I’ve been a fan of Speed Racer since I was a kid in the 70′s. It was the one of the few cartoons that my brother and I watched together and would often play out the characters in our own mock games. We would switch off between Speed Racer and Racer X and would take turns driving our tri-cycles like it was the Mach 5.
Needless to say, I was very excited about the new movie and tv show coming out and wanted to take my daughter to see both. We taped the new Next Generation Speed Racer tv show, which airs Friday nights on Nick Toons, and watched the first couple of episodes. Personally, I find the cartoon really enjoyable and hit the mark with the audience that it’s trying to get. My 8 year old daughter really liked the characters and stories, plus the animation is very fluid and engaging, which makes for an exciting and realistic show. The story follows the adventures of Speed Racer’s two kids and has lots of the characters from the original story, as well as the voice of the first Speed Racer, Peter Fernandez, who plays the voice of an older Spridle.
I hope this shows does well and stays on tv for a long time. I think it’s good to have shows that connect generations together and I found myself sitting at the tv with my daughter watching and enjoying it like we were two peas in a pod. It’s very rare today to have things in common that can bond parents and kids and if this show helps to bridge a generation gap then I think it will stand the test of time and maybe develop into it’ own cult classics. In addition, the tv show is officially licensed from the original creator of Speed Racer and is featured on the main Speed Racer website and their adjoining Speed Racer Official Store.
With the release of the tv show a couple of weeks ago, I was getting excited that the movie also would be as good and could delivery the excitement that Speed Racer should. I took my 8 year old on opening night and was surprised to be able to get in without any lines or problems. I had saw reviews that didn’t give a very good description of the film, but was happy to see it and generate my own opinion about it. Personally, I really liked the movie, the action, the characters, and the writing. The only draw back was that it was a little bit too long and seemed to drag on at points. My daughter was really into the movie for the first 2 hours, but feel asleep during the biggest action sequence at the end, and not even the bright colors and fast moving could keep her up. It’s not that the movie isn’t good, because I found it to be a good film and better than I expected, but it didn’t hit the mark with the right audience. If they were making it for kids, then they should have cut it down below 2 hours so that kids can stay tuned into it. Once it hit the 2 hour mark then the kids tune out and so they lose their audience during the peak of the movie, which in return doesn’t help the reviews much. However, the movie is still a good produced flick and suited for audiences in their teens and slightly higher, but knowing that they should have either adjust the movie to be a little shorter, or made it a little more adult and call it a teen flick.
Either way, I’m glad Speed Racer had been reborn and will hopefully stick around for awhile in the form of the tv show. It seems that the movie will come and go, but the tv show is certainly one to watch and can make an impact for today’s audience.