Well, in case you've been under a pile of moist rocks, the Wachowski Brother-fueled Speed Racer hit theaters next week. Personally, I'm giddy about it. The 9th can't get here fast enough for me. I really hope it doesn't blow...
The original Speed Racer is one of my all-time favorite cartoons. Watching reruns of it is one of my earliest tv memories. Speed Racer, Battle of the Planets, Looney Tunes and Yogi Bear are the first cartoons I can remember. As a kid, I watched and re-watched Speed everyday until it went out of syndication. Years later, during junior high, came and NOW comic books and the mail order vhs tapes, which rekindled my interest. Soon, Speed Racer was popping up on Mtv and later Cartoon Network and the Speed Channel. Speed showed up in spots on ESPN, Volkswagen and Geico commercials too. Now the entire series is on dvd and a live action film is days away. Awesome.
Speed Racer started out in Japan as a comic series called "Mach Go-Go-Go". The character and look was inspired by Elvis during the racer at the end of "Viva Las Vegas" and the Mach 5 came from James Bond's gadget-filled Aston Martin. The comic quickly made the leap to animated series and was immediately snatched up by American syndicator Trans-Lux. The redubbed show was now called Speed Racer.
Tivia: Speed's name in Japan is "GO", hence the "G" on his shirt. "Go" is also the Japanese word for the number 5, the number of the car. Clever, clever.
And Lucky Charms has Speed Racer Turbo Cars packaged inside marked boxes. These are plastic pull-n-go toy cars. A little smaller than a Hot Wheels car and come packaged with a sheet of decals to decorate the cars.