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Blu-ray Review: Latest Volumes of Animated Hits ‘The Simpsons,’ ‘Futurama’

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CHICAGO – If one were listing the most influential people in the history of television, right there next to legends like Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry, and Norman Lear, would have to lie Matt Groening, the man who reinvented TV animation for all time. Two of his creations, “Futurama” and “The Simpsons,” had volumes released recently on Blu-ray and both are typically FILLED with remarkable special features. We’ve said it before — Fox animation is the standard when it comes to TV on Blu-ray.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

What do the 2002-03 season of “The Simpsons” and the most recent episodes of “Futurama” have in common other than their creator? Both won the Emmy for Best Animated Series. I would argue that neither set displays their show in their prime but they’re better than you remember. Those of you who haven’t caught up with “Futurama” since it was resurrected by Comedy Central may be pleasantly surprised (a “Minority Report” spoof in episode three is a notable stand-out) and everyone would agree that “The Simpsons” was no longer in its absolute prime in S14 but that was the point where it was still funnier than most shows on TV (just not as flat-out brilliant as it used to be).

The Simpsons: S14
The Simpsons: S14
Photo credit: Fox

If I could only have one collection of TV shows on Blu-ray and DVD, it would be “The Simpsons.” Not only would I have hours of quality entertainment, but I’d have the most remarkable collection of special features in the history of TV on DVD. Luckily for fans of the show, “Futurama” has followed the same model — featurettes, deleted scenes, clever bonus material, and commentaries on every single episode. Best. Blu-rays. Ever.

Futurama: V6
Futurama: V6
Photo credit: Fox

“Futurama: Volume 6”

Synopsis:
Blast off your inhibitions as The Simpsons creator Matt Groening brings you another far-out collection of Futurama fun! In addition to a full payload of outrageous extras not shown on TV, Volume Six delivers 13 mind-Bendering new episodes that involve time travel, self-replication, covert missions, alien eggs, and more robot roughhousing than you can shake a girder at. It’s a scream… the good kind!

Special Features:
o Full-Length Audio Commentary on All Episodes
o Professor Farnsworth’s Science Of A Scenes
o Reincarnation Explained! with Director Peter Avanzino
o Futurama F.A.Q.(Frequently Axed Questions)
o Deleted Scenes
o BD Live Enabled

“The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season”

Synopsis:
Hank and Kodos invite you to add this Emmy Award winning season to your collection filled with your favorite guest stars (Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz, Tony Hawk, Blink 182, and more) and exclusive features that will satisfy your hunger. The Simpsons Season 14 is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Special Features:
o A Haunting Invite from Matt Groening
o Audio Commentaries on every episode with Executive Producers Al Jean and Mike Scully, joined by Writers, Actors and Directors
o It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll
o The 300th Episode Featurette
o In The Beginning
o The Halloween Classics
o Foolish Earthlings
o Deleted Scenes with Commentary
o Multi-Angle Animation Showcase
o Original Sketches
o Bonus Treehouse of Horror Episodes
o Special Language Feature and More

“Futurama: Volume 6” and “The Simpsons: The Complete Fourteenth Season” were released on Blu-ray and DVD in December 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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