I have no idea if the Cinematical guys made it over to the Con's Futurama exhibit (although I do hope so), but here's what went down: Futurama actors Katey Sagal (Leela), Billy West (Fry, Zoidberg, Farnsworth, etc.), John DiMaggio (Bender) and Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Morbo, Calculon, etc.) were on hand to "act out" some of the material from a "Futurama Returns" comic book that was available at the event. Sounds like a lot of fun, actually, and I hope HMM is right when they assume that this appearance will show up on a future DVD release. Apparently this comic book (which I WANT A COPY OF!) bridges the gap between the final Futurama episode (The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings) and the opening of Bender's Big Score!. (It's Groening's exclamation point, not mine.)
According to HMM, the plot for the first film will go like this: "Alien nudist Internet scammers attempt to take over Earth through a plot that involves sending the robot Bender through time to steal the planet's cultural treasures." Awesome. Excellent. Perfect. As reported earlier, each DVD movie will be broken up into four episodes which will then fit snugly into Comedy Central's (apparently very successful) Futurama syndication run. Expect the next three titles to hit video stores in the first quarter of 2008. Further expect me to laugh my proverbial ass of at each successive title. (The show just hits me right in the funny bone, and it'd take about 15 wordy paragraphs to properly explain why.)
And although the Futurama producers had to deal with slightly smaller budgets for these productions, they defrayed the expenses by skipping the orchestral score -- although viewers shouldn't really notice the difference. But since the animation is now being done in high definition (yay DVD!), fans should notice a slight improvement over the series' already stellar artwork. Yay! I can't wait!
For more on the Futurama Comic Con event, check out this brief-but-excellent breakdown at TV Squad. (And I promise there'll be no more Futurama posts for at least a week. Unless something really juicy gets announced.)