If it wasn’t for Speed Racer I may have become a dancer instead of a DJ. When I was 6 years old I quit taking ballet lessons because I was upset that they caused me to miss watching Speed Racer. And now I dance like Elaine from Seinfeld. Go figure.
I couldn’t wait for the big screen version to come out, especially after I saw the awesome movie trailer. We even have the Speed Racer DVD – my son Sam loves to watch it, so the movie preview today was a family affair and an early birthday present for him (he turns 3 next weekend). It isn’t in theaters until May 9.
We absolutely loved it! I’m pretty sure everyone in the theatre did judging by the loud applause and laughter throughout the film. The folks behind The Matrix did the fx for Speed Racer – and holy cow, this movie makes The Matrix fx seem prehistoric. Seriously. For those of us who love(d) the cartoon version, the movie version of Speed Racer takes every cartoon element to a much higher level. They managed to squeeze in every detail – from the stunningly similar physical appearances of all of the characters to the way cool races.
The race scenes, which were the bulk of the movie, were truly spectacular. I can’t wait to get the DVD just to see the extra features describing how they did the animation – it was jaw-droppingly good. You should see it on the big screen, though, because the sound and visuals will blow you away. The very first scene, when Speed Racer was a boy daydreaming in school, managed to hook me right away and then I just kept getting reeled in with each subsequent mind bending animation.
Something to keep in mind if you are a parent and want to bring your kids (it’s rated PG): there are a few naughty words beginning with the letters “a” and “s” thrown around plus a finger gesture you may not want your little ones to experience (luckily it all seemed to have gone right over my toddler’s head). And of course there are some mean character situations involving guns and flesh eating fish, but frankly no more disturbing than what’s in cartoons. And don’t bolt right when the movie ends because there’s quite an entertaining Chim-Chim montage during the ending credits.
This new Speed Racer movie is a jam-packed adrenaline-pumping explosion of entertainment – make sure you experience it on the big screen!
On a side note, a few years ago I met Peter Fernandez, the original Speed Racer cartoon voice, at the Chicago Auto Show. He told me that he voiced all the male characters and his wife voiced Trixie. He also told me that he was sent each episode with no script – only the animation, done in Japan – and he just made up the stories himself!
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