Earth and the
Decapodians. In the end, Zoidberg saves the people of Earth by
burning another flag, this time to trick a heat seeking missile into
destroying the Decapodian headquarters. The episode is ultimately
pro-constitutional and upholds the ideal of freedom, but makes a
point of questioning the sometimes limited view of what constitutes
Yes, fellow patriots, I ate your flag. And I did it with pride. For
to express oneself with doing a thing is the very essence of Freedom
Day! Bless this planet and all its wonderful people.
[later in the same episode]
Wait! People of Earth, listen. Yes, I'm desecrating a flag. But to
preserve the freedom it represents!
2002, episode 4acv5)
The homogenisation of American culture, and in particular American
politics, is something that Futurama also addresses. The late
twentieth century saw a decline of radicalised politics in America
and in most parts of the world, as the overriding electoral issue
increasingly became economic growth and stability. Wealth and
complacency have also led to apathy a large decrease in the number of
voters at presidential elections. Futurama sees the natural
progression of this being the complete homogenisation of politics in
the thirty first century, as explored in the episode ‘A Head In
In the show, there is a presidential election looming and Leela
attempts to make the rest of the cast interested in politics. This
task is made much more difficult by the fact that the two candidates,
Jack Johnson and John Jackson, are charisma-free clones whose
political ideologies are so similar that it makes the election
Look, I know there are no car chases but this is important. One of
these two men will become president of the world.
What do we care? We live in the United States.
The United States is part of the world.
I have been gone a long time.
[One of the candidates, Jack
Johnson, begins the debate.]
Johnson: [on TV] It's time
someone had the courage to stand up and say: "I'm against those
things that everybody hates".
[The other candidate is John
Jackson: [on TV] Now I respect
my opponent. I think he's a good man but, quite frankly, I agree with
everything he just said!
are the candidates? They sound like clones. [He looks a little
harder.] Wait a minute. They are clones!
Don't let their identical DNA fool you. They differ on some key
Johnson: [on TV] I say your
three cent titanium tax goes too far.
[on TV] And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn't go too far
2000, episode 2acv2)
The current American system’s binary opposition between
Democrat and Republican, which itself can be seen as an increasingly
superficial demarcation, has been eroded completely by the year 3000.
As a result, the show envisions that voter apathy will reach even
greater levels in the year 3000, even giving rise to a Voter Apathy
[Fry and Leela check out the
Voter Apathy Party. The man sits at the booth, leaning his head on
Fry: Now here's a party I can
get excited about. Sign me up!
V.A.P. Man: Sorry, not with that
Fry: (downbeat) OK then, screw
V.A.P. Man: Welcome aboard,
V.A.P. Man: You're out.
2000, episode 2acv2)
The centralisation of political ideologies is
certainly at the root of this unprecedented apathy (the election in
‘A Head In The Polls’ has the ‘highest turn out in
centuries: 6%’), but this itself can be interpreted as being a
symptom of the homogenisation of American culture and the complacency
that it causes. In Futurama’s world, the sterilisation
and homogenisation of society is intrinsically linked to the
Americanisation of global culture that has been an outcome of
is a meaningful construct, because it is indicative of the tendency
of democracies to homogenize the regime; that is to say, the tendency
of democracies to impose a single value on all institutions and
practices…the direction of democracy is towards
homogenization. (Lowi, 1994, p.404)
Lowi’s point about ‘all institutions and practices’
being homogenised by democracy directly ties in with the way that the
entire world in the thirty first century is seen to be homogenised
Globalisation, and the Americanisation of the world’s culture,
is something that is commented on more implicitly than most troubling
aspects of the twentieth century. In the 31st century,
planetary politics have replaced national statist politics. The
world, therefore, is the equivalent of one ‘country’, and
that country is America (the adjective applied to things relating to
Earth is ‘Earthican’).
In the journal American Historical Review, Eric Foner asks the
Is globalization producing a
homogenized and “Americanized” world, a unified global
culture whose economic arrangements, social values, and political
institutions are based primarily on those of the United States?
(Foner, 2001, p.2)
Whilst it may initially appear that Futurama’s answer to
this question is a resounding ‘yes’, there are perhaps
other non-political, non-diagetic factors to their Americanised world
of the future. The most obvious of these is that the show is made
primarily for an American television audience, and as such the
familiarity of the American way of life prevents alienating the
viewers. Nevertheless, the cultural imperialism of America in the
twentieth century informs and influences the world of the future to
the point where global issues are inseparable from the interests of
modern day America.
As is increasingly the case now, the world of the future is dominated
by an overtly commercialised and secular popular culture that has
seen religion replaced by celebrity and fandom. The inescapable
ascent of celebrity and fandom is intrinsically linked to the
socio-economic structure of industrialised West:
The distinctive discursive
quality of the celebrity is derived from its emergence from the
twinned discourses of modernity: democracy and capitalism. The
celebrity as a concept of the individual moves effortlessly in a
celebration of democratic capitalism. (Marshall, 1997, p.4)
The notion of celebrity, whilst often featured in Futurama, is
not discussed in quite the same depth of the issue of fandom, and in
particular the kind of stereotypical fanaticism associated with
Futurama, as both a cartoon show and a science fiction series,
finds itself in a fairly unique position at the crossroads of
arguably the two most fanatically followed TV genres. In the episode
‘Where No Fan Has Gone Before’, the show addresses its
position as object of fanaticism and also its own place in the
science fiction pantheon by basing a story around the most famous fan
culture of them all: Star Trek.
The episode imagines a future where ‘by the 23rd
century, Star Trek fandom had evolved from a loose association
of nerds with skin problems into a full blown religion’
(Futurama, 2003, ep.4acv11), and was subsequently outlawed.
When Fry is made aware of this fact, he goes to visit Leonard Nimoy’s
head at the Head Museum, and they set off to the forbidden planet of
Omega 3, where the original 79 episodes and six movies were flown to.
The imagining of a Star Trek religion fits into Futurama’s
wider ideology on religion’s place in an increasingly
secularised future. In the episode ‘Hell Is Other Robots’,
Bender becomes an overbearing religious zealot after joining the
Church of Robotology, the Professor laments ‘if only he could
have joined a mainstream religion like Oprah-ism’, again
commenting on how popular culture has usurped organised religion’s
position of devotion and control in our lives.
stance of popular culture, Jindra (1994) has examined the
sacralization of cultural and therapeutic concepts in Star Trek
fandom. He argues that the Star Trek cycle is a location for
nonconventional religion and illustrates how fandom shares such
religious practices as formation and maintenance of a “canon”,
a “theology” that extols the virtues of technology and
humanity’s ability to solve problems, a group identity,
pilgrimages to exhibitions and conferences, and a stigma of
difference. This research reflects an important movement toward the
examination of the interplay between mass media and religion in
everyday experience. (Hoover, 1997, p.30)
The relationship between mass media and religion, as mentioned above,
is a further component of the Postmodern world that the show includes
in its imagined futuristic society. As Bourdieu once said, ‘the
sociology of culture is the sociology of the religion of our day,’
(Bourdieu quoted in Verter, 2003, p.152) a point that reiterates that
pop culture has superseded religion, both in our time and in
Fandom is one of the manifestations of spirituality and devotion in
the ‘post-religious’ age. Fry himself is a huge Star Trek
fan, and through him the show attempts to tap into the psyche of the
You can't go to Omega 3; it's forbidden! I forbid you!
But we have to! The world needs Star Trek to give people hope
for the future.
But it's set 800 years in the past!
Bender: Yeah, why is this so
important to you?
Fry: 'Cause it-it taught me so
much. Like how you should accept people, whether they be black,
white, Klingon or even female. But most importantly, when I didn't
have any friends, it made me feel like maybe I did.
2002, episode 4acv11)
This sort of emotional investment has been discussed as a principal
attraction for fans, and Futurama itself is also an object of
this kind of adulation. The episode analyses the cultural currency of
knowledge or trivia for the fanatic, and how this sort of devotion
can have a negative impact upon fans if they make a television show
the reason for their existence.
expertise over the program, the emotional investment [they] have made
in the characters, justifies an increasingly critical stance toward
the institutions producing and circulating those materials. (Jenkins,
In the episode, it transpires that the original crew have been given
new bodies and looked after by an alien Star Trek fanatic named
Melllvar. Melllvar stands for everything that is seen as undesirable
in the fanatic: he lives in his mother’s basement, obsesses
over the shows and writes his own fan fiction. The ‘increasingly
critical stance’ discussed by Jenkins is acted out by Melllvar,
who chastises the cast of Star Trek for ‘not acting hard
enough’ when playing out his fan script.
Futurama uses the sci-fi aesthetic to exaggerate these
stereotypical shortcomings, with Melllvar first pitting the Planet
Express crew against the Star Trek cast in a battle to the death,
then attempting to kill the cast when they make their escape, leading
Fry to question Mellvar’s motives:
[on screen] If I can't have the original cast of Star Trek, no
one will! Prepare to die!
Fry: Wait! If they mean that
much to you, why do you wanna kill them?
Melllvar: [on screen] Because I
... I ... I dunno what I'd do without them.
Melllvar, you can't let a TV show be your whole life. You can do
anything you want. Look at Walter Koenig: After Star Trek, he
became an actor.
Koenig: Not just an actor, but a
well-rounded person, with my own friends and credit cards and keys.
Melllvar: [on screen] Well, I
guess I could move out of my parents' basement ... maybe get a temp
Whoa, whoa! One step at a time.
Melllvar: [on screen] I thank
you, Fry. You know, you and I are of a kind. In a different reality I
could have called you "friend".
Episode 10, Balance of Terror.
Melllvar: [on screen] More like
episode nine, loser! In your face! Victory is mine!
2002, episode 4acv11)
What’s interesting is that the episode makes a distinction
between the ‘bad’ kind of fan (Melllvar), and the ‘good’
kind of fan (Fry), the type of fanatic that a lot of the show’s
intended audience will be able to sympathise with. In his book Fan
Cultures, Matt Hills finds a problem with this kind of distinction:
‘I’m not one of
those sad fans who hangs out at conventions’ this claim
attempts to announce, trying to ward off pathologising fan
stereotypes by constructing a ‘self’/’other’
split. But this attempt at self-legitimisation simultaneously reveals
that I cannot sustain this moral dualism: I am far inside the fan
stereotype…whether I like it or not, whether I argue my case
or not. In short, I can’t rationally dispel the force of this
fan stereotype, or the possibility of it being applied to me, simply
by wishing it away or by creating moral dualisms to do this work for
me magically. (Hills, 2004, p. 86-87)
This distinction is probably a necessary device in order to keep the
fans of the show placated, and is also possibly an indicator of the
writers’ own views on fandom (certain members of the writing
staff, including the writer of ‘Where No Fan Has Gone Before’
David A. Goodman, are huge Star Trek fans themselves). As
Hills points out, this is an ‘attempt at self-legitimisation’
that most fans use to validate their obsession whilst simultaneously
distancing themselves from damaging stereotypes. The show’s
unwillingness to challenge this unsustainable dualism perhaps
reflects a general unwillingness to really attack the subjects of its
One aspect of Futurama that certainly makes it stand out is
its commitment to furthering the cause of environmentalism. One of
the show’s creators, David X. Cohen, elucidated on this on the
commentary for episode 108, ‘A Big Piece of Garbage’:
When we first conceived the
series, Matt and I were both interested in doing things that were
pro-environmental messages. We’ve tried to do at least one show
per year with a really nice environmental message. (David X. Cohen,
The episode he is talking about is the show’s first attempt at
a pro-environmental narrative. In it, the Professor builds a
Smell-o-scope that detects a foul smelling celestial object. This
turns out to be a huge ball of garbage that was launched into space
in the twentieth century by the City of New York (referred to as ‘the
most wasteful society in the galaxy’). As a representative of
that society (and a noted slob), Fry personifies the wastefulness
that the show is standing against.
In the end, the Professor theorises that a second object with the
same consistency and density as the garbage ball could knock the ball
away from the Earth and into the sun. However, in the year 3000 there
is no longer any garbage.
Fry urges people to ‘take a lesson from the twentieth century:
stop all this pain in the ass recycling’, and the Earth is
saved by the second garbage ball. Fry is then commended by the Mayor:
Mayor: Fry, we owe you a
tremendous debt as well. Were it not for your twentieth century
garbage-making skills, we’d all be buried under twentieth
Leela: Should we really be
celebrating? I mean, what if the second garbage ball returns to Earth
like the first one did.
Fry: Who cares? That won’t
be for hundreds of years.
Professor: Exactly. It’s
none of our concern.
Fry: Now that’s the
twentieth century spirit.
(Futurama, 1999, episode
This is an obvious parody of contemporary societal attitudes towards
environmental issues, in particular the obscene wastefulness of
American capitalism. When this episode was written, environmental
issues were a far less reported and discussed topic than they are
now. In fact, Futurama was one of the first primetime TV shows
in America to openly discuss an issue which had been suppressed by
the US government and the mainstream American media.
In a later series, the episode ‘The Bird-bot of Ice-Catraz’
(ep305) criticised two elements of contemporary society: oil spills
and attitudes towards conservationism. The Planet Express crew are
hired to tug a tanker full of dark matter (the thirty-first century’s
equivalent of oil), which Leela refuses to do on account of the
tanker flying within three feet of a penguin reserve on Pluto.
Instead, Bender pilots the ship and the tanker’s 7,000 hulls
are breached, covering the penguins in dark matter.
The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster is directly lampooned in the
episode, both by the name of the super tanker (‘Juan Valdez’),
and by the manner in which it crashes. The Exxon Valdez ran struck
Bligh Reef when the Captain, Joseph Hazelwood, was absent from the
wheelhouse. He was accused of being intoxicated at the helm but was
acquitted. In Futurama, Bender is found to be not drunk enough
(as robots in the year 3000 run off alcohol), having only a .08 per
cent, well below the minimum level for a robot.
The design of the Juan Valdez, like a lot of the aesthetic style of
the show, parodies science fiction tradition by ‘futurising’
contemporary designs. The super tanker looks exactly like a modern
oil tanker, except with ‘futuristic’ domes.
The main focus of the episode though is on conservation, and how its
cause is hindered by the very people trying to help it. This notion
of incompetent authority and leadership is one of the most
significant motifs in Futurama, taking in government, the
army, captains of industry, environmentalists, religious leaders and
many more besides. In ‘The Bird-bot of Ice-catraz’, the
environmental leader is Free Waterfall Senior, founder of Penguins
Unlimited, and his ineptness ultimately leads to there being a huge
increase in the penguin population, making a mass cull necessary.
Leela finds this solution to be the wrong one ethically, and gets in
an argument with Free Waterfall Senior:
Waterfall Sr.: Why aren't you
firing randomly into those birds, little lady? Don't you wanna help
Leela: Not this way.
Waterfall Sr.: What? Why you're
not a tree-hugging kook at all!
Leela: Look, I don't know if
shooting penguins will help the environment or not. But I do know the
decision shouldn't be in the hands of people who just wanna kill for
Waterfall Sr.: Leela, you may
just be farming some free-range truth there. [Leela smiles.] On the
other hand, we already made up 200 pounds of batter for penguin
tempura. OK, boys, it's them or us!
2001, episode 3acv5)
In perhaps the most emotive and prescient environmentally themed
episode in the series, ‘Crimes Of The Hot’, former US
Vice President Al Gore makes a guest appearance in the show, lending
real authority and authenticity to the show’s pro-environmental
Gore, author of the book ‘An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary
Emergency Of Global Warming And What We Can Do About It’, is
arguably the leading authority on environmental issues in the USA.
His daughter Kristin is a staff writer on Futurama, and he has
professed in interviews that the series is his favourite television
Al Gore has become a global figurehead for the environmental cause,
something that Alison Anderson, in her book Media, Culture and the
Environment, claims is an integral ingredient to the mediation of
[Environmental] issues tend to
have particular “carrying capacities”; they become icons
or symbols for a wider range of concerns that people can easily
identify with. Campaigns surrounding such issues become a sort of
symbolic gesture of responsibility. Often they are promoted by
popular folk heroes including pop music idols or film stars such as
Sting (rainforests), Bob Geldof (development issues), or Bridgette
Bardot (live animal exports). Modern systems of communication demand
that campaigns must be ‘media friendly’, attuned to the
news values of vast profit-making organizations. (Anderson, 1997 p.
Futurama manages to treat Gore with both reverence and humour.
When his head appears at the Global Warming Conference, he is
introduced as ‘the inventor of the environment and the first
Emperor of the Moon’. Gore is happy to send himself up, perhaps
realising that po-faced sermonising is not the way to spread his
message to the show’s intended audience.
fellow Earthicans, as I discuss in my book Earth In The Balance
and the much more popular Harry Potter And The Balance Of Earth,
we need to defend our planet against pollution. As well as dark
2002, episode 4acv8)
In ‘Crimes Of The Hot’, the Earth is undergoing an ever
increasing process of global warming due to the amount of pollution
being expelled by the planet’s robot population. It is revealed
that Professor Farnsworth designed the robots to be very
environmentally damaging to save costs, and that they were marketed
as ‘sports utility robots’ to avoid clean air laws. This
obviously echoes the American attitude of global warming going
largely unacknowledged at the time when the show was produced.
In the year 3000 as in the year 2000 the prerogatives of American big
business take precedent over the increasing concerns of scientists
about the damage being done to the planet.
The truth about global warming
is especially inconvenient and unwelcome to some powerful people and
companies making enormous sums of money from activities they know
full well will have to change dramatically in order to ensure the
planet’s liveability. (Gore, 2006, p. 284)
In ‘Crimes Of The Hot’, the solution to Earth’s
problems is to have all of the robots on Earth fire their exhausts
simultaneously, providing enough force to push the planet into a
slighter deeper orbit, thus cooling the Earth’s temperatures.
As in ‘A Big Piece of Garbage’, the show presents the
solution to twentieth century environmental mismanagement as being
the creation of more pollution, which creates an interesting
discourse about the nature of environmentalism.
The show’s advocacy of an interventionist policy regarding
global warming and pollution can be taken two ways; either as comment
on the failures of contemporary leaders to come up with anything more
substantial than ‘delaying strategies’, or as a genuine
backing of a pro-active strategy for environmental protection.
Considering the satirical nature of the show, I would assume it to be
Now that I’ve explored how Futurama discusses
contemporary social issues, the next chapter will attempt to draw
conclusions as to how successful the show conveys its messages.
Chapter Two: Analysing how successful Futurama is in conveying its messages
In the first chapter, I have tried to demonstrate that Futurama
is a satirical and politicised show that expertly uses the sci-fi
lexicon to parody and comment on contemporary society. In many
respects the show is (unsurprisingly) similar to The Simpsons,
and this is especially true of its covert attempts to influence the
political agenda of its audience whilst ostensibly being just an
escapist cartoon. Writing about The Simpsons in Political
Theory in 1999, Paul A. Cantor said:
The Simpsons may seem
like mindless entertainment to many, but in fact, it offers some of
the most sophisticated comedy and satire ever to appear on American
television. Over the years, the show has taken on many serious
issues: nuclear power safety, environmentalism, immigration, gay
rights, women in the military, and so on. Paradoxically, it is the
farcical nature of the show that allows it to be serious in ways that
many other television shows are not. (Cantor, 1999, p.734)
This paradox is the biggest problem in analysing how successful the
show is in delivering its message, and theoretically how successful
any cartoon show can be in tackling social issues. If the show’s
inane façade allows it to discuss serious issues, the double
edge is that these issues, no matter how serious they are in
themselves, will not be taken seriously due to the low ‘cultural
capital’ (a term coined by Bourdieu) of the cartoon medium.
Politically, the most noteworthy issue pursued by the show was
furthering the cause of environmentalism. It is very difficult to
assess quantitatively how successful the show was in making its
audience sit up and take notice of what was, at the time the show was
originally on, an oft-neglected issue, particularly in America. The
assertion of Groening and Cohen that the show should take a lead on
environmental issues is indicative of the fact that the mainstream
media, government and educational institutions were perhaps shirking
their duties in regard to pursuing a responsible environmental
In the early 1990s, when Groening was first achieving massive success
with The Simpsons, the environmental movement was still very
much an outsider lobby group that was still treated with a large
degree of suspicion:
The upwelling of environmental
concern has necessarily raised questions as to just how dedicated
American people are towards the environmental movement, whether it is
a fad, soon to be forgotten and replaced by something else. (Kuzmiak,
Whilst Futurama was a trailblazer in terms of bringing a
pro-environmental discourse to their audience, I would argue that
perhaps the show was guilty of ‘preaching to the converted’
and over-simplifying their message. In this respect, it is important
to remember that the show is primarily about making people laugh, and
so the satirical elements are first and foremost comedic devices.
Matt Groening identifies that the show ‘is primarily an escape,
but hopefully now and then will make you think’ (Groening,
1999), and I think that by prioritising the comedy sometimes the
satire can be a little obvious or clumsy.
One piece of evidence in favour of the show’s ability to inform
its viewers off environmental concerns is that after the show was
cancelled in 2003, The Simpsons took on a much more explicitly
pro-environmental stance. An example of this can be seen in the
episode ‘On A Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister’ (air
date: 6/3/05), in which the Bush administration’s denial of
global warming is lampooned.
A much more damning criticism of how successful the show was is the
fact that Fox cancelled it after 72 episodes due to its underwhelming
viewing figures. When the show debuted on March 28th 1999,
it attracted 19 million viewers in the USA (Nielsen Media Research
online). By the next week however, the Nielsen figures had dropped to
14.2 million. Fox was certainly at least partially to blame for the
show’s eventual demise, as it frequently moved the show around
the timetable. In its final season, the average viewing figures were
only 6.4 million.
The biggest problem with these viewing figures, and in truth the
largest obstacle that Futurama faced during its four year run,
is ironically the same thing that permitted the show to be made in
the first place: The Simpsons. Matt Groening had to follow up
what was arguably the most successful and popular show in the history
In 2006, the debut show of The Simpsons’ 17th
season attracted 11.9 million viewers, a number greater than the
first season average for Futurama, and it is estimated that
The Simpsons makes Fox approximately $2.5 billion a year (USA
Today online, 2004). Living up to the enormous expectations created
by The Simpsons’ success was always going to be a
nigh-on impossible task, especially as Futurama is basically a
science fiction show, a genre that has traditionally been seen as
I would argue that the failing to follow up on the success of The
Simpsons was not really a reflection of the show’s content,
merely its context. Whilst being critically acclaimed and having a
very strong cult following, the show was never marketed as well as
The Simpsons and was largely ignored by the media. That said,
the show has been given a reprieve due to its strong DVD sales and a
new DVD movie under the working title ‘Bender’s Big
Score’ is due to be released at the end of 2007, which again
suggests a failing on the part of TV schedulers rather than any
inherent problem with Futurama itself.
Futurama is, as creator Matt Groening puts it, ‘a show
about anxieties’ (Groening, 1999), and in this sense it follows
in the grand science fiction tradition of HG Wells, Aldous Huxley,
George Orwell and Isaac Azimov. In the same way that The Simpsons
uses the audience’s schema about what the American ‘nuclear
family’ means to dissect and question the nature of American
society, Futurama does the same by applying the aesthetic of
science fiction. In this sense, science fiction is not the message of
the show; rather, it is the medium by which the message is delivered.
I would argue that Futurama deserves to be viewed as something
more than simply a comedic cartoon show. There are many elements of
the show which elevate it above what Adorno would consider to be
For one thing, the depth and quality of the show’s writing is
unparalleled in contemporary prime time television:
In the science fiction show
Futurama, the opportunity for scientific references arose
naturally, but the number and depth of the references are quite
remarkable. They reflect the talent and interests of the writers: J.
Stewart Burns has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree
in mathematics; David X. Cohen has a bachelor’s degree in
physics and a master’s degree in computer science; Ken Keeler
has a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, a master’s
degree in electrical engineering, and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics;
Bill Odenkirk has a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry; and Jeff Westbrook
has bachelor’s degrees in physics and the history of science
and a Ph.D. in theoretical computer science. (Greenwald, 2006)
The level of sophistication in some of the show’s scientific
and mathematical references is augmented by the fact that some of the
show’s humour is resolutely low-brow. This balance helps make
the show a rewarding experience for many different strata of the
audience. As voice actor Billy West said, ‘Futurama has
more layers than an onion’. To help illustrate this point, I
will give two examples of the humour from one episode.
In episode 206, ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’, Bender becomes
friends with Flexo, another Bending unit whose only physical
difference to Bender is that he has a beard.
Farnsworth: Leela, Zoidberg, the
rest of you, this is Flexo.
Sweet llamas of the Bahamas! Except for that stylish beard, he looks
just like Bender!
[Flexo hops off the worktop. His
voice is exactly like Bender's.]
No duh, dreadlock, we're both bending units.
Bender: Hey, brobot, what's you
Bender: No way! Mine's 2716057!
[They both laugh. Fry joins in
Fry: I don't get it.
Bender: We're both expressible
as the sum of two cubes.
[Flexo cheers and they high
2000, episode 2acv6)
This joke has been verified as being mathematically correct, and is
followed just seconds later by this exchange between Fry and Flexo:
Actually, your little stunt did a number on my back. You mind rubbin'
it for me?
Uh ... sure.
[He rubs Flexo's shoulders.]
Flexo: Aw, yeah, that's it.
[He goes lower.]
Fry: How's that?
Flexo: Lower. [He goes further
down.] Yeah that's gettin' it. A little lower though.
Fry: Uh, I can't get any lower
I'll say, you're rubbing my ass!
Bender burst out laughing and high-five again.]
2000, episode 2acv6)
The different levels of humour and reference reflect the increasingly
blurred distinction between high and low culture consumption, a shift
which is discussed by Richard A. Peterson and Roger Kern in an
article for the American Sociological Journal:
In recent years, however, many
high-status persons are far from being snobs and are eclectic, even
“omnivorous”, in their tastes (Peterson and Simkus,
1992). This suggests a qualitative shift in the basis of marking
elite status – from snobbish exclusion to omnivorous
appropriation. (Peterson and Kern, 1996, p. 900)
As well as the actual writing of the show, the audio-visual content
Futurama also contains elements of both high and low culture.
Like The Simpsons, each episode has an individualised
orchestral score recorded by a full orchestra, a fact that again
brings me back to Adorno’s insistence on the primacy of
classical forms of music over jazz and popular music. If Adorno’s
work on music can be appropriated to television in this context, the
presence of a classical score, even if it falls under the category of
‘bad good music’ (Gracyk, 1992, p528), complicates his
binary view of high and low culture.
From a broader perspective,
however, his sociologically informed critique holds that all
entertainment music is a “filthy tide”, and has been for
more than a century…For Adorno, jazz is the exemplar of music
debased as commercial commodity, and music that fails utterly as art.
(Gracyk, 1992, p.528)
This argument, with music replaced by television, is surely now an
antiquated one, yet many academics and cultural gatekeepers still
persist by its doctrine, despite its anachronistic dichotomy between
high and low culture becoming less and less viable in the face of
ever increasing convergence in the media and arts.
One particularly neat demonstration of this in relation to Futurama
is that the show’s co-creators, Matt Groening and David X.
Cohen, to some extent represent this collision of traditional ‘high’
and ‘low’ culture. Cohen, as mentioned earlier, has
degrees from Harvard and Berkley, two of the most prestigious
universities in America. Groening, by contrast, attended The
Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, a progressive school
which he called "a hippie college, with no grades or required
classes, that drew every creative weirdo in the Northwest.’
Under monopoly all mass culture
is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show
through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in
concealing monopoly: as its violence becomes more open, so its power
grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth
that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to
justify the rubbish they deliberately produce. (Adorno and
The Frankfurt School’s view of mass produced culture as being
utterly diametrically opposed to the creation of fine art may have
been relevant when it was originally concerned in 1944, but the
perceived dichotomy between capitalist interest and artistic
endeavour has now been revealed to be a false one. The problem with
the theory in relation to Futurama is that it makes a binary
opposition between those who create art for profit and those who feel
compelled to do so because of some innate artistic spirit, and this
is simply an archaic perception that does not hold up in the twenty
By exploring the manner in which Futurama makes uses of
established science fiction discourses to convey a set of messages to
its audience, it is clear that the show is not just funny, but
informed and satirical. The amount of science fiction and general
popular references that the show utilises for comedic effect makes it
a truly Postmodern series, as it constructs a new and compelling
world from a web of references, parodies and homages.
However, the bigger picture in this piece is determining how
proficiently the show produces meanings by using the science fiction
framework, and beyond that how viable a cartoon series like Futurama
is as a former of public opinion.
It has been a very difficult process to fully ascertain how well the
show has communicated its messages, due largely to the lack of
quantitative and empirical evidence that I have had access to, apart
from my own experiences as a viewer of the show. From my own
interpretations as a spectator, I would certainly argue that the
show’s ideological messages are well expressed, and my interest
and enjoyment Futurama was one of the principal reasons that I
decided to further explore the show. It is also worth acknowledging
that I agree with the political discourses presented by the show to a
That, however, does not mean that I have been blind to what can be
perceived as failures on the show’s part to convey its messages
to a large audience. It is very difficult to say that any show that
was cancelled was an unmitigated success, even if at least some of
the blame for said cancellation was out of the show’s hands.
It is also perhaps fair to say that the show simply applied a science
fiction ‘twist’ to the wildly successful formula already
pioneered by The Simpsons, and arguably didn’t say
anything that Groening’s original masterpiece hadn’t
already discussed. Personally I would refute these claims, but I
would so purely based on my opinion and accept that it is a valid
critical approach to Futurama.
As the research I have collated has hopefully demonstrated, Futurama
made some very astute observations about contemporary American
culture, observations that were simultaneously being made by serious
academics. The ability to intellectually examine serious issues
whilst primarily being an escapist comedy show, as has been discussed
in relation to The Simpsons, means that the show manages to
avoid being overly preachy and pushing its ideologies onto its
audience. This covert politicising means that the audience are free
to properly consider their stances on the issues being discussed,
which is possibly a more effective means of informing viewers than
simply incessantly sermonising to them.
Ultimately, the quest for true objectivity when analysing art is
always going to be a futile one, as the act of responding to art is a
deeply subjective one. From my own empirical experience of the show,
and from the body of work I have collected here, I would say that
Futurama is a good platform for delivering political messages,
and was successful in doing so. What is more, this piece of work has
convinced me of both the viability of a primetime cartoon show being
an agent of political thought, and also of the fallibility of the
traditional high-low culture opposition in the Postmodern era.
Appendix I – Production notes about Futurama
Matt Groening (born 15/02/1954 in Portland, Oregon) made his name as
a comic artist with his own comic Life In Hell, which he
initially hand photocopied and distributed in LA in the late 1970s.
After gaining national repute for the comic strip, Hollywood
producer James L. Brooks contacted Groening about developing a
cartoon for network TV. This eventually became The Simpsons,
a crudely animated series of short cartoons that were aired on the
Tracy Ullman show. This led to a full series of the show being
commissioned by Fox, which became a worldwide phenomenon.
David X. Cohen (born 1966, Englewood, New Jersey) was born David S.
Cohen and changed his name when he joined the Screen Writers guild.
He graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in physics, then graduated
from Berkley with an M.S. in computer science. He first worked in TV
writing a couple of early episodes of Beavis and Butthead,
before joining The Simpsons writing staff in 1993.
The writing structure of the show is similar to that of The
Simpsons – one of the writers ostensibly ‘writes’
each episode, but in reality a plot is devised and then the writers
spend days in the writers’ room working out the episode as a
team. David X. Cohen, one of the Executive Producers, is the head
writer and his influence is prevalent in a lot of the show’s
direction and humour.
Each episode of the show takes approximately six months to produce.
After the show has been written, a table read is conducted with the
voice actors to establish what they will be required to do in that
particular episode. The next step is for the voices to be recorded.
The voice takes are then sent to the animation studio, who produce a
storyboard of roughly 100 drawings, and then a rough, pencil drawn
cartoon referred to as an ‘animatic’. This is then sent
back to the Futurama production staff for approval. Any
alterations are then requested, and when a consensus has been
reached the show is fully animated using various techniques (see
below). The show is edited using the Avid computer editing program,
and at this stage the sound is added. Any additional voice work is
added at post-production.
The show is animated using a mixture of hand-drawn animation,
cel-shading animation and 3D computer generated images (CGI). In
cel-shading, a computer is used to produce animation that looks
hand-drawn. The various advantages of this style are that templates
can be saved and reused in later episodes, light-sourcing can be
determined by the computer and complicated animation effects are
much easier to achieve. CGI is usually incorporated when large
objects, such as spacecraft, need to be viewed as 3D objects, or
when certain graphical effects (like holograms) are required, as
they are easier to render in three dimensions.
The hand drawn animation is carried out by Rough Draft Studios and
their sister company Rough Draft Korea. Matt Groening insisted that
the company be used following their award-winning animation for The
Simpsons. When the show was in production, Rough Draft’s
studio in Glendale, California had a staff of 130 animators. After
the show was cancelled, this number was decreased to just 30.
Futurama is voiced by a small core of actors (principally
Billy West, Katey Sagal, John Di Maggio, Maurice LaMarche, Phil
LaMarr, Lauren Tom and David Hermann), as well as various other
supporting actors who appear in assorted episodes.
Appendix II – Character Information
is a 25 year old delivery boy who awakens to a whole new life in New
New York. In some respects Fry is similar to the main protagonist in
The Simpsons (Homer Simpson): lazy, impulsive and profoundly
stupid. He is at heart kind and good natured, although he is often
As the series progresses, it becomes clear that Fry, far from being
pointless nobody who accidentally arrived in the future,
is actually at the centre of a grand conspiracy to protect the
universe from the evil Brain
Spawn. It transpires that Fry, who inadvertently made love to his
own grandmother when the crew
went back in time to 1947, lacks the ‘delta brainwave’
him immune to the Brain Spawn’s psionic attacks.
One common theme that runs through the whole series is Fry’s
unrequited love for Leela. On more than one occasion
the two seem likely to get together, but it isn’t until
the final series that Leela shows any real sign of reciprocating. In
the later episodes, the show focuses a lot on the frustration that
Fry feels for not being able to properly communicate his feelings of
love to Leela. In the final episode, Fry trades hands with the Robot
Devil and finally gains the dexterity he needs to compose an opera
At the start of the series, Leela is a councillor at the Cryogenics
Lab, but after running away with Fry she becomes the captain of the
Planet Express crew. Leela’s disciplined and highly
professional attitude contrasts with Fry’s lackadaisical,
impulsive behaviour and Bender’s addictive (and often criminal)
Leela is a Cyclops, but in many ways represents the classic sci-fi
heroine, as she is determined, independent and a master of Arcturan
Kung Fu. Unlike most sci-fi heroines however, Leela is a very complex
character. She grew up in the Cookieville Minimum Security
Orphanarium, believing that she was an alien abandoned on Earth. The
fact that she has been alone all of her life is what bonds her to
Fry, who has just lost everyone he ever knew.
As well as developing the romance between Leela and Fry, the issue of
Leela’s parentage is a frequent storyline. In the final season
of the show, it is revealed that Leela is not in fact an alien, but a
mutant born in the sewers. When she was born, she was described as
‘the least mutated mutant ever born’, and so her parents
left her at the orphanarium with a letter written in ‘alienese’
in the hope that she would have a better life.
Bender is a bending unit robot, designed primarily to bend girders.
However, when he finds out that the girders are being used for
‘suicide booths’, he decides to commit suicide. He meets
Fry in the queue for the suicide booth, and the two become friends.
Bender’s character is completely excessive: he is, according to
Leela, ‘a chain smoking, whore-mongering kleptomaniac’.
He is surly, offensive and utterly narcisstic. Ostensibly, his job at
Planet Express is the ship’s cook, but as a robot with no sense
of smell or taste, his culinary creations leave a lot to be desired,
and he actually spends most of his time avoiding work at all costs.
In Futurama’s world, robots run on alcohol, which means
Bender spends an awful lot of time drinking. When he doesn’t
drink, his fuel cells wear out, leading to a period that resembles
human drunkenness, complete with ‘five o’clock rust’.
Matt Groening said that Bender’s constant drinking and cigar
smoking ‘drive the censors crazy’.
Whilst not having the immediate emotional depth of Fry or Leela,
Bender is nevertheless the main character in several episodes of the
show, especially in later series. Over the course of the series, he
develops a less self-centred attitude and gains a modicum of empathy
for the other characters, particularly Fry.
Professor Farnsworth is Fry’s great (x30) nephew and is roughly
160 years old. He is a senile, eccentric, belligerent mad scientist
who runs a small interstellar parcel delivery company to finance his
research, as well as being a lecturer in Mathematics of Quantum
Neutrino Fields at Mars University.
In a similar manner to Mr. Burns in The Simpsons, the
Professor’s age is a source of constant humour. His character
develops over the course of the series to become more erratic and
angry, and he is joined in series two by his clone, Cubert
Farnsworth, who is an annoying know-it-all twelve year old brat.
The Professor’s role in the series is twofold: firstly, he is
charged with sending the crew out each week on various dangerous
and/or pointless delivery missions. Secondly, as a scientist, he is
often required to come up with strange sci-fi solutions to the
multitude of problems that the crew, and in many cases the whole
planet, come across.
Professor Farnsworth’s back-story is explored in several
episodes, and it is disclosed that he once worked for, and dated, the
world’s most powerful industrialist, Mom, and was responsible
for creating the highly polluting robots that now endanger the Earth.
Anderson, A. (1997) Media, Culture And The Environment. London:
Foner, E. (2001) ‘American Freedom In A Global Age.’
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Futurama (1999) episode 1acv1 ‘Space Pilot 3000’,
Directed by Rich Moore & Gregg Vanzo, Los Angeles: Twentieth
Century Fox [DVD]
Futurama (1999) episode 1acv6 ‘A Fishful of Dollars’,
Directed by Rich Moore & Ron Hughart, Los Angeles: Twentieth
Century Fox [DVD]
Futurama (1999) episode 1acv8 ‘A Big Piece Of Garbage’,
Directed by Susan Dietter, Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox [DVD]
Futurama (1999) episode 1acv9 ‘Hell Is Other Robots’,
Directed by Rich Moore, Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox [DVD]
Futurama (1999) episode 2acv2 ‘A Head In The Polls’,
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Futurama (2000) episode 2acv6 ‘The Lesser of Two Evils’,
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Futurama (2000) episode 2acv7 ‘Put Your Head On My
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Futurama (2000) episode 2acv19 ‘The Cryonic Woman’,
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Futurama (2001) episode 3acv5 ‘The Birdbot of
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Century Fox [DVD]
Futurama (2002) episode 4acv5 ‘A Taste Of Freedom’,
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Futurama (2002) episode 4acv11 ‘Where No Fan Has Gone
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Futurama: Welcome To The World Of Tomorrow! (1999) Directed by
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Simpsons (2005) episode GABF905 ‘On A Clear Day I Can’t
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