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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

If the various sites I have checked are correct, THE FANTASTIC FOUR cartoon made its debut forty years ago today:


This is one Marvel cartoon that would be in my top 5, surreal though it was at times.

I love the theme tune, there's something epic about it, perfect for the sci-fi exploits of the FF.

I was disappointed Human Torch wasn't in it, though.

There are some good examples of "brain vs brawn" in the episodes, particularly in the first one. The FF did often have to rely on brains rather than raw power.

A weird (but fun) episode saw Magneto take on the FF. I was always a fan of "cross-pollination", but Magneto here seems akin to a hoodlum rather than what he was in the comics. He takes over as leader of the FF, gets them to rob a bank, and does other bizarre stuff. (SPOILERS AHEAD) Reed beats Magneto by creating a wooden gun, although I am not entirely sure how the gun worked.

Back in the day (80s), before we were lucky enough to get complete seasons released on tape, some episodes of this were released randomly; I am pretty sure some also made it on to tapes featuring the 60s Spider-Man series, although I really can't remember.

Any fans of the show? I prefer it to its 60s predecessor and the mid-90s FF cartoon.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed this iteration of the FF very much. I used to tape record the episodes and listen to the audio at night while lying in bed. I must have listened to that series' take on "The Infant Terrible" dozens of times. 

I didn't mind Herbie and didn't miss Johnny, just so long as the Thing had someone to fight with. "Don't you wave that wet noodle finger at me..." 

"Get your stubby digit out of my viewscreen, you overgrown granite-head!" 

Ahh, good times. Good times...

Mike Road's voice is still the one I hear when I imagine Reed speaking. And Ted Cassidy playing the Thing meant that he did the voice for both Ben and the Hulk over on the Bill Bixby series. (Cassidy's is only one of the many voices used for growls and snarls on that show.) 

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Yes, Mike Road is the "Voice" for Reed. He always will be for me.

Mike Road even looked like Reed, I thought. 
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Jason Scott
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 10:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yep, he had Reed down all right. Perfect voice for him.

I prefer this to the 60es FF cartoon as well. It's also a lot better than the first season of the 90es FF animated show.

And I did so love the in episode music. It's very similar I felt to classic Trek, in backing up the drama very well indeed..
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:08pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I’m on the same page, Robbie. Love this show. Stan Lee wrote some teleplays, and Jack Kirby did storyboards. The voice casting is pretty spot-on. As noted, Mike Road gets Reed spot-on.

I also love the music. The opening title theme often comes to mind when I think of the FF.

The only real downer is the replacement of Johnny with H.E.R.B.I.E., but, hey, Frank Welker!


My favorite episode is the adaptation of FF # 5, the first Doctor Doom story.


My personal sweet spot of Marvel cartoons would be the Marvel Productions era from the late 70s and 80s. FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER-WOMAN, SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN AND HIS AMAZING FRIENDS, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the failed X-MEN pilot, etc.
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:11pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

This is pure nostalgic bliss, for me:

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:12pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I began to notice and then look for Frank Welker's name after I saw he was the voice of Uni in "Dungeons and Dragons" AND was credited in Star Trek III as "Spock Screams." 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 09 September 2018 at 11:26pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I love the fact that Walker voiced young Spock, who grew back into Nimoy’s Spock, in TSFS, and then Welker voiced Megatron, who turned into Galvatron, voiced by Nimoy (then later again by Welker) in THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

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Eric Smearman
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 3:40am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Hated that robot, much in the way that I hated Marvin & Wendy or the
Wonder Twins. I really resented Johnny not being on the show.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 3:53am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Greg Kirkman wrote:
I love the fact that Walker voiced young Spock, who grew back into Nimoy’s Spock, in TSFS, and then Welker voiced Megatron, who turned into Galvatron, voiced by Nimoy (then later again by Welker) in THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

There's a gameshow question in that post somewhere. ;-)
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Jim Muir
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 5:10am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Hi Robbie - where did you see these in the 80s?

Every time I saw the cartoon ads in Marvel comics I
wished that British tv would show them more, but other
than the classic Spider-Man, superhero cartoons were
really hard to find!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 10 September 2018 at 5:15am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I don't recall them on TV, Jim, but there were a limited number of VHS releases. 

One release had the first three episodes on; I'm pretty sure they appeared on random releases.

"Random" is the keyword. One tape I had featured the THOR episode "Enter Hercules" and the 60s SPIDER-MAN episode "Neptune's Nose Cone". Two episodes on a tape, eh? How spoilt we are now.

A lot of superhero cartoons in the 80s did tend to air in very early slots (around 7am), but I don't recall ever watching this on TV.
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Adam Schulman
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 5:14pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

I dissent. Anything good about this cartoon is negated by the presence of HERBIE and the absence of Johnny.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 September 2018 at 7:30pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I ditto Adam.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 3:20am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

You pair of philistines! ;-)
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Everyone forgets that during their first story Alicia was able to recognize Ben in human form by his voice!
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 7:38am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Everyone forgets that during their first story Alicia was able to recognize Ben in human form by his voice!
++++++

I personally prefer Ben’s voice being the same in both forms. However, it should be noted that Stan (...who also forgot!) also scripted a scene where Ben (turned back to normal by a nuclear explosion which deprived the FF of their powers during a battle with the Frightful Four) exclaimed, “I just can’t get my voice to sound like it used to!” while trying to control Reed’s Thing-replacement robot.

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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 12 September 2018 at 8:44am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

To each his own. I grew up with the Hanna-Barbera FF from 1967... that's MY favorite, voicework, animation, story treatment and all.

I didn't like what I saw of the Herbie FF. I kind of liked the 1994 FF treatment. And there were a couple features after that... maybe one was on MTV? I don't remember because they seemed to miss the point of the Fantastic Four.

As for voicework... Paul Frees or Ted Cassidy as the Thing - great! Mr. Fantastic was fine whether Gerald Mohr, Mike Road*, Beau Weaver - they all worked for me.

*But... Zandor and Mr. Fantastic both? Wow....
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I remember Ted Cassidy as Galactus in the 1960s animated FF, so that voice has stuck in my mind for the character after all these years.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

I haven't seen the Galactus episode in the 60s cartoon. I can't imagine 20 minutes (isn't that about the average length of cartoons from that era?) could have done justice to him. 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 9:38am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Robbie, for a short episode, the Galactus saga was pretty good. No, you can't fit everything into a half hour, but they did a really good job. I remember those cartoons being darned good treatments.
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 10:38am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Cassidy's is only one of the many voices used for growls and snarls on that show.

I was under the impression that it was Ted Cassidy, and that Charles Napier took over for the rest of the series after Cassidy's death. 

With pitching down and everything, I'd imagine there could have been several others involved. 
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Brian Rhodes
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 10:48am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I love the fact that Walker voiced young Spock, who grew back into Nimoy’s Spock, in TSFS, and then Welker voiced Megatron, who turned into Galvatron, voiced by Nimoy (then later again by Welker) in THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE.

YES!

Welker's done a lot of animal voices, too. But it was Peter "Prime" Cullen who did the roaring and growling of King Kong in the 1976 film. 



Edited by Brian Rhodes on 13 September 2018 at 10:49am
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 8:31pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Brian, I've heard a few different names tossed around, but none come immediately to mind other than the two you've mentioned. I think I read somewhere that Richard Kiel's snarls and growls are in the mix as well, but I may be mis-remembering that. Looking back, I shouldn't have said "one of the many" and simply left it at "one of the." 

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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 13 September 2018 at 8:40pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Richard Kiel was originally cast to play the Hulk, but was replaced by Lou Ferrigno.

The only names I’ve heard in regards to the Hulk’s voice are Cassidy and Napier.


And Peter Cullen (uncredited) also voiced the Predator in the original film.
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