The New Fantastic Four was an animated series produced by DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, and featured the talents of both of The Fantastic Four's creators - Stan Lee (as one of the series' writers) and Jack Kirby (as a storyboard artist), as well as the comics writer Roy Thomas behind the series.
The series is famous for not including the Human Torch/Johnny Storm character from the comics and replacing him with the original character of Herbie the robot (who would later appear in the original comics). This was done due to the fact that the character of the Human Torch was optioned for a live-action version at around the same time, and not, as some people have mentioned, due to network concerns that children would set themselves on fire to emulate him. This myth was the storyline for Fantastic Four #855 "Hero". Where a fan of the Human Torch died by lighting himself on fire.
Unfortunately, although this series was produced in 1978, the extremely limited quality of the animation makes it technically inferior to the previous (and more authentic to the original comics) Hanna-Barbera Fantastic Four cartoon of 1967.
The Opening Narration: It was the world's strangest accident. While testing a new rocket ship, our heroes were bombarded by mysterious cosmic rays from outer space. Though they crash-landed safely, the strange and powerful rays had changed each one of them. Transforming their leader, Reed Richards, into the plastic-skinned Mr. Fantastic; Sue Richards into the "now you see her, now you don't" Invisible Girl; and Ben Grimm into a mighty-muscled powerhouse called The Thing. Now together with H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot, the newest member of the group, they have become the greatest team of superheroes the world has ever known. The NEW Fantastic Four!
The question of why the Human Torch was not included in this show was brought up in F.F#209 "Trapped in the Sargasso of Space". When he was asked why he wasnt in the show, the Torch said that he was "out of town the day the contracts had to signed". The replie to this was "The F.F cartoon show controversy revealed at last"!moreless