The Fantastic Four (1978– )

TV Series  -  Animation | Sci-Fi
5.9
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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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Aspect Ratio:

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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User Reviews

HERBIE Is Star Wars Influence
31 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It seems almost certain that the addition of Herbie and the subtraction of Johnny Storm/The Human Torch from the 1978 version of the FF was the result of trying to cash in on the Star Wars craze that began the year before with the release of the first movie (Chapter IV). Herbie seems to be a flying, talking R2D2.

The same thing happened with Moonraker in 1979, first James Bond movie released after Star Wars, and in my opinion, the worst of the series. I even seem to remember the end of "The Spy Who Loved Me' in 1977 saying "But James Bond Will Return In." some other movie, perhaps "For Your Eyes Only" (the best of the Moore Bond movies in my opinion) then the producers and/or UA changing their mind.

There are probably other examples of the Star Wars influence but these are the first two that come to mind.

In conclusion, the FF was much better with The Human Torch as in the 1967 and 1996 series, and James Bond was better without Moonraker.

Having said that I seem to remember decent stories in the 1978 version, but substitute Herbie with Johnny Storm and the stories would have been even better.


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