Disney+ Has The Best Paradox-Free Time Travel Movie

By TeeJay Small | Published

Time travel movies are a staple of modern cinema, with classics such as Back To The Future, The Terminator, and Tenet each leaving a lasting mark on audiences with their impressively well thought-out sci-fi concepts. Of course, nearly all time travel films are subject to paradoxes which render the sci-fi mechanics impossible without a certain artistic license and suspension of disbelief.

One animated film however, 2008’s Futurama: Bender’s Big Score, manages to create a fully paradox-free time travel story, while juggling complex character relationships and hilarious comedic timing.

Bender’s Big Score

Bender’s Big Score was first announced at Comic-Con 2007 after Fox canceled Futurama. Shortly thereafter, Comedy Central picked the series back up, optioning four feature-length films in place of a traditional television season.

Each film has been subsequently chopped into four half-hour episodes, which are listed on the Futurama series’ page on streaming services under the sixth season.

Bender’s Big Score In Futurama

The four-episode cut of Bender’s Big Score premiered on Comedy Central in March 2008, and DVD copies of the original film-length cut are available at physical retailers.

The film was written by Futurama series co-creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, in collaboration with Futurama and The Simpsons producer Ken Keeler.

Bender’s Big Score was directed by Dwayne Carey-Hill, who would later go on to helm a number of animated projects, including episodes of Futurama, Disenchantment, and Fired on Mars.

The film features reprisals from the entire main cast of the series, including iconic voice actors such as Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, Maurice LaMarche, Phil LaMarr, and Lauren Tom.

Paradox-Free Time Travel

Bender's Big Score

The narrative of Bender’s Big Score begins with the Planet Express crew embarking upon a delivery to a nude beach planet.

Once they arrive and subsequently disrobe, the crew discovers that Fry has a tattoo of Bender’s face on his butt, which, when closely examined, contains the binary code to a paradox-free method of time travel.

As the crew tinker with this new discovery, a trio of alien scam artists overtake control of the company, by stealing the identities of the crew from a data phishing scam.

Bender’s Big Score Is Perfect

Bender's Big Score

The scammers infect Bender with an obedience virus, and force him to utilize the time travel code to go back in time and steal priceless artifacts from history.

As Bender and Fry each utilize the code for their own purposes, they create duplicate copies of themselves throughout the now-fractured timeline, which are doomed to perish as the time-code self-corrects paradoxes.

Somehow, against all odds, the timeline of Bender’s Big Score perfectly checks out, and manages to be the most consistent and functional example of time travel ever committed to fiction.

Revisiting Earlier Episodes

Bender's Big Score

The film also functions as a way for the Futurama writers to revisit earlier episodes of their show and functionally change the past, including a newly-crafted happy ending for the tragic character of Seymour, Fry’s dog.

As Bender’s Big Score builds to a stunning conclusion, the film reaches dramatic and comedic highs that many fans consider to be the best in the show’s history. Bender’s Big Score currently holds a staggering 100 percent certified fresh critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, and for good reason.

Stream Bender’s Big Score

Bender's Big Score

For those interested in catching the animated adventure, Bender’s Big Score is available to stream on Hulu. The film is split into four episodes under the Futurama season 6 page.

While it isn’t expressly necessary to binge through the entirety of the first five seasons before catching the film, it certainly provides the narrative of Bender’s Big Score with additional weight.