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Fantastic Four is the third animated television series based on Marvel's comic book series of the same name. Airing began in September 24, 1994, until ending on February 24, 1996. The series ran for 2 seasons, with 13 episodes per season, making 26 episodes in total.

Overview

In the early-to-mid-1990s, Marvel Productions syndicated a new Fantastic Four animated series as part of The Marvel Action Hour. The first half of the hour was an episode of Iron Man; the second half an episode of Fantastic Four. During the first season, Stan Lee was featured speaking before each show about characters in the following episode and what had inspired him to create them.

Season 1

The Season 1 title design.
The vast majority of episodes in the first season consisted of fairly accurate re-tellings and re-interpretations of classic 1960s FF comic book stories by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but the season's cost-effective animation and attempts to add humor through the inclusion of a fussy Britishmarker landlady for the FF were generally met with displeasure by fans - to say nothing of then-current FF comic book writer Tom DeFalco, who got in trouble for penning a scene in issue #396 of the series that featured Ant-Man watching and lambasting an episode of the cartoon.

Season 2

The team poses at the end of the Season 2 intro.
Both the Fantastic Four and Iron Man series were radically retooled for the second seasons, sporting new opening sequences, improved animation, and more mature writing (the first season was primarily written by Ron Friedman, while the second season was overseen by Tom Tataranowicz), though noticeably having fewer introductions by Stan Lee, with several of the new shorter intros being used more than once. The Season 2 episodes also drew upon John Byrne’s 1980s run on the Fantastic Four comic, in addition to further Lee and Kirby adventures. The Marvel Action Hour lasted two seasons before being canceled.

Season 3

According to Season 2 supervising producer Tom Tataranowicz, if there had been a third season of Fantastic Four, he would've wanted to go into the whole Sue Storm pregnancy story arc. In Tataranowicz' eyes, this would've given the production crew a chance to do their own take on the Sub-Mariner (who only appeared in Season 1), as he played into the arc in FF issues leading up to and around issue #100. Tataranowicz also wanted to bring Medusa and She-Hulk into the mix as part of the Fantastic Four.

Episode list

Cast



Guest cast



DVD releases

Following the release of the 2005 live-action film, The Walt Disney Company (through Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment) released the series on Region 1 DVD on July 5. The DVD set now featured new introductions by Stan Lee for all 26 episodes (replacing the original introductions, which had been removed for network broadcast). Additionally, pieces of footage from the episodes themselves had also been removed for network broadcast, and it is these cut episodes that comprise the DVD set.

The first Region 2 release received only a DVD comprising of the first two episodes and the trilogy of the first appearance of Doctor Doom. The second release, now by Liberation Entertainment, features a double DVD Set with the complete first Season with remastered Video and Audio Footage. Due to Liberation's closure within the UK, the rights to all Marvel cartoons were brought by the company Lace International, but has since changed again to Clear Vision LTD.

Clear Vision LTD will be releasing Season 1 in two parts. Part one will be released on May 4, 2009 with part two released on May 13, 2009. Season Two will also be released in two parts with part one released on June 10, 2009 and part two released on June 17, 2009

On April 2009, a DVD Box that collects both Seasons 1 and 2 have been released in European countries with Dutch subtitles under the Liberation Entertainment label.

References

  1. So, on the 24th September 1994, The Fantastic Four debuted. And it was utterly, utterly terrible. The stories were pretty much adaptations of the comics with all the fun, drama and humor taken out. The characters were all pathetically two-dimensional and more often than not, incredibly annoying.
  2. The show’s opening season was beyond poor, it was ill conceived, juvenile rubbish that frequently defied logic and resulted in one of the poorest show’s I’ve ever seen.
  3. The shows visuals were outdated by about 20 years, the designs themselves were ugly, generic and tame, and the show’s coloring style did nothing to make them pop. More often than not, the show was simply an eyesore. One need only look at The Silver Surfer to see how screwed up the visuals truly were. There’s not a single sharp looking design in the entire season - everything is simply bland.
  4. The art direction improved exponentially, the animation, although a little rubbery, still look worlds better than season one and the stories didn’t completely suck and actually made sense this time around.
  5. Tom Tataranowicz Talks Fantastic Four
  6. MAA: Did you know that episode 26 would be the last episode you’d worked on or where(sic) there plans for a 3rd season? What would’ve you have liked to do with season three if given the opportunity?
  7. Reed always came across as more arrogant than intelligent and often proved to be a little too smug to be likeable. The brilliance of Reed Richards is that he was once too arrogant to shield his vessel into shape and because of it, turned his friends and family into freaks. Hence, in an effort to make up for effectively ruining their lives, he made them into celebrity superheroes, built a massive tower in the middle of New York for them to live in and a flying bathtub for them to fly around in, whilst of course, working on a way to make Ben human again. The likeable thing about Reed is that he does what he does out of guilt, and is doing his all to make amends, even if he never will admit it to any of them. None of that is found here – in this season, Reed is an arrogant know-it-all who actually comes across as really stupid for not shielding their ship, even after Ben warned him that disturbance they were investigating could prove to be harmful to them.
  8. Sue is a damsel in distress despite the fact that Sue was created for the sole purpose of being a female comic character besides Wonder Woman who could hold her own against supervillains and has long been considered the most powerful member of the group (look at how she beat Ben with ease in season when she turned heel for proof.)
  9. Johnny is an air head who tries his hardest to be cool but comes across as tired and cheap.
  10. http://www.clearvision.co.uk/sub_group1.cfm?prog_id=370


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