The Fantastic Four (1978– )

TV Series  |  Animation, Sci-Fi
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The super-elastic Mr. Fantastic, the force field-wielding Invisible Girl, the orange rock-covered Thing and the data-crammed robot Herbie make up a team of superheroes dedicated to thwarting would-be world-dominating villains.

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1978  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Mike Road ...
 Mr. Fantastic / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
...
 Sue Richards / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
...
 Ben Grimm / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
...
 H.E.R.B.I.E. / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
(13 episodes, 1978)
John Stephenson ...
 Doctor Doom / ... (13 episodes, 1978)
...
 Opening Narrator (13 episodes, 1978)
Don Messick ...
 J.J. Colossal (13 episodes, 1978)
Gene Moss ...
 Trapster (13 episodes, 1978)
Nancy Wible
(13 episodes, 1978)
Joan Gerber
(13 episodes, 1978)
Vic Perrin
(13 episodes, 1978)
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Storyline

In an attempted spaceflight, the crew of a ship are bombarded by cosmic radiation. Barely managing to crashland alive, the crew find themselves changed forever by their experience. Team leader, Scientist Reed Richard aka Mr. Fantastic gains the ability to stretch and shape his body to any shape, Sue Storm can become invisible and project telekinetic force fields as the Invisible Girl, and Pilot Ben Grimm becomes a superstrong rock creature known as the Thing. Together with their advanced robot assistant, H.E.R.B., this quartet faces the threats to the world as the Fantastic Four. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@home.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Sci-Fi

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Details

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Release Date:

9 September 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The New Fantastic Four  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It has been very widely reported that the character of H.E.R.B.I.E the robot was created because of concerns that The Human Torch might lead children to set themselves afire. Comics creator John Byrne did a story on the concept as writer/artist of the Fantastic Four comic book in the early 1980s, and Doug Wildey claimed to have been part of the decision when interviewed for "Amazing Heroes" comics fan magazine. (However, as a longtime Hanna-Barbera contributor, he would have worked on Fantastic 4 (1967), which DID feature The Torch). The actual catalyst for Herbie's creation was the simple fact that the TV rights to The Human Torch had already been optioned as part of the development deal between Marvel Comics, Universal Studios and CBS-TV, which resulted in prime-time, live-action versions of The Amazing Spider-Man (1977), The Incredible Hulk (1978), Captain America (1979) and Dr. Strange (1978). The character was just not legally available for use in these cartoons. A live-action Torch proved an unfeasible project given the limits of the budget and special effects technology of the day, and never reached production. One other character also optioned under that deal was The Sub-Mariner, abandoned because Man from Atlantis (1977) was felt to have been too similar. See more »

Goofs

During an episode featuring the villain Magneto, the character's voice changes completely between lines of dialog. This happens several times in the episode. See more »

Quotes

[opening narration]
Narrator: It was the world's strangest accident. While testing a new rocket ship, our heroes were bombarded by mysterious cosmic rays from outer space. Though they crash-landed safely, the strange and powerful rays had changed each one of them. Transforming their leader, Reed Richards, into the plastic-skinned Mr. Fantastic; Sue Richards into the "now you see her, now you don't" Invisible Girl; and Ben Grimm into a mighty-muscled powerhouse called The Thing. Now together with ...
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Connections

Version of Fantastic Four (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

FLAME OFF!
14 April 2004 | by (Baxter Building) – See all my reviews

It has to be said this Fantastic Four cartoon was quite poor in most respects, and i dont even mean because Herbie the Robot was in it in the place of The Torch.

As a kid in the UK i was weaned on AMERICAN, Fantastic Four comics, not the British black and white reprints like some kids, and the 1967 Hannah Barbera Fantastic Four cartoon, wich i think is a classic. I was around the age of 15 when we got the 1978 on Television in the UK, and still a big comic book fan, and along with the Spider-Man live action TV Series, found this series a big disapointment. It was one thing replacing the Torch in the team. It had happened in the comics on numerous occasions (with Medussa and Lazerfirst for example), but the route the 1978 Animated series producers took to introduce Herbie the Robot, was uninspired depressing and plain embarassing if you were caught watching the series as a 15 year old. Why not introduce an already established Marvel character into the team, such as Iceman or Ant Man or just about any other character. Just thinking about the cute little Herbie is sending my blood pressure up. As well as that the storylines for this series was weak and the dialogue given to the characters was feeble. The characterisation of the F4, or is it F3 Themselves was completely out of tune with the comics and previous animated series. Sue was represented as an old hagg, moaning all the time, Reed a completely boring leader with none of the humour ascociated with his character apparent, and Ben, well actually Ben didn't come off to badly, his character getting the best lines and most of the action. It is fair to say that the animation itself was appalingly lame right down to the way the characters appeared. Ben for instance looked exactly like Homer Simpson making this monster in fact cuter than Herbie. There was also moments of crass recycling and stock animation apparent.

About the only thing that rescues this series is the classic theme tune. Still, avoid this one, hunt down episodes of the 1967 series instead.


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