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Speed Racer (Widescreen Edition)

4.2 out of 5 stars 477 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Speed Racer (DVD) (WS)

The Wachowski Brothers bring a classic anime to the big screen: Matthew Fox, John Goodman, Christina Ricci and Susan Sarandon star with Emile Hirsch as Speed Racer! Fearlessly hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition in his thundering Mach 5, Speed Racer was born to race cars. But when Speed turns down a lucrative offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner but uncovers a terrible secret--some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls! The only way for Speed to save his family's business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie, Speed teams with his one-time rival the mysterious Racer X to win the race that took his brother, Rex Racer's, life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible


Special Features

Spritle in the Big Leagues Speed Racer: Super Charged! Online Digital Copy

Product Details

  • Actors: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon
  • Directors: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2008
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (477 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CD6FKI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,744 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Speed Racer (Widescreen Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can understand why some people might dislike this movie (just look at its box-office) but the one undeniable fact is that it perfectly captures the spirit of the TV show which was never really associated with profound human feelings. It's amazing how everyone involved in it simply decided to give it their all. Just look at the conviction with which Susan Sarandon and John Goodman recited lines that clearly feel out of a cartoon. Usually I hate movies with quick cuts and gratuitous CG effects and SPEED RACER is 135 minutes of quick cuts and CG so I guess nostalgia goes a long way. I was so glad they included the sound effect of the Mach 5 jumping over and over again. My only real complaint about the movie is that there was a little bit too much of the chimp for my taste.
I can't blame anyone for complaining on leaving the theater with a headache. The world outside the theater I saw SPEED RACER in looked so slow once the movie ended, this is one exhausting film but certainly worth it.
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Recently it seems like cartoon and comic books are about the only thing that gets made into blockbuster movies. While Transformers made the robots look like real living hulks of metal in the real world, and there's just no telling what the proposed Robotech movie will look like if it ever actually comes out, Speed Racer takes what is becoming the rather unpopular method of visual style. If you've seen Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow, you're familiar with it. Everything has a computer-adjusted color look to it, a super-crisp, super-sharp look reminiscent of the stop-motion films of yesteryear. And like those films that made the 80's so much fun for fantasy and sci-fi fans, Speed Racer features fantastic landscapes like nothing else on Earth (only now they are computer-generated instead of hand-painted).

The story of Speed Racer the movie actually exactly the same as the old cartoon show of the 1960's. Speed Racer (yeah, that's actually his name) is an aspiring race car driver looking to become the best and win races, with Pop's company supplying the car and mechanic, and his mom, little brother Spritle, girlfriend Trixie and family pet chimp for support. Corporate thugs notice and try to either destroy, bankrupt, or otherwise make trouble for Racer Motors, and Speed teams up with Racer X (who may or may not be his presumed dead brother Rex), Inspector Detector, and a few friends he meets along the way, to bring down the bad guys and save the day. Yeah, nothing too complex story-wise, but hey, that's why you loved the cartoon show, right?

Everything a Cartoon Should Be

When I first heard there was going to be a Speed Racer movie by the makers of the Matrix, I was worried. Animated features and video games don't really have a good history as feature films.
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"When I watch you do some of the things you do," says Susan Sarandon in the Wachowski Brothers' "Speed Racer," "you take my breath away." This line pretty much sums up how I felt about the movie. "Speed Racer" is an absolute visual masterpiece, retooling the look of anime into an exciting, hyper-realized world of vibrant creativity. Every shot is like a cartoon brought to life, the neutral shades of the real world replaced with bold shades of red, blue, green, yellow, purple, and orange. It doesn't present us with a vision of the future so much as it presents an alternate reality, where racing tracks and cars defy gravity. Here's a film you have to see more than once for the imagery alone, because chances are you'll miss more than a few details along the way--every square inch of the screen is packed with visual delights almost all throughout. It isn't often you come across a movie this stunning, this lively, and this fun.

Based on the 1960s cartoon series created by Tatsuo Yoshida, "Speed Racer" puts it foot on the gas as soon as the Warner Bros. logo appears, interweaving the title character's back story with a heart-pounding race. Even as a young boy, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) has known nothing other than automobile racing; now as a professional racer himself, Speed is haunted by the death of his big brother, Rex (Scott Porter), a racing superstar who crashed eight years ago on a cross-country rally. The public believed that corporate sponsorship changed Rex into a money-grubbing backstabber, forcing him to turn his back on racing altogether. Naturally, Speed and his family are now completely against sponsorships of any kind, especially his father, appropriately named Pops (John Goodman). For this family, it's about racing, not money.
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10 Comments 66 of 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Note to reader: Strange vote totals, yes? It's just the work of a cyber stalker--

Wow, what a start to our summer adventures!!

"Speed Racer" the movie and "Go Speed Racer Go," the single title song by Ali Dee and the Deekompressors, had us hip hopping out the theater door, down the sidewalk, and into the car, then jumping and spinning along, singing "Go Speed Racer Go." They (the Pretend Children) were singing to me, the great aunt, because I was whirling and jolting in my Pretend Mach 8 Ford Escape down the freeway home. Hey, I was down for that movie.

Watching the spinning images, neon lighted, anime-inspired, digitally produced, toons-like panels with insertion of real people in the mix was a visual feast and imminent barf all in one. Dizzying. Spiraling. Flipping. Neon lights (more). Crashing. Just to suggest the mental images of the race scenes. During a couple of close-up montages of the cars before digitizing began, I glimpsed real-time, real-life tiny model cars (my great-nephew has a huge collection). And in some of the martial arts fight-stop-go scenes, especially one with John Goodman, I was slooshed with a moment of a set-up of Goodman just standing there ready to squash the ninja before digitized action thrust him into zoom speed action.

(Actually, if I had never digitally filmed my own video, I might not have recognized those scenes, but I have and I did. Did it take away from the movie? No way. Actually, I felt privy to a second of movie making magic.
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Speed Racer BD, why no HD sound?
I've read that Warner Home Video wanted to keep the Speed Racer BR to a single-layer disc, so they cheaped out on HD sound to maximize the picture quality. The movie was already shot in HD, and that's why the transfer is near-flawless if not completely so.

Some users at Blu-ray's official forum... Read More
Nov 17, 2008 by K. Tibbetts |  See all 3 posts
digital copy?
Warner Bros has updated their website so that you can redeem Speed Racer digital copy with iTunes. All you have to do is go this website: http://digitalcopy.warnerbros.com/support/speedracer_form.aspx

Unfortunately this will void your download for Windows media player...but iTunes is better... Read More
Oct 17, 2008 by D. Thomas |  See all 8 posts
Sprittle or Jar Jar Binks:Most annoying movie sidekick?
Jar Jar hands down. Spritle & Chim Chim were like the animation counterparts so can't really complain. Jar Jar absolutely ruined the film along with Jake Lloyd. Phantom Menace and and the other 2 films could have been so much better...
Sep 20, 2008 by Rom Ro |  See all 11 posts
will it play on a region 2 (european) blu ray?
The Speed Racer Blu-ray is region-free, according to the site:


It has region information for many other releases as well.
Sep 17, 2008 by K. Tibbetts |  See all 3 posts
Yes - also French and Portuguese.
Jan 6, 2010 by K. Tibbetts |  See all 2 posts
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