Episode #6: World's Tiniest Heroes
Original Airdate: October 21st, 2006

One of Reed’s experiments goes awry, causing the Fantastic Four to begin shrinking… and they’re not stopping. Within hours, the FF will shrink out of existence, unless Reed can reverse the effect. But at miniature size, even a trip to the lab becomes a challenge, even more so when HERBIE’s security systems recognize the action figure sized FF as an infestation of rodents and begins to hunt them down! Even with a helping hand from the Astonishing Ant-Man, the FF are in for a giant-sized challenge.

Story By Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Written by Joshua Fine
Directed by Franck Miohel
Music by Noam Kaniel
Animation By Sunmin/ The Animation Studio/ Fantasta

Mr. Fantastic - Hiro Kanagawa
Invisible Woman - Lara Gilchrist
The Thing - Brian Dobson
Human Torch - Christopher Jacot

Stu - Fantastic Four goes for the full on comedy route again this week, as Ant Man guest stars and Reed learns that having a brilliant security system is nothing short of a pain in the ass when it doesn’t work properly.

I wouldn’t rank this as highly as My Neighbour Was A Skrull but there’s not that many jokes presented by the shrinking story than weird, unintelligent aliens and to be fair to the episode, the episodes, the shrinking episodes were done finely, my favourite being Ben making the world’s biggest sandwich and his squeaky “It’s clobbering time!” I don’t care who you are – a grown man with a high pitched, squeaky voice is always comical. Especially when alcohol and helium are involved!

The series really does have handle on these characters – they’ve nailed them to a T. Given how horribly out of character the mainstream Fantastic Four comics currently are and how Ultimate Fantastic Four has been nothing short of tedious since Mark Millar’s departure it’s nice to be able to see an entertaining version of The Fantastic Four on TV every week. The show is still finding it’s footing on the action front, but it’s got the dialogue, pacing, characters, visuals and tone down perfectly. Kudos to the talented folk behind it, most previous adaptations show that it’s very, very easy to screw up the FF and thus far, we’ve yet to even have a bad episode. Hell, they’ve even made a likeable version of H.E.R.B.I.E!

I must admit, I wasn’t too impressed with Ant Man. I admit to being a Marvel geek but I’ve never really understood why so many people like him so much (I’m not much of an Avengers fan, Ultimates all the way for me!). The design looked rather generic and there wasn’t really much to him as he didn’t appear until late in the game but to be honest there isn’t a hell of a lot you can do with a guy whose main power is to talk to bugs. His remaining shrinking power was also made redundant as everyone else in the episode was small too.

In short, not bad, but nowhere near as good as Hard Knocks or The Skrulls episode. Next up Mole Man!

Arsenal - The body switch. The hero on trial. It was only a matter of time before Fantastic Four did the shrinking hero cliche.

This show would be perceived as so much better if people were not expecting action. If people only wanted comedy, Fantastic Four would be a fan favorite.

Fire Hound, Alicia Masters's interaction with Herbie and Pym & Reed's dork-off competition are all funny.

"Does Reed have another computer I can talk to?"

"...or the Canine Torch I haven't decided."

"This is going to be the biggest sandwich ever."

C'mon, it's funny stuff.

The action, however, is less satisfying. It was iffy--mediocrely animated and sometimes hard to follow. We know Moonscop can do great action (the Hulk feature), but what Fantastic Four is doing well consistently is the humor.

One gripe: what a waste of Hank Pym. Hulk was used excellently and almost overshadowed the Four. Pym just took up space and had an unimpressive character design.

Final assessment: Fantastic Four is wonderful at what it does well (scripts, comedy); and it is stagnating on what it does not do as well (animation, action).


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