Customer Reviews: Fantastic Four - World's Greatest Heroes, Volume 1
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VINE VOICEon March 2, 2007
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 what I'm talking about. This series is a fresh reinvention of the superheroes we know and love and personally I enjoyed it. The animation is certainly above average for a cartoon; it's not exactly Pixar, but it's far superior to the more traditional 90's series with that horrible theme song. The look is a uniquely modern mix of eastern and western styles that 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. But 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 while he is imprisoned. 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, aren't you that Iron Man guy?". Reed/Doom 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. As with all Marvel animated series, this one's got it's share of guest stars including Ant Man and the Hulk (note to self: don't make fun of his momma) so three cheers for that, too. 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). Are all of these episodes I mentioned on this disc? I don't know yet, but I'm gonna guess no, so I'll tell you to give this disc a rental. If you like what you see, you can catch the series Saturday afternoons on Cartoon Network this summer and then you should wait for a full season set to come out before you buy. That is, assuming Marvel will release this season in a boxed set as every other normal company would. But with Marvel series', you never really know.

[edit: The entire first season of this show is available now and highly recommended so don't waste your money on these one-discers.]
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on April 15, 2007
I have no idea why some reviewers here hate this cartoon so much. I have been an FF fan for about 20 years, and this is the bext FF cartoon ever made. It's funny, action-packed, and the animation is crisp and enjoyable. While the character of Human Torch is rather annoying and self-centered, the other three heroes are fun to watch. Invisible Woman is actually shown to be powerful, finally, just like in the comics! Just check out the episode where she pretty much single-handedly defeats Mole man and his monsters -- great stuff with imaginative uses of her powers! And Thing is reallly likeable in this cartoon, instead of just being a depressing, moping strong guy. Also, making Mr. Fantastic funny was a great idea. He's pretty goofy, but in a good way. And, for once, his powers seem cool.

The only thing I am not crazy about is how the series is being released one disk at a time rather than the whole season at once. Still, it's a great cartoon and is definitely worth owning. I am looking forward to the next two disks!!!
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on March 28, 2007
-I think they did a good job with this one. Sure its not the classics some of us grew up with but they're trying to attract new blood with their veiw on the world. They managed to put some great stories down. "Puny Rock-man made fun of Hulks MaMa!" My only problem was they fooled me into thinking this was a whole season. If I had known more I would have waited for the box set. I guess thats what i get for not having cable.
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on April 13, 2012
This was actually a very good cartoon. However, I recommend that you skip this release (which contains just four episides), and buy the whole season, which is now available.

Prices on Amazon do fluctuate over time, but as of the time of writing the full season version is 2.2 times the price of this product, and contains 6.5 times as many episodes. You figure it out.

Oh, and just in case anyone's still looking for a review of the actual show, I've copy and pasted below the review I wrote for the full season.




"Light Hearted With A Light Touch"

5 Stars

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.

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on March 31, 2007
Being an 'old school' Marvel comics fan, I was quite pleased with this new look, new style of the FF. Everything was top notch and I will definitely buy the next volumes.
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on December 27, 2006
I personally really like this show but i think that its stupid for marvel or whoever to release it. Didnt they learn thier lesson with X-men Evolution which on its 3rd season release finally got a complete season set. Do your self a favor and wait a while who nows this show might follow the same path as the Batman. Which started off as 3 episode releases but then got season sets. if after a couple months Fantastic Four is still on 3-4 episode releases then get this dvd. but most likely or not you'll be able to rent this while you wait.
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on March 27, 2007
OK, I saw a few months back that this was going to be released. I thought to myself, the character design looks cool, I can hope for the best in the story and overall look of the show. From the first 5 minutes. I knew I was gonna like this new version of Fantastic Four. It brought back memories of the CGI animated SPIDERMAN that was on MTV. I like this version much more then the 94-95 animated series.

I loved the look of that show and I REALLY like the look of this new show. I personally embrace new looks and forms of animation. The mix of 2d & 3d animations looks amazing. I'm not a fan of anime, but I like the anime character design with an american animated style.

I know the fantastic four purist don't like this NEW version. But I love it, I just wish it was a full season not and chopped up into a four episode DVD. with two more volumes to come. Sorry that it didn't find and audience, if I had know about it I sure would have watched it on cartoon network.

Two BIG THUMBS up for me!
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on July 3, 2007
The content on the DVD was great...It would have been nice to see a few special features and/or language/subtitles options included. Kudos to the marketing and creative team that developed this DVD. I was under the impression that more episodes would be included on the DVD (all episodes of season 1). Volume 1 is a rather vague term, and you don't realize what you're getting until you tear open the packaging and look inside. If there was more information regarding the contents of this DVD, I would have waited until every episode was available in one package. Clever, clever, marketing guys.
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on June 9, 2007
I am a comic book fan and have been my entire life, and I really like alternate comic reality stories such as marvel's What if? or DC's Elsworlds and to me this is where this rendition falls into. It is cool to see another version of the characters, but they are not the F.F.I Know. The animation is good with a little animae feel to it, but the episodes were too short and the theme song wasn't catchy-cool to me. They should have tied the episodes together into a full length feature. Like I said, I didn't hate it
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on June 28, 2007
I was not a Fantastic Four fan until Marvel released the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics. I think they are more interesting when written for an older audience. These cartoons are fun but are for kids.
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