Futurama Explores Cartoon History
In "Reincarnation (September 8th, 2011), the animators showcase their abiding love for animation, creating a three-part episode that reinvents the show in three different ways: as a Twenties-style black-and-white cartoon, an Eighties pixilated video game and a piece of Japanese anime. The episode is full of sweet, touching moments – like when a classic-looking, black-and-white Fry almost proposes to Leela, right before they get frozen in crystal dust – but also tricky writing challenges and obscure animation references that would appeal to the show's nerdiest fans.
"You hand this script to the animators, and they have a heart attack on the spot. I mean, they may literally have dropped dead on the spot. Not only do you have to redesign every single thing on the entire show – all the characters, all the backgrounds, everything – but you have to do it three times," Cohen says. "Luckily, they were willing to kill themselves to do this."