Fantastic Four is an animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and the first animated series based on the Marvel comic book series Fantastic Four. The series, featuring character designs by Alex Toth, aired on ABC from 1967 to 1968. Reruns then continued to air on ABC until 1970. The series ran for one season containing 20 episodes. It was also rerun as part of the continuing series Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure.
Through a series of transactions, Disney currently holds the rights to the majority of Marvel's 1960s-1990s animated output. However, the 1967-1968 Fantastic Four was produced by Hanna-Barbera, whose library is now owned by Time Warner, making the series one of only a handful of Marvel-related TV projects not owned by Disney (which has since acquired Marvel outright). Time Warner is also the owner of Marvel's biggest competitor, DC Comics, as well as the owner of New Line Cinema, which produced a movie trilogy based on another Marvel superhero, Blade.
Based on the popular Marvel comic book characters, The Fantastic Four were a group of scientists who were accidentally struck by cosmic rays during the launching of a test rocket ship. When their experimental ship passed through cosmic radiation too strong for its shields to withstand, the four—scientist and rocket designer Reed Richards, his wife Sue, ace pilot and lovable lunkhead Ben Grimm, and Sue's hotshot younger brother Johnny Storm—were all bombarded with cosmic rays. Crash landing on earth, the four discovered that the radiation had left each of them with a strange, new power.
Reed, soon to be called Mr. Fantastic, became a pliable mass, with limbs that could stretch to seemingly endless limits. Sue gained the power of invisibility, and was thus named the Invisible Girl. Ben became The Thing, an incredibly strong, orange granite behemoth who constantly grumbled about his new lumpy appearance. Johnny gained the ability to "Flame on," encasing his body in fire and giving him the power of flight. The impetuous youth's new powers earned him the nom de superhero The Human Torch.
Flying into action aboard the Richards-designed U-Car, the Fantastic Four battled such evil luminaries as the Mole Man, the alien Skrulls, and the despotic Doctor Doom. The Fantastic Four ran for one original season and one season of repeats before bowing out in 1970. Later in the decade, The New Fantastic Four hit the airwaves, with The Human Torch replaced by wisecracking robot H.E.R.B.I.E. The new show lasted only one season, but the original foursome returned with new episodes fifteen years later as part of Iron Man.
- Gerald Mohr - Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards
- Jo Ann Pflug - Invisible Girl/Susan Storm Richards
- Jac Flounders - Human Torch/Johnny Storm
- Paul Frees - The Thing/Benjamin J. Grimm, Uatu the Watcher, Additional Voices
- Joseph Sirola - Doctor Doom
- Tol Avery - Warlord, Morrat
- Ted Cassidy - Galactus
- Henry Corden - Attuma, Molecule Man
- Regis Cordic - Diablo
- Jack DeLeon - Mole Man
- Frank Gerstle - Blastaar
- Don Messick - Kurrgo, Skrull Emperor
- Marvin Miller - Super-Skrull, King Toth
- Vic Perrin - Red Ghost, Silver Surfer, Professor Gamma/The Demon
- Mike Road - Namor/Prince Triton, Rama-Tut
- Hal Smith - Judge, Klaw, Otto Von Lenz
- Ginny Tyler - Henel
- Janet Waldo - Lady Dorma, Princess Perla
- Directed By William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Charles Nichols.
- Produced By William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, Lewis A. Marshall.
- Animated By George Nicholas, Allen Wilzbach, Bob Bemiller, Oliver E. Callahan, Larry Silverman, Bill Keil, Mike Webster, Ken Southworth, Ed Parks.
- Written By Phil Hahn, Jack Hanrahan, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby.
- Main Article: List of Fantastic Four episodes
20 episodes of Fantastic Four were aired from September 9, 1967 to January 27, 1968 on ABC. The episodes followed closely to comic story lines.
- Fantastic Four episodes appeared on Hanna-Barbera's World of Super Adventure which premiered on NBC in September of 1980.
- Fantastic Four episodes appeared on the Cartoon Network block Super Adventures in 1992.