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Fantastic Four: Worlds Greates

Hiro Kanagawa , Lara Gilchrist    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 29.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

When an experimental space voyage goes awry, four people are charged by cosmic rays. Together they become the Fantastic Four and use their unique powers o help the world battle multiple thetas, and to foil the evil plans of their equally powerful enemy, Doctor Doom.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light Hearted With A Light Touch Feb. 16 2013
Starting with the Silver Surfer in the 1990's, Marvel seems to have produced a whole string of superhero cartoons that, although of very high quality, still somehow managed to get cancelled after only one season. Unfortunately this was one of them. In the case of the Silver Surfer, despite high ratings the show came to an abrupt, cliff-hanger ending when the company that made it went bust. As for why The Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes got cancelled, your guess is as good as mine. According to the Wikipedia, no official explanation has ever been given.

In any event, this, the most recent entry into the Fantastic Four animated catalogue, is actually a rather light-hearted one. But unlike the similarly light-hearted 1990's Fantastic Four cartoon that preceded it, it's also rather good.

Personally, I've always felt that superheroes are like Richard Nixon: ridiculously easy to lampoon, but far more interesting when taken seriously. Nevertheless, despite that personal prejudice, I have to admit that this was a very good cartoon. That's mainly because the light-hearted tone is for the most part pulled off with a deft, rapier wit; not the bludgeoning cudgel we find in so many of the more humorous takes on the superhero genre.

In fact, The Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes actually works perfectly well as a straight adventure series, and on that level the stories flow freely and easily. It's just that as the adventure rockets along, there's also plenty of time for a laugh or two on the way. Simply put, what we get here are great adventure stories that just happen to be told with a smile, with wit, and a healthy measure of humour. It's not an over the top spoof or self-parody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great series Feb. 6 2013
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I like the fact that I don't have to wait for an episode to be aired. Nor do I have to worry about an episode being aired out of order. The price of the product was great.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Nov. 14 2012
By Anon
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This is a wonderful series to start a Fantastic Four adventure. I had only seen the two live-action movies, and this series captivated me.

After watching it, I felt like I could only keep on searching for more Fantastic Four stuff, and this cartoon was a super introduction into a series whose main continuity is over 600 volumes long.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat revamped yet still old-school at heart - catch this show Aug. 23 2008
By H. Bala - Published on Amazon.com
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If you're a longtime fan of the Fantastic Four, it's hard not to be judgmental when you first catch a peep of this show. But if you can get past the retooled character and costume designs (for the FF and their villains), and Reed's unruly mop of hair and Johnny's anime-influenced spiky do, and that spray-painted "4" on Ben's chest - then you might get that this is a pretty good animated series. Or was, anyway, since it's been canned already.

FANTASTIC FOUR: WORLD'S GREATEST HEROES debuted in September 2006 on the Cartoon Network. For the curious ones, this happens to be the fourth television incarnation of Marvel's first superhero family, succeeding the 1967, 1978 (with H.E.R.B.I.E. taking over for the Torch), and the 1994 versions. It's the hippest and funniest TV adaptation yet.

The series captures the essence of these characters. I've always liked Reed Richards, but he's never been the ideal leading man. Here, he seems to be younger but as typically bland and henpecked (thanks, Sue), although at times his personality channels the hipper Ultimate Reed Richards. Johnny Storm, patterned after the live action film's version, has never been more brash and immature, but he grew on me, and there are many times when he landed me in the silly giggles. He and H.E.R.B.I.E. provide a lot of the humor. The ever-lovin' Thing is still a tragic monster, but big-hearted, as demonstrated in "Contest of Champions." Johnny's older sis, Susan, consistently plays the role of the grown-up in the team and makes a formidable second-in-command. I'm glad that H.E.R.B.I.E. is back in the mix. This time H.E.R.B.I.E. is the self-aware computer system which Reed constructs to help run the Baxter Building. I dig how persistently cheerful and neurotic this new incarnation of H.E.R.B.I.E. is.

The mythos and spirit of the FF are well translated onto the screen. The sci-fi backdrop. Reed's futuristic gadgets. The classic and complex supervillains. The FF's constant family bickerings and infighting. As per norm, Reed's powerhouse intellect and scientific curiosity dictate that the team, besides holding down that saving the world gig, also acts as part-time explorers. As such, the foursome frequently end up in peculiar environments, whether it's the Microverse, the Negative Zone, on a different planet, or even in an alternate timeline. The Fantastic Four have always been adventurers on an epic scale. Mining from the FF mythos, quite a few of the episodes here are inspired by classic FF stories from the comic book (the FF getting evicted, Reed and Doom trading bodies, the Baxter Building being launched into space, the coming of Terminus, etc.).

The scattershot TV scheduling never gave the show a chance to build a loyal following. In my case, the sporadic airing left me lukewarm and even feeling critical of the episodes, and of the changes effected. But, now, having just seen the entire run on this box set, I've come around 180. After steady viewing, the continuity and cohesiveness of the show are more readily discerned, despite that the stories tended to be episodic. Past events are recalled in later episodes. Torch's fear of water is revisited a number of times. The Baxter Building tenants have recurring appearances.

As done by the French-based animation house, Moonscoop, the animation is crazy bananas - a cool, fairly smooth integration of 2D and CG, and rendered with lush and vivid colors. Everything looks great - the FF certainly, but also the revamped classic villains. And the background details are exquisite stuff! The city landscape, for example, is impressively depicted time and again. The "Annihilate" episode, in particular, showcases some stunning visuals. And, the stuff's presented in anamorphic widescreen. Also, I don't want to leave out the episode title cards, which struck me as cool and arresting visuals. The theme song, however, is dang weak.

Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes: The Complete First Season, in four discs, collects all 26 episodes, quite a few of which never got a chance to be aired. This terrific looking box set offers these bonus features: audio commentaries by Head Writer Chris Yost and Exec Producer Craig Kyle on 3 episodes: "My Neighbor Was A Skrull," "Contest of Champions," and "Scavenger Hunt"; "From Origin to Animation" (18 minutes long) tracks the FF's conception and evolution and includes an interview with Stan Lee; "Rise of the Rogues" (9 minutes) covers the FF's classic villains (again, with Stan Lee); "Traveling to New Dimensions" focuses on the animation work and features interviews with the Moonscoop crew; four art galleries, including one showcasing some classic FF comic book covers; and even a miniature comic book reprinting Ultimate Fantastic Four #1.

The surface tweaks might be disconcerting at first, but, trust me, just roll with them. You'll find that this is the quintessential Fantastic Four. The same dysfunctional team, the same family of superheroes. Ben's self-loathing as a monster, Ben and Johnny's non-stop teasing and pranking, the classic supervillains, all these bring a retro feel to the show, hearkening back to when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were doing the honors on the World's Greatest Magazine. And, really, when was the Fantastic Four franchise ever better than when those two old coots were running it?

- Episode 1 - "Doomsday" - Dissension fractures the team as the media accuses Reed of having deliberately exposed Sue, Ben, and Johnny to cosmic rays on their fateful space mission.
- Episode 2 - "Molehattan" - When Manhattan highrises begin to sink underground, it could only mean the work of the Mole Man. And, this time, Ol' Moley wants Ben to join his side.
- Episode 3- "Trial by Fire" - Johnny Storm is charged with high crimes against the intergalactic Kree Empire. Johnny's trial lawyer? Reed Richards.
- Episode 4- "Doomed" - Doom's mind transference technology enables him to swap bodies with Reed. A camera crew follows Johnny around to film a "day in the life" segment.
- Episode 5 - "Puppet Master" - A segment of the space station in which the FF originally got their powers crashes onto a beach and irradiates the sculpting clay of Alicia Masters's disturbed step-father.
- Episode 6 - "Zoned Out" - When a portal to the Negative Zone is opened, bug creatures drawn to energy invade the Baxter Building. This couldn't be a worse time for a tenants' meeting to be held.
- Episode 7 - "Hard Knocks" - Two words: "Hulk smash!"
- Episode 8 - "My Neighbor Was A Skrull" - Wonderful episode. The Baxter Building suffers a systems breakdown even as the F.F.'s neighbors get all weird; H.E.R.B.I.E. begins speaking in Spanish: "El gato es muy macho."
- Episode 9 - "World's Tiniest Heroes" - A lab mishap causes the team to drastically shrink; guest-starring Ant Man.
- Episode 10 - "De-Mole-ition" - While out in the streets of New York, engaging in family time, the FF are attacked by a giant monster which bursts from underneath. So much for family time.
- Episode 11 - "Impossible" - Reed's space probe returns with an unexpected guest: the mischievous, shapeshifting Impossible Man. Now the F.F. can't get rid of the pesky alien.
- Episode 12 - "Bait and Switch" - A power surge accidentally has the Fantastic Four switching powers...and personality traits. Just in time for Doctor Doom to take advantage.
- Episode 13 - "Annihilation" - The FF are whooshed thru a mysterious sphere and into the Negative Zone, where their powers are drastically boosted. Oh, and they meet Annihilus... and an old foe.
- Episode 14 - "Revenge of the Skrulls" - The Skrulls are back, bringing with them the Super Skrull (who boasts all of the F.F.'s powers), but their scheme is thwarted by the F.F. - and some nerd named Rupert, who won Susan's "Be A Fantastic Fifth for a Day" contest. Meanwhile, Ronan the Accuser seeks revenge against the Human Torch.
- Episode 15- "Strings" - The Fantastic Four are evicted from the Baxter Building. Now they have to get real jobs.
- Episode 16 - "Imperius Rex" - Namor the Sub-Mariner (and Prince of Atlantis) bars the human race from the world's oceans. And Johnny, who hates getting wet, gets wet.
- Episode 17 - "Doomsday Plus One" - At 4am, Doctor Doom takes over the Baxter Building and launches it into space; the tenants aren't happy with this.
- Episode 18 - "The Cure" - Reed reverts Ben back to before that fateful space launch, thus making him human again, but without his memories intact; guest-starring She-Hulk.
- Episode 19 - "Frightful" - Move over, Fantastic Four. There's a new superhero team in town - the Frightful Four.
- Episode 20 - "Out of Time" - Returning from a time travelling jaunt, the FF find that present-day New York is now ruled by Doctor Doom.
- Episode 21 - "Atlantis Attacks" - Having been forcefully deposed as monarch of Atlantis, Namor ascends to the surface world with a dire warning: the massive Atlantean army is on the attack (or as Ben says: "It's, uh, a lot of fish guys.").
- Episode 22 - "Shell games" - Versions of the Iron Man armor attack the FF. H.E.R.B.I.E. fears he is about to be replaced.
- Episode 23 - "Johnny Storm and the Potion of Fire" - When Johnny is doused with Diablo's alchemy potion, it turns him kinda evil.
- Episode 24 - "Contest of Champions" - I really dug this one. The FF must compete in a contest against Ronan the Accuser, the Super-Skrull, Annihilus and the Impossible Man, with the fate of humanity at stake. Among the games selected: charades, scooter racing, and a spelling bee (Annihilus: "Could you use that word in a sentence?").
- Episode 25 - "Doom's World Is Law" - One of Doctor Doom's doombots gains sentience and is befriended by Ben.
- Episode 26 - "Scavenger Hunt" - Terminus, fearsome scourge of the universe, comes to scavenge the planet Earth.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The FF: revamped June 5 2008
By trashcanman - Published on Amazon.com
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Let's get one thing straight, this is not a FF series for old-school Marvel fanboys; the kind who complain that an adaptation is cheesy if it is 100% faithful to the original material but go ballistic if they change anything from the comic. I know you know who I'm talking about. This series is a fresh reinvention of the superheroes we know and love and personally I enjoyed it. A lot.

The animation is certainly above average for a cartoon; it's not exactly Pixar, but it's far superior to the more traditional Fantastic Four - The Complete Animated Series with it's horrible theme song. The look is a uniquely modern mix of eastern and western styles with some nice CG, all of which may be off-putting to those who just want an animated version of a forty year-old comic book (that's already been done...twice) but it works nonetheless. The series' best attribute by far is it's sharp sense of humor. For example, in one episode Dr. Doom manages to switch bodies with Reed Richards after imprisoning himself. Reed, in Doom's fully armored body, escapes and hails a cab. As he sits down in the back of the taxi, the driver eyes him for a second before commenting, "Hey, you're that Iron Man guy, ain't ya?". Reed/Doom -rather than explain the insane situation- simply looks at him and responds, "Yes. Yes I am.". Great stuff, but if the notion of poking fun at classic comic characters is sacrilegious to you, skip this show. Johnny Storm's obnoxious insistence that everyone call Annihilus "The Annihilator!" as if he was a professional wrestler won't earn him any fans among the overly earnest Marvel old guard of fandom. But his Doom impression is laugh-out-loud hilarious.

As with all Marvel animated series, this one's got it's share of guest stars including Iron Man, Ant Man, the Hulk (note to self: don't make fun of his momma), The Sub-Mariner, and more so three cheers for that. The series is episodic so there are no continuous arcs to follow, each show is a twenty minute story full of humorous situations, cool action scenes, and new interpretations of classic villains (the episode where the Skrulls disguise themselves as the FF's neighbors and ask them bizarre questions about their powers/weaknesses is another fun one). There are recurring characters and call-backs to previous episodes, but the stories themselves are self-contained. Nice and simple.

While the early 90's animated series was much more faithful to the comic, the animation has not aged well and the early episodes are nearly as cheesy at times as the unwatchable 60's incarnation. It's a superior show for fans of the comic that improved greatly as it went on, but there is a lot more to like about this incarnation if you can get over the lack of faithfulness to the source material. This is the FF at their funnest.
Anybody who prefers the older version has probably repressed the memory of Johnny Storm rapping ("flame on and on and on...).

I'm extremely pleased that Marvel has given us this series and NOT based it on the films; and even more so that they have released a full season boxed set. Sure, they milked some of you with a few single-disc releases first, but for those of you (like me) who crossed their fingers and hoped, here it is: Season One of "Fantastic Four- World's Greatest Heroes" complete with NINE unaired episodes, cool featurettes and commentaries, and even an art gallery. Even the packaging is top notch. I am well-pleased with this set. I rate it 4 1/2 stars rounded up for successfully taking on the very difficult task of reinventing one of the last generation's flagship titles. Enjoy. Now, for the umpteenth time: Marvel, will you PLEASE release the 90's X-Men, Spider-Man, Iron Man, and Incredible Hulk series' in their entirety?! I know you don't hate money so what gives?
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this show March 24 2008
By Damon - Published on Amazon.com
Updatem 6/6/08, I've seen the first season box set at work as YES it is widescreen. Can't wait til 6/10/08 to pick it up

I have the first 3 volumes, which I think makes up the first season. UNfortunately the first 3 volumes are in fullscreen. Everytime I watch an episode, I think, this looks like it was made in widescreen.

I am happy to see that this boxset is in widescreen.

I love the animation, kind of anime, with CGI mixed in. Very fun stories. I am not a purist an I love this version of the F4.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 4: Worlds Greatest Heroes May 31 2008
By Pj Thorp - Published on Amazon.com
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This is the one I waited for, as I ignored the 3 volumes of episodes releases, which only made up half this season in total.
Now you can buy the lot, and see the latest Fantastic Four series, no doubt inspired by the movie.
I don't know of any Season 2 ever being made. So this gives you the whole 26 episode series.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT WITH SOME ANNOYANCES Aug. 22 2008
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes is the fourth animated TV series for Marvel Comics's flagship title. Premiering on the Cartoon Network the show has had a bit of a spotty broadcast history but now you can see the complete first season, including several unaired episodes, in this set just released by Fox Home Video.

Now a word of warning, while the series is largely faithful in idea to the comics, this is a re-imagining of the characters and they are given a more 21st century look. This results in both good and bad. The updated looks are just fine and who really wants to see Sue Storm with a bouffant hairdo anyway? The only exception is Johnny Storm who looks like he belongs in a Dragon Ball Z cartoon rather than the Fantastic Fantastic Four. Ughh! Just horrible! It doesn't end with Johnny's/The Human Torch's look. His character absolutely annoying. Even a teenaged Johnny Story was never this obnoxious in the comics. After a few episodes his personality begins to grate on you.

Reed Richard's personality and voice acting (Hiro Kanagawa) is also week. Reed sounds like a frat boy nerd who lacks confidence, almost the opposite of the analytical, often emotionally stunted scientist from the comics. On the other hand, The Invisible Girl and the Thing are done quite well. Admittedly, it's not hard to do Ben Grimm buy Brian Dobson nails him as well as you can. Lisa Gilchrist gives us a Sue Storm who is more forceful and self-assured. With a nod to the animated show of the 70s, there's even a return of H.E.R.B.I.E, this time as the F.F.'s super-computer.

As far as the stories goes, this series has the most dynamic array of villains and guest stars in any FF cartoon series yet. Thankfully it's not all about battling arch-nemesis Dr. Doom over and over. Besides Doom, the roster of villains includes The Skrulls, The Mole Man. Puppet Master, the Super-Skrull, Annihilus, Terminus, Diablo, The Frightful Four, Attuma, and Ronan the Accuser. Guest-stars feature The Hulk, She-Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Submariner. Alas, however, there is no Silver Surfer or Galactus in the first season episodes.

Then animation is produced by the French company Moonscoop, best known for the Code Lyoko series, also broadcast on the Cartoon Network. Like that show, the Fantastic Four combines traditional 2D animation with 3D CGI animation with a distinct, but not overwhelming, anime look. This is a nice change of pace from the more cartoony look of shows like The Teen Titans. The 3D allows for better visual effects. It was noted in one of the featurettes that Moonscoop originally wanted to give Sue Storm pink hair and thankfully Marvel nixed that idea. Those crazy French!

Even though the series doesn't faithfully adapt any comic stories they do come reasonably close.

"Trial by Fire" stars the villainous Kree Accuser Ronan, who puts Johnny on trial after the Torch destroys several Kree probes. This is a loose adaptation of Fantastic Four #65 Vol. 1.

"Revenge of the Skrulls" features the Super-Skrull, a Skrull augmented with the powers of all four members of the F.F.

"World's Tiniest Heroes" finds the team shrinking due to an experiment of Reed's gone haywire. The episode guest-stars the Hank Pym version of Ant Man and is based on a story appearing in Fantastic Four #16, Vol. 1.

There are guest-stars aplenty in the show: The Hulk and the Thing have one of their classic battles in "Hard Knocks" The Sub-Mariner shows up a couple of times, and Iron Man helps the team battle several sets of his armor that has been taken over by Dr. Doom.

The writers did a good job of capturing the spirit of the comic, particularly the first volume but with a modern sensibility and pizzazz. They missed the boat, though, by omitting the Silver Surfer and Galactus, which is arguably one of the most famous story arcs in Marvel history.
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