Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday Morning 1967- The Fantastic Four
In 1967, Marvel Comics licensed most of its comic book superheroes to animation company Grantray Lawrence Productions. Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, The Sub-Mariner, Thor, Even Spider-Man (the animated version of which debuted the same day as the Fantastic Four). But for some reason, Marvel licensed one of their hottest properties to Hanna Barbera- the Fantastic Four. As far as I'm concerned, it was a brilliant move.
The Hanna-Barbera FF were redesigned for TV animation by Alex Toth, who somehow manged to simplify the Thing's lumpy, rocky hide and still make him look like the Thing. The scripts were lively and pretty dead-on, many of them adaptations of FF stories from the comics. There are a few oddities -like an episode where the Fantastic Four travel to Atlantis and deal with a "King Triton". Triton looks suspiciously like Namor, The Sub-Mariner, who was licensed to a different animation company.
Sadly, although this still airs on Cartoon Network and Boomerang occasionally, this series has yet to come to DVD.