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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Indeed
This series lasted for two seasons, from 1994 to 1996, for a total of 26 episodes. The first season was quite forgettable, both in terms of story content and animation quality. In one of the few instances of an animated series being retooled in the middle of its run, the second season saw the show rebuilt almost from the ground up, with the only similarity being the...
Published on March 3, 2005 by Zaki Hasan

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was half-right
Marvel had to follow DC and WB's success with BATMAN, and this was the best they could do. The first season was a bit weak, mostly because the episodes were adaptations of the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories, mostly by screenwriter Ron Friedman of G.I. JOE fame. I only wish this was done in the mid 1980s, because that's where most of the dialogue belonged...
Published on October 25, 2006 by Sanford S. Williams


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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Indeed, March 3, 2005
By 
Zaki Hasan "zakiscorner" (Newark, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
This series lasted for two seasons, from 1994 to 1996, for a total of 26 episodes. The first season was quite forgettable, both in terms of story content and animation quality. In one of the few instances of an animated series being retooled in the middle of its run, the second season saw the show rebuilt almost from the ground up, with the only similarity being the voice cast (although Brian Austin Green was replaced by Quinton Flynn as the Human Torch). The animation was first rate, and stories were often taken directly from the comics work of Stan Lee & Jack Kirby and John Byrne. Of special note, the first episode of the season, "And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them," guest-stars Daredevil. Later episodes in year 2 guest-starred Ghost Rider, The Mighty Thor, and even The Incredible Hulk. The season finale is another Lee/Kirby adaptation and features the Silver Surfer. Bottom line, the sublime grandeur of the latter thirteen episodes of this set makes it worth every cent. Not to be missed by any true Fanatic of the Fantastic.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT ON A PAR WITH SPIDERMAN BUT STILL GOOD, June 10, 2005
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
In the mid-90's many of Marvel's characters came to the small screen on Saturday mornings after the success of X-men and Spiderman. One of those was Marvel's very first group of Superheroes, the Fantastic Four. With the movie due to come out in a few weeks, it's great to have these episodes on DVD finally. The set contains all 26 episodes of the run. While I agree that the first season (And I have them on VHS because I am a geek) was inferior to the second season, the first season is not without its merits, mainly in the presentation of the group's origin as well as the two part "Silver Surfer and the Coming of Galactus" episode. This is one of the key moments in Marvel's silver age history and I thought they did a very nice job with it. I also enjoyed the Behold the Negative Zone episode as I loved the goofy villains Annihilus and Blaastar.

Things do pick up in season two in 1995 with several outstanding episodes including:

The Three part Inhumans Saga where the FF battle the Frightful Four and then eventually travel to the hidden Great Refuge of the Inhumans.

To Battle the Living Planet - The FF enlist the Aid of Galactus to battle Ego, the Living Planet, but at what price? Thor co-stars.

When Calls Galactus - Galactus is back to devour the earth and only the sacrifice of Frankie Raye saves the earth as she becomes his new herald named Nova.

Nightmare in Green - The Thing battles the Hulk! Nuff said!

Doomsday is an adaption of one of my favorite stories as Dr. Doom captures the Silver Surfer and steals his power to battle the FF.

While the animation on the Fantastic Four wasn't quite as good as Spiderman or the X-men, it was still pretty good and the show really seemed to be hitting its stride when it ended after just two seasons. And of course this is vastly superior to the two earlier cartoon versions of the 60's and 70's. Herbie the robot anyone?
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was half-right, October 25, 2006
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
Marvel had to follow DC and WB's success with BATMAN, and this was the best they could do. The first season was a bit weak, mostly because the episodes were adaptations of the classic Stan Lee/Jack Kirby stories, mostly by screenwriter Ron Friedman of G.I. JOE fame. I only wish this was done in the mid 1980s, because that's where most of the dialogue belonged.

The second season was a great improvement, moreso because of a revolving door of screenwriters. Even though the stories were still adaptations of works by Lee and Kirby, the staff managed to adapt three stories from John Byrne's run, which gave it some depth. The voice acting was on point.

Although now there's an anime-esque FF series on the Cartoon Network now, I still prefer both this set and the 1967-68 Hanna-Barbera animated FF as their best outings in animation. I hope the 1960s FF and SPIDER-MAN & HIS AMAZING FRIENDS will be collected on DVD anytime soon in the near future. The same for IRON MAN, SPIDER-MAN (1980s solo and 1990s solo series), the HULK and X-MEN/X-MEN: EVOLUTION. I can't forget the SILVER SURFER series, too.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get it for the second season!, June 6, 2005
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This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
First off, be aware that the first season of this show is AWFUL! Terrible animation and lackluster action. The actors doing the voices are great though, but the cartoon is still very, very difficult to watch. HOWEVER, the second season is quite terrific! The animation and designs greatly improved, as did the use of the characters' powers, especially Invisible Woman and Mr. Fantastic. The same actors did the voices, with the exception of Human Torch, but the scripts were much better than the first season. If the first season of this series would have been as high-quality as the second season, this show probably would have lasted longer than it did. I suspect many fans gave up during the dreadful first season.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superpowered fun, July 7, 2005
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
This is the full run of the Fantastic Four cartoon from the mid nineties. It lasted two seasons, first partnered with Iron Man as part of the Marvel Action Hour, and later rotated with Iron Man and Biker Mice From Mars as part of the Marvel Action Universe. Despite lasting two season, only 26 episodes were made, and all are present here.

Things kick off with a catchy, somewhat cheesy opening theme that explains the basic story. This is a good indicator of the tone of the show. It's a very fun, boarderline cheesy show, but in a good way. It's infectious, and each 22-minute episode flies by.

The show starts its run with a flashback story of the FF's origin. This pretty much sets things up for the viewer that we're going to be seeing stories featuring an already established and veteran FF. This might also clue the viewer into a problem: knowledge of the FF is almost a prerequisite. Some elements of the stories are introduced without much explination (the FF, for example, already know who the Skrulls are, so that species' history and motives aren't much touched upon).

This show is a lot of fun to watch. It's not as deep and dark as, say, Batman: The Animated Series, but it's enjoyable none the less. It captures the adventurous tone of the comics well, and draws upon the early, carefree days of the FF for its main inspiration. What we get is a lot of high adventure and great interaction between the four superpowered friends.

The naimation isn't phenomenal, but it isn't bad, for the most part (this show was produced for syndication, after all, so it's not up to the standards of network 'toons, many of which suffer from problems of their own). There are some noticable animation glitches, particularly in the early episodes, but nothing to ruin the enjoyment of the show.

Midway through this set (when the show reached its second season), things changed. The animation style and art style were switched completely (so was the opening theme and the voice for the Human Torch). Some people would argue that it was for the better, but I find that both styles have their merit. The revamped episodes have a more "comic-booky" feel, and are a bit darker. Even the new theme is a traditional instrumental rather than a cheesy pop song. A little bit of the fun, fluffy tone of the early episodes is missing, but thankfully the character interaction and dysfunctional family tone of the show remain.

The set is light on extras, and I'm a bit puzzeled by what was included. The major extra is "Stan's Soapbox," a less-than-ten minute interview with the creator of the Fantastic Four (and most of Marvel's big name heroes), Stan Lee. It's mostly the same information Stan's given out during every interview about the FF he's given since their inception, but it's still enjoyable. The guy really does have a flare for storytelling, even if it's telling stories about how he told stories.

The only other listed "extra" is an option to have an introduction from Stan for each episode. They're short, usually 15 second intros. What's odd is this: when these episodes first airred, they had introductions from Stan Lee that preceeded them (season 1 got episode specific introductions, while season 2 got a hadnful of random, generic "Stay tune for adventure" type intros that would work for any episode). Those are not the introductions present here. What we get instead are new intros, apparently filmed at the same time as the "Soapbox" interview. The intros are neither better nor worse than what the viewer saw ten years ago, but I'm a bit stumped as to why they went through the effort of changing them (and why the historically significant intros that first ran with these episodes are not included).

Overall, this is a very enjoyable series, and a decent DVD treatment (good image and sound, but light on extras, and the menus feature some completely innappropriate generic techno music). Recommended for any fan of the FF or Marvel storytelling in general.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag of Tricks, May 19, 2007
By 
ONENEO (Buffalo, NY) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
This is one of those rare boxed sets that I had been savoring for quite some time. It turns out that I somehow managed to completely overlook this series when it was originally syndicated for broadcast television- probably on account of Batman and X-Men The Animated Series' which ran at the same time.

To clear the air, I've always had a bit of difficulty with the Fantastic Four source material, feeling that it had aged much less gracefully than some of the other comic stories that had spawned around the same time (in some cases, even earlier). I had never fully grasped why the solar radiation that bombarded the spacecraft had affected each of the crew members' DNA in such diverse means. Mutations I can understand, but the net result of the exposure had absolutely nothing in common with how it affected a person seated a mere foot away. Add to this names like Mr. Fantastic and the Fantastic-car and it doesn't take long to realize that Marvel has their hands full in this day and age with trying to represent a much more innocent era of human society to one that is far more jaded. But I digress, this is comic animation after all so let us put aside such technicalities and focus on the two-season boxed set at hand.

Regardless of how you view the team itself, the opening credits to the first season will recreate the group's origins through a cheesy pop jingle that will cause even the most diehard FF fans to question their devotion. Once the credits fade and the program begins, there is little in the way of an improvement to report. The plot execution and character development are simply terrible throughout the first two discs.

For whatever reason the animation is choppy and primitive paling even to its sister series, X-Men which began a full two years earlier. What's worse is that like Superfriends which aired a full two decades earlier, the first season of the Fantastic Four is riddled with ridiculous dialogue and cliché sound effects. Many times characters will over-explain themselves to the audience in dialog like "The impact has made me become visible. I must find a way out." Or villains will talk us through their world dominating schemes in step by step simplification. The story plots are sloppy and full of laughable situations. This isn't to suggest that it's impossible to sit through all thirteen episodes but be forewarned that the delivery here is best viewed with very low expectations.

Fortunately, discs 3 & 4 of the boxed set switch gears dramatically as the second (1995) season had gone through a complete retooling which included a new host of creative and development staff, improved animation, and even a new theme song. The animation itself was vastly improved to levels witnessed with other leading animated series' of the time. The character designs were also crafted to darker outfit motifs with more subtle voice work. The new opening credits are a vast improvement in their own right; providing a more epic feel to the whole concept. The show's writers were also wise to adapt plots right from the pages of the original Stan Lee/ Jack Kirby comics. Apparently the FF's originators knew well what worked and what didn't when laying out scenarios with their team.

The second season also does a nice job of incorporating a host of cameos in the form of both heroes and villains: Daredevil, Scarlet Spider, Ghostrider, The Hulk, and the X-Men all make appearances (just to name a few).

Sadly, however, is that this set comes to us from Buena Vista which immediately means a few nagging complaints. The first of which is that the set is basically completely devoid of features or extras. There are several-second intros read by Stan Lee himself before each episode but the effect is pretty lackluster in action. Other than that, zero, zip, zilch as far as extras are concerned. Also Buena Vista is known for its poor menu design. Fantastic Four is no exception with cobby navigation and a completely out of place sound score. Finally paying near $35 to own this set doesn't earn us immunity from Disney's promotional efforts as the set begins with some previews for other Disney films and DVDs (which thankfully can be skipped over with a well timed button press).

The episodes are presented in their original full-frame aspect ratio with no pixelation, edge enhancement, or other common transfer flaws. And like the video, the sound is crisp and clear, with the Dolby Digital 2.0 surround treatment to boot.

Overall this is a difficult series to rate. Season One earns a 2.5 score, Season Two deserves at least a 4 star rating, and the set itself, although beautifully packaged, earns a solid 3 for lack of extras and poor menu work. Since Amazon doesn't allow a score of 3.5 stars, I will round up to a 4 overall. Included on this set are the following:

Season One

The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part One

The Origin of the Fantastic Four, Part Two

Incursion of the Skrulls

Now Comes the Sub-Mariner

The Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus, Part One

The Silver Surfer & the Coming of Galactus, Part Two

Superskrull

The Mask of Doom, Part One

The Mask of Doom, Part Two

The Mask of Doom, Part Three

The Silver Surfer and the Return of Galactus

Mole Man

Behold the Negative Zone

Season Two

And a Blind Man Shall Lead Them

Inhumans Saga, Part One: And the Wind Cries Medusa

Inhumans Saga, Par Two: The Inhumans Among Us

Inhumans Saga, Part Three: Beware the Hidden Land

Worlds Within Worlds

To Battle the Living Planet

Prey of the Black Panther

When Calls Galactus

Nightmare in Green

Behold, a Distant Star

Hopelessly Impossible

The Sentry Sinister

Doomsday
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for Season 2, August 21, 2005
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This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
I don't know why many studios instist on making Animated series slapstick, as is the case with Season 1 of Fantastic Four. It's cheesy and corny, and it didn't work out. Looking to the success of X-Men, Spider-Man, and Batman (which had mature and intelligent dialog and storylines), the Studios decided to change the direction of FF as is evident in Season 2. It's mature, well-told, and the animation is superb. Season 1 is fun from a fan's point-of-view, but for non-fans, it's trite, but--as stated--the Box Set is well worth it for Season 2.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Four 1990's, September 1, 2005
By 
T. Rawls (Houston, Texas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
This set was better than I could have anticipated. With all the bad reviews I read I still had to have it. I am very satisfied with my purchase and I will be ordering again. The Fantastic Four is pretty good to watch and I am almost 40 years old and I enjoyed the 26 episodes. I bought the set only for one episode and that was "When Galactus Calls". This episode was the bomb. I remembered it as a child and I had to see it again and I still watch all of the episodes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thank goodness for season 2, September 2, 2006
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This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
Season one was beyond painful. "Just Call for four, Fantastic Four". Wow, were they paying homage to Sherward Schwarts of Brady Bunch fame for the theme song? It seems the producers of the live action movie were greatly inspired by the inspid and campy season one of the Fantastic Four. It showed in the live action film.

Season two is nothing short of brilliant with wonderful animation and terrific storytelling that captured the magic of Lee/Kirby. My favorite episodes were the Inhumans which even captured identical panels from the original comic on screen, and the series finale featuring the Silver Surfer. The price is high for what you are getting which is 26 episodes where half are almost unwatchable. WB does a much fairer pricing system.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic series (The second season,that is.), July 8, 2005
This review is from: Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series (DVD)
This bty far was one of my favorite animated series (along with superman and batman adventures)of the mid 90's.

I never really cared much for the X-men or Spiderman cartoons, but the FF was an unexepected surprise. After the the horrible poorly animated 1994 season, i was very skeptical of FF's second run. but when i saw the thing take on a few of Dr. Doom's Robots,let alone better animation and an appearance of Daredevil, from then on me and my friends were hooked every sunday morning.

the first season is insignificant, thus here's my take on the remaining DVDs;

the series has vastly improved, with cool stories that pay homage to the Stan Lee Jack Kirby era, the Music and theme fit the series very well accompanied by great voice acting. especially Dr. Doom's.

Most of the venerable second season episodes were filled with cameos courtesy of other marvel characters; Inhumans,the Incredible Hulk,Black Panther, (the first black superhero of all comicdom,.)Thor,Ghost Rider and even a glimpse of Captain America and the avengers. (see Doomsday) The sad thing is just when Marvel got it right, the FF's second season was it's last.

Doomsday was the fitting swan song of the series.

As for the DVD set, there are no extras, and the Menu has annoying Techno Music.....WTF does techno has to do with the Fantastic Four?!? Stan's soapbox/introduction of each episode was short and had a "been there,done that feel" but hey, he's the Man. What's cool is each episodes title card has an illustration of the FF from the late great Jack Kirby. the undisputed archietect of Marvel Comics!!

I will savor these disc 4 a loonnnggg time.
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Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series
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