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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)

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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
By Theo TOP 500 REVIEWER
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  33 reviews
39 of 40 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
Verified Purchase
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light Hearted With A Light Touch Feb. 25 2012
By Theo - Published on Amazon.com
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.

This kind of genuinely light-hearted storytelling - humorous but without going all the way to outright parody - is something that's long been missing from the genre. I'm even tempted to conclude that that may be why this particular show got cancelled. Possessing neither the thoughtful drama of the best of the more serious material, nor the glorious absurdism of the best of the over the top parodies, it was neither fish nor fowl. In the end, it may have been done in by the simple fact that too many people just didn't know what to make of it.

Such speculation aside, I'd like to conclude by saying that in terms of both sound and vision, this was an extremely stylish series. The title music just fits the show to a T. On a visual level, two and three dimensional animation techniques are fused almost seamlessly, and are always united in a common aesthetic vision. In the two-dimensional material there is a very strong anime influence - I think it was actually drawn in Japan. By contrast, the three dimensional CGI stuff was provided by French company Moonscoop. Nevertheless, despite the gulf of continents, the fusion here is very tight, and, like I said before, extremely stylish.

In the end this was a smart, cool, well put together show. It was a lot of fun for both children and adults alike.

Why it really got cancelled we may never know.

Theo.
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