Fantastic Four - World's Greatest Heroes, Volume 1 (2006)

Actors: Alvin Sanders
AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio:
Number of discs:
Run Time:
87 minutes



Your enjoyment of this 2006 animated retooling of the Fantastic Four broadcast on the Cartoon Network will most likely depend on how big a fanboy you are of the original comics.

If you thought the recent Fantastic Four big screen movies were far too juvenile for their own good, then you'd probably think the same of this latest animated reincarnation of the Marvel comic book heroes. (Incidentally this is the fourth television show to feature the Fantastic Four. The others were in 1967, 1978 and 1994.)

This Fantastic Four is aimed squarely at children. If you're seeking a more adult approach to the characters then you'd be better off checking out some of the recent graphic novels, particularly the Ultimate Fantastic Four books. The plot-lines here are basic and the Human Torch is portrayed as an overgrown dumb teenager.

Also, some aspects of the retooling will probably irk long-time fans: the new costume designs, a 4 symbol that for some idiotic reason is simply painted onto The Thing's chest (did graffiti artists get to him while he was sleeping in the subway one night?) and the character designs which owe more to anime conventions than the Stan Lee / Jack Kirby comic books of yesteryear.

On the plus side the animation isn't too bad, even though it takes one a while to get used to. The more simplistic yet direct approach used by Warners Animation in TV shows such as Legion of Superheroes and Superman Doomsday might have served it better though. At times the animation seems too busy for its own good. Kids shouldn't mind though.

THE DISCS: This single disc set contains four episodes, namely Doomed, Hard Knocks (featuring The Hulk), World's Tiniest Heroes (with Ant Man) and De-Mole-ition. There are no special features.

WORTH IT? If the mediocre big screen Fantastic Four movies have lowered your fanboy expectations, then you might just enjoy this new offering. It took us a while to get used to the new approach and voice talents, but found ourselves enjoying the show more than would be socially acceptable for any comic geek to admit to. The Hulk episode is particularly worth checking out. A pity that it is being released on single DVDs instead of a complete series box set though.

RECOMMENDATION: Your kids will love you for buying this for them. In some ways it is even better than the disappointing live action movies.



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