The movie opens with very quick and pointed references to the crew being canceled from flying by the Box network, but since the idiots at the Box network have been fired and horribly killed, the Planet Express crew are back on the air — flying through it they mean, of course. It was a great opening and set a lighthearted and mocking tone that carried through the film.
The gist of the film revolves around a group of naked scammer aliens that manage to take over Planet Express and then discover a time-traveling code on Fry's rear end (how it gets there is explained much later in the film). They then use the code to send Bender (hence the title) back in time to steal all of history's treasures. Over the course of the very complicated and essentially impossible plot, we see a time-traveling Fry pining over Leela, Leela meeting a new man, Hermes having marriage problems, Bender causing all kinds of trouble, and the spammer aliens taking everyone's money (including the planet Earth).
It is a purely entertaining movie that, aside from a couple of minor missteps (painful song and dance mid-way through and some jokes that fall flat), really shows the world how funny Futurama can be. Watching this at times I am reminded how TV can really run the gamut from great to truly mind-numbingly awful. Futurama was one of those great shows. While Bender's Big Score doesn't quite hit that greatness at all levels, it is able to rekindle that fire and deliver a truly enjoyable experience.
Ahh, widescreen goodness... About 20 minutes in I realized that the movie was being displayed in 16:9 widescreen (a first for Futurama) and it held up on my widescreen display fairly well. The colors were a little soft, but despite the models collecting dust for a couple of years, all of the characters were perfectly represented. There were some minor transition issues in certain scenes, but nothing that took away form the movie and they were literal blips. The animation was solid and had very few timing issues, but there was some artifacting present. This could have been a better transfer; apparently this was produced in HD and we can hope FOX will redeem itself by releasing an HD version of this. Seeing Futurama in widescreen as crisp as can be would be very nice. The transfer quality is one of the few weak spots in this movie, not enough to make it bad by any stretch, but enough to make you notice.