Fantastic Four



Predictable superhero tales riddled with violence.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The lone female among the four heroes is strong and altruistic, but her strength and determination often come across as bossiness that's mocked by the guys. One character often makes light of life-and-death situations by cracking jokes. The four rely on teamwork and respect each other's abilities, and repercussions of recklessness and poor decision making are demonstrated.

Violence & scariness

Frequent cartoon violence includes punches, kicks, laser blasts, hurling fireballs, and falling from great heights. Robotic characters are often incinerated. None of the violence results in lasting injury to humans. Occasionally there's talk of "terminating" an enemy.

Sexy stuff

Female characters sport breast-enhancing, cleavage-baring outfits.


Occasional use of words like "stupid" and "dumb."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series is brimming with fantasy violence -- including hand-to-hand battles, laser shooting, and objects getting ignited -- even if the heroes never suffer lasting injuries as a result. Although one of the four main characters is very smart, his intelligence is dismissed by the others, and the team relies on fighting to solve problems. Scary alien and robotic enemies and concepts like vaporizing and abducting other characters rule this one out for the youngest viewers. The show makes an attempt to teach about impulsiveness and accepting responsibility for poor judgment, but the good messages are lost amid the flashy violence.

What's the story?

FANTASTIC FOUR follows the superheroic efforts of four friends and family members to rid the world of evil. When scientist Richard Reed flew his inadequately shielded space ship through cosmic rays, he had no idea of the lasting effects that were in store for him and his wife, brother-in-law, and friend. In no time, the four developed extraordinary abilities, adopted new names, and took it upon themselves to protect Earth from enemies of all kinds. Richard's new abilities allow him to stretch to great lengths, so he dubs himself Mr. Fantastic (voiced by Hiro Kanagawa). His wife, Susan Storm -- The Invisible Woman (Lara Gilchrist) -- can disappear and create protective shields around her friends. Her brother, Johnny, is known as The Human Torch (Christopher Jacot) and uses his body to generate flames that propel him into the air. But it's Richard's buddy, Ben Grimm, who suffers the most noticeable changes from the accident, which leaves him massive, muscular, and covered with the rough, orange skin that inspires his alias -- The Thing (Brian Dobson).

Is it any good?


Fantastic Four -- which is based on comic book characters originally introduced in the 1960s by Marvel -- follows the well-cut groove of most superhero cartoons: There's a rotating cast of enemies, the good guys always win, and although the teammates' personality differences often lead to bickering, viewers get (repetitive) lessons in teamwork and responsibility.

The show's relatively high level of violence puts it on the older end of the superhero spectrum. Parents may want to preview a few episodes before deciding whether their kids are ready for the violence, frightening characters, and sometimes-questionable behavior that make Fantastic Four an iffy choice for the littlest viewers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about being part of a team. What traits are important in teammates? How does a team work to get stronger as a whole? How can every member contribute his or her individual talents? How do the Fantastic Four combine their abilities to be a strong team?

TV details

Cast:Christopher Jacot, Hiro Kanagawa, Lara Gilchrist
Network:Cartoon Network
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes, Adventures
TV rating:TV-Y7-FV
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bymkalv February 5, 2009

Not too good!

This series is the worst marvel cartoon ever!
Kid, 5 years old November 16, 2011

Good in moderation

My son is five watches the Fantastic Four series. While it does have cartoon violence, and there is some unpleasant rivalry between two of the characters, I find it generally inoffensive and less violent that most cartoons.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old January 31, 2011

Great show!

It should never have been canceled in the US. It's not too violent, the lines aren't cheesy, and the artwork is amazing!


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