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The Beast with a Billion Backs

Bender's Big ScoreBender's Game
Film number2
Reviews written4
Overall rating58%
Voice actor performance90%
Guest actor performance85%
Animation quality83%
Music/sound quality90%

Written by Aki on 13 July 2010.

Overall rating:5
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Animation quality:10
Music/sound quality:9

The Beast With a Billion Backs is the second film of the fifth season, and it does sink a lot from Bender's Big Score. One major point is the story's beginning, how it actually begins where the other film ends in a way that never happens on television, and it begins to look really good. But it falls, oh god it falls.

Just like Bender's Big Score and Into the Wild Green Yonder, tBWaBB faults on having so many plot points. It feels like the writers can't concentrate on choosing a single plot and making it a ninety minute feature, and instead comes up with lots of smaller ideas that together make the time. In Bender's Big Score, this was compensated with a wonderful plot idea with Lars Fillmore and the Time Sphere, but in Beast... wait, what was the plot again? I've watched this film over and over again and I still can't get a better synopsis than "Fry becomes the high priest of a religion based on an alien from another universe, who then kidnaps all people of our universe, and then they are saved by Bender."

This is definitely a gaggy episode, and still there aren't many memorable quotes or jokes. I love the whole B-plot with Bender, how he doesn't care much about Fry's newfound Yivo but miss being his friend, and how he finally storm Yivo's universe just to get Fry back. It's a funny plot that should have been given more space, instead of lame semisubplots that didn't really lead anywhere.

As a real shipper I also don't understand where Fry's whole Colleen business. He just went through Bender's Big Score, that established that if Fry just went through some stuff and grew up, Leela would not just date him, but marry him. Leela. His one love. And in the beginning of Beast he introduces his new girlfriend like nothing happened. Not to mention the finale of Into the Wild Green Yonder. What is going on? Is this film set between the first two seasons? There are some motivations and some continuity I simply fail to see.

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Written by cyber_turnip on 30 July 2010.

Overall rating:8
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:10
Animation quality:8
Music/sound quality:10

Just as with Bender's Big Score, I'm judging this as if it were 4 to-be-continued episodes rather than a film, because that's how it was produced and it's too episodic to work particularly well as a film.

I'm of a rare breed that genuinely likes this one. After the bitterly unfunny Bender's Big Score, Futurama's hilariousness was back! There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to be found here.

The plot is far less focused than in Bender's Big Score, but it's still great fun. Epic enough to justify being a movie, playing on horror movie cliches in the third act (which I love) and then being genuinely, bizarrely original (in a good way) with the final segment featuring the entire universe dating another universe. A lot of people were turned off by the strangeness of the plot, but for me, this is what Futurama should always strive to do. Original sci-fi that's vaguely metaphyisical and thought-provoking whilst being a hilariously odd-ball concept at the same time.

Add on to that, that this features two of Futurama's all time best guest star appearances. Brittany Murphy was wonderful as Coleen, an interesting character that I didn't hate like so many others who seemed to see her as a reason to hate the film. Yes, it takes place soon after the events of Bender's Big Score, but it's not like Fry hasn't made his love for Leela very apparant before only to take what he can get when it comes his way seeing as she isn't interested. It was 100% within the established characters of the show for Fry to give up on Leela momentarily thanks to someone else being dangled in front of his nose. David Cross is even better as Yivo. He has a very distinct voice, and one that suits a cartoon -but he's also an actor so his performance is genuinely good.

On a final note, this episode may well feature the best Futurama music in the show's entire history. Some of the cues are genuinely beautiful and others are just damned cool.

Overall, this isn't Futurama's best work, but it sits happily alongside plenty of the show's reasonably strong episodes from the original run.

1 approves and 1 disapproves of this review

Written by speedracer on 31 July 2010.

Overall rating:5
Voice actor performance:6
Guest actor performance:6
Animation quality:6
Music/sound quality:8

"The Beast with a Billion Backs" is the second of the four feature-length Futurama films, and it's actually one of the wittier and funnier offerings in the Futurama catalog. Unfortunately, the jokes and gags are extra layers of paint on a product whose engine -- the plot and characters -- is quite flawed.

The movie picks up where "Bender's Big Score" left off -- a huge rift in the universe has opened up over Earth, and Farnsworth sends his crew to investigate the mysteries that lie within. Meanwhile, Fry has found and decided to move in with Colleen, his new girlfriend, but is shocked to learn that Colleen is a polygamist. After the Planet Express crew fail in their mission, Zapp Brannigan and his army are sent to launch an invasion of the universe beyond in which Kif is killed. Unbeknownst to everyone, a heartbroken Fry has stowed away aboard Brannigan's ship and has decided to take refuge in the new universe, while Bender slips off and joins the secretive League of Robots. The plot then takes a sharp left term when we discover that the new universe is home to a lonely, tentacled monster called Yivo who wants to love every living being, and that Fry is Yivo's emissary.

Futurama certainly can't be faulted for trying something bizarre, but the central problem with "Beast with a Billion Backs" is that it can't decide what it's supposed to be. At various points in the film Fry, Amy and Bender all have their hearts broken, but it's never clear whether their experiences are supposed to be tragic or black comedy, and they end up being neither. Furthermore, the plot forces our characters to do some very strange things, Fry's desperate escape to the new universe being the most bizarre thing.

"Beast with a Billion Backs" routinely gets panned as one of the worst offerings ever by Futurama fans. The movie isn't nearly that bad, as it's actually quite funny and witty in spots, but unfortunately clever lines can't hold together the unfocused plot.

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Written by AdrenalinDragon on 9 August 2010.

Overall rating:5
Voice actor performance:10
Guest actor performance:8
Animation quality:9
Music/sound quality:9

Urgghh! I didn't like this movie that much. The Beast With A Billion Backs completely ruined the continuity of any Futurama moment. This movie happens DIRECTLY after Bender's Big Score, and Fry just leaves Leela for this girl named Colleen without a reason. It just seems way too out of the blue. Not only that, but more than half of the jokes were not funny for me in this movie! It takes almost halfway into the movie before the actual plot happens! Yivo was a boring character, who is only made funny when he controls Fry and says "Thou shall love the tentacle!"

Kif gets killed and Amy sleeps with Zapp, do I need to say more? The movie's subplot is passable though, with Bender being accepted into the Robot club, and its probably the best part of the movie. The last part with the Robot Devil wanting Bender's son, what the hell was that? What's going on? It's way too random! Why is heaven on Yivo? AAARRGGGHHH! This movie annoys me, but I did like the return of Pazuzu. The humour is extremely slapstick and stupid in this one, but not in a good way (at least for me). The plot is boring, the ending was terrible, and the humour was not up to Futurama standards. For those reasons, I rank The Beast With A Billion Backs the worst Futurama offering of all-time, and gave it a low 5/10! Ouch! Did I really think it was that bad? You better believe it, and trust me, its hard for me to dislike anything Futurama related!

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