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|Season 7 episode|
Broadcast season 9 episode
|Directed by||Crystal Chesney-Thompson|
|Title caption||Tell Your Parents It's Educational|
|First air date||29 August 2012|
|Sponsor||Mutual of Omicron|
"Naturama" is the one hundred and twenty-seventh episode of Futurama, the thirteenth of the seventh production season and the thirteenth and last of the ninth broadcast season. It is the fifth segmented episode. It aired on 29 August 2012, on Comedy Central. The crew are re-imagined as wild animals in a nature documentary.
Act I: "The Salmon"
In a tale of everyone reinterpreted as a fish, a lonely fry named "Fry" is born, struggles with his generation to make it to sea, and to return upstream to mate then die... for no reason. During the time at sea, Fry meets a lovely female fish (Leela) who gladly agrees to mate with him. During this time another fish (Zapp) tries to woo her but is rebuked in favor of Fry. The two go on many dates viewing various undersea sites growing closer. Towards the end of their maturation cycle, the salmon fight their way upstream to their ancestral birthing spots. However Fry finds that his mate lives in the adjacent stream and can't seem to swim up it. This gives the other male fish the opportunity to seize her as his mate which Fry is determined not to allow. Fry swims up his own river as the various salmon lay their eggs and the males eject their semen over it upon which both parents die. Fry makes it to the top of his stream and then makes a valiant leap out of the water and over to the other stream. The leap doesn't clear and as he wriggles helplessly on the bank, the other male is scooped up and eaten by a bear (Lrrr). The bear spots Fry and attempts to eat him but as he has Fry in his mouth, his mate (Ndnd) chastises him in regular fashion to which he drops Fry who is able to make a tender reunion with his mate. As she has completed her egg-laying, Fry has fertilized them and they complete their life cycles for no reason.
Act II: "The Pinta Island Tortoise"
In a tale of everyone reinterpreted as Pinta Island natives, a Pinta Island Tortoise named "Lonesome Hubert" is depressed at his long life and solitude. His group of symbiotic Finch friends (Fry, Leela, Amy, Hermes) and Iguana (Bender) try to ease his sorrow. Hubert expresses how lonely he is for a mate but there are no others like him around and expresses the difference between his own sub-species and another sub-species of tortoise woman (Petunia) who offers to mate with him which he rejects. The last time he saw another of his kind was ages ago under a tree only 100 feet away. This prompts the idea to travel over there to find this other tortoise. The trek is abnormally long, during which Finch-Amy is eaten by a snake (Sal) and after an 18 month journey, he arrives. The finches reveal how long he's taken in that they are a whole new generation and how one of them has even undergone Darwinian evolution to develop a new beak allowing him to eat fruit from a cactus; this however doesn't work too well. Hubert finds a large rock in the area he last saw the female and mistakes it for her. He proceeds to enact the mating process of his species upon which the actual female (Mom) angrily arrives and also mistakes the stone as a rival that Hubert is being philanderous with. She proceeds to "attack" the stone pushing it down the slope which sticks in the sand precariously and assumes its position which only serves to arouse Hubert all over. He proceeds to pick up where he thought he was and mates with her (to the finches' and iguana's disgust). Despite the fitness of the sub-species, she only manages to lay three eggs and are then buried. The female says watching them is not in their nature so they leave. 4-8 months later, the three (Walt, Larry, Igner) hatch and stooge themselves over the side landing under the rock, which proceeds to crush them thus extinguishing the species.
Act III: "The Elephant Seal"
In a tale of everyone reinterpreted as elephant seals (and Scruffy as a walrus), the alpha-male has a harem of females based on his particular girth and is extremely territorial; refusing even relative proximity to his herd. One particular alpha, Beach-Master (Bender), is the envy of the women and envied even more jealously by the beta-males (Fry, Kif, Hermes, Farnsworth, Randy, and walrus Scruffy). The betas aren't allowed near the females due to Beach-Master but one (Kif), who is determined to be with one whom he loves (Amy), wants equality. Beach-Master frequently flaunts his virility with the females (as well as his crass attitude) all while paying little or no mind to the actions of the betas. Often times though, many seals have managed to subvert the alpha by acting when he's distracted or asleep. The one beta is told by the older one (Farnsworth) of how he slipped by Beach-Master and brought his mate a secret meal which they shared and was successful. This prompts the beta to swim to the murky depths below the influences of sunlight and encounters a Vampire squid (Zoidberg) whom he then grabs and brings to his love while Beach-Master mates. The meal, though successful, is interrupted by Beach-Master as the beta flees then stands up for equality. They are then engaged in a contest of strength and size to shove out the other. The match lasts for some time after which the Beach-Master is informed that he's already crushed and killed the beta by then. The alpha reasserts his dominance unaware that he's also the butt of the other betas having successfully mated with the females during the commotion with the other beta.
In a final closing act, the Omicronians target their weapons on the planet (having viewed the cycles of nature) and blast the planet to dust ending the story.
On 8 November 2011, Eric Rogers revealed that this was the day of the table read of the episode, that the episode had been co-written by him and that the episode would air August 2012, also saying, "Different kind of story this time, but funny as ever!" On 11 November 2011, Phil LaMarr revealed that this was the day of the recording of the episode. On 29 February 2012, CGEF revealed the episode's title, its other writers to be Michael Saikin and Neil Mukhopadhyay and its director to be Crystal Chesney-Thompson. On 31 May 2012, the website Zap2it published an article in which Matt Groening revealed that "[that] year [the production team was] calling [their] little trilogy the "Saturday Morning Fun Pit""  - suggesting that "Naturama" had been renamed. On 10 July, MSN TV updated their Futurama episode guide, revealing the episode's plot. The same day, Zap2it released a TV listing of Futurama which showed the same information about the episode.
On 12 July, following the broadcast of the episode "Zapp Dingbat", the public were given the opportunity to participate in a live chat with the Futurama cast and crew. Several clips of "Naturama" were shown during the live stream.
A screenshot from the episode shown during the live stream, showing Zoidberg reimagined as a squid.
- Aired as a one hour event with "31st Century Fox". Incidentally, an episode dealing with animal rights.
- The song that plays over the montage of Salmon Fry and Salmon Leela spending time with each other in the segment "The Salmon" is Sea of Love by The Honeydrippers.
- This marks Nibbler's only appearance in the first half of Season 7, but he is in the form of a fish and is only briefly seen.
- The episode was dedicated to Lonesome George, the last remaining Pinta Island Tortoise, who died on 24 June 2012.
- This is the third episode to feature an alternate opening sequence, after Into the Wild Green Yonder and "Viva Mars Vegas". It is also the only episode to feature original animation in place of a reference or sample of other animation.
- Just like "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular", the episode is structured into three disjointed (though relevant) vignettes and at the end of the episode Earth is destroyed.
- Salmon-Hermes gets decapitated, similar to how Hermes gets decapitated in Bender's Big Score.
- This episode does however have a centralized theme across the three segments as does "Reincarnation" and mildly uses a framing story as does "Anthology of Interest I" and "Anthology of Interest II".
- Each story plays off one of the various relationships seen on Futurama. The first segment expands the Fry-Leela relationship alongside Zapp Brannigan's constant attempts at Leela. The second segment expands the on-again/off-again relationship of Farnsworth and Mom as well as the paternity of her children (though the Professor is only the father of one of her kids). Finally the third segment expands the relationship of Kif with Amy and could even briefly hint at the fling she had with Bender.
- Interestingly, Kif and Amy are the only official couple and were the only ones not to produce children in their segment.
- A bone vampire like Mr. Peppy is seen in the opening credits of the framing show. This is interesting as in "Fry Am the Egg Man", where he was introduced, he was an endangered species which is part of this episode's subject matter.
- Salmon Fry shouts 'Help! Fish Police', referencing Fry's catchphrase and the comic-book series and TV series Fish Police.
- The characters only appear as animals, making this one of three episodes in which none of the main characters appear, the others being "Reincarnation" and "Saturday Morning Fun Pit".
- The audio commentary reveals that Brrr was originally called Grrr, as in "Grizzly Bear".
- This is the only episode or comic of Futurama not to feature New New York other than "Where the Buggalo Roam".
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The narrator is designed after Morgan Freeman and references his narration of March of the Penguins.
- Mutual of Omicron is a reference to Mutual of Omaha, and the alternate opening of the episode mimics the opening of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.
- "Lonesome Hubert" is a reference to Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island tortoise, who died two months before the episode aired.
- A Facehugger jumps from an egg and attaches itself to someone in a space suit in the Mutual of Omicron opening, a reference to the Alien franchise.
- Fish-Fry and Fish-Leela meet in a kiss while consuming opposite ends of an eel in reference to Lady and the Tramp.
- During the salmon segment, fish-Zapp asks fish-Leela her sign, and she says "Pisces. We're all Pisces." Pisces is, of course, an astrological sign represented by two fish, and the word "pisces" is the plural of "piscis", Latin for "fish". It's a double entendre here; not only are they all literally pisces, but they were all hatched at roughly the same time, thus they are all of the same sign.
- Tortoise-Mom, while fighting the rock mistaken for another tortoise, shouts "This volcanic archipelago isn't big enough for the two of us". This a reference to the otfen-quoted line, "...this town isn't big enough for the both of us..." from the 1932 movie The Western Code.
- Salmon-Scruffy is seen several minutes after being eaten by Lobster-Zoidberg.
- During the camera pan from the new born seal cubs to their fathers, the Elephant Seal-Fry is missing pupils for several seconds.
- During the Pinta Island tortoise segment, as Lonesome Hubert is traveling to the far side of the island, he and the finches hear an owl and Lonesome Hubert retreats into his shell. However, as he later says, he would have no reason to fear the owl, as the tortoise has "no natural predators".
- During the Pinta Island tortoise segment, Fry loses his beak only to have it return in the next scene
- Salmon-Hedonismbot's mouth lights up like his canon-counterpart's mouth, but Salmon-Bender's mouth behaves like a regular human mouth, whereas it should remain closed and have two moving lines.
- ^ a b c Eric Rogers (08 November 2011). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 08 November 2011.
- ^ Eric Rogers (08 November 2011). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 09 November 2011.
- ^ Phil LaMarr (11 November 2011). phillamarr. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 12 November 2011.
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Rick Porter (31 May 2012). 'Futurama' Season 7: Matt Groening teases an election, Fry and Leela and more. (Zap2it.) Retrieved on 05 June 2012.
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 12 July 2012.
- ^ Futurama : Viva Mars Vegas; Naturama. (Zap2It.) Retrieved on 10 July 2017.
- ^ "Tastes Like Fry" (12 July 2012). "Newsarama! (Futurama News Thread)" (page 1). (PEEL.) Retrieved on 13 July 2012.