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Speed Racer (Collector's Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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(Apr 22, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The world's favorite high-octane animated hero is back! Roaring into action aboard his trusty Mach-5, it's the intrepid young race car driver who sparked an international cult phenomenon: the one and only SPEED RACER! Now, for the first time ever, the first 11 episodes of this classic hugely popular "Japanimation" series are brought together in this special limited edition DVD. Turbo-charged with all of Speed Racer's trademark animated thrills, offbeat humor, unforgettable characters and cliff-hanger racing action, these collectible, specially remastered episodes are the stuff of every fan's dreams. So fasten your seatbelts - and join Speed, girlfriend Trixie, Speed's two brothers, one mischievous monkey, and an outrageous assortment of villains for one fast-lane, no-brakes, nonstop adventure after another! Ready...Set...Go, Speed Racer, Go!

One of the first "Japanimation" series to air in the U.S., Speed Racer (Mach Go Go Go) debuted in syndication in September 1967. Eighteen-year-old Speed Racer wants to become a race car driver, but his father, automotive engineer "Pops" Racer, "blows a gasket" at the idea. Pops, who designed the amazing Mach 5, relents when Speed demonstrates his extraordinary driving skills. He embarks on a series of fantastic adventures that pit him and his friends against Skull Duggery, Snake Oiler, Mr. Wiley, and the Alpha Gang. With their wide chins, large mouths, and small eyes, the Speed Racer characters reflect the influence of contemporary Hanna-Barbara series, rather than the indigenous style the Japanese animation industry would later develop. Members of Gen-X who grew up watching the original show will enjoy this "collector's edition" that offers the first 11 episodes, a theme song sing-along, a villains' gallery, and an interactive demonstration of controls of the Mach 5. (Unrated: suitable for ages 6 and older: mild cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon

Special Features

  • The first 11 episodes: The Great Plan parts 1 & 2, Challenge of the Masked Racer parts 1 & 2, The Secret Engine parts 1 & 2, The Race Against the Mammoth Car 1 & 2, The Most Dangerous Race parts 1-3
  • Digitally mastered
  • Limited-edition "rubber tire" packaging
  • Info about Tatsunoko Productions
  • U.S. translation notes
  • Theme song info and lyrics
  • Biographies of U.S. voice cast
  • Interactive Mach 5
  • Villains gallery
  • Clip from The New Adventures of Speed Racer (1993)
  • Merchandise gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Katsuji Mori, Peter Fernandez, Corinne Orr, Jack Grimes, Jack Curtis
  • Writers: Peter Fernandez, Tatsuo Yoshida
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Collector's Edition, Color, Full Screen, Limited Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Family Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008IHAV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,491 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Speed Racer (Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
So, you waited MANY years to finally get the original Speed Racer show on DVD! (I know I did!) Well, you may be disappointed with this release. (I know I was!) Why was I so upset? Well, read on:
First and foremost, this is NOT the same version of Speed Racer we grew up with! Both the opening credits sequence and the closing credits sequence have been re-done. Gone are the original "Trans-Lux" credit and the exciting swirling white animated "Speed Racer" logo. Now, the opening boasts cheesy yellow & red titles that were obviously created by computer. The lousy graphics were then placed over a re-edited opening sequence that uses the original Japanese version as its base (You can see the swirling red Japanese title in the middle of the wheel). This is where the computer-generated credits are used (with jarring, ham-fisted edits!). The closing credits also feature computer-created graphics that are superimposed over out-of-focus background animation. The closing theme also appears to have been re-recorded...
Look, I know you shouldn't base your purchase solely on the fact the opening and closing credits were changed, so let's look at the episodes themselves:
The colors are very good, as it does look like the producers of this DVD went back to the original Japanese masters. The problem is that the producers decided to pack *5 hours* of material onto *one* single-sided DVD! The episodes have been compressed too much! The bit rate fluctuates from only 2.1Mbps to about 4.5Mbps. (Compare this to the 6.9Mbps to 10.0Mbps bit rate of Rhino's "Battle of the Planets" DVDs.) The Speed Racer episodes suffer from quite a bit of digital artifacting. My disc's video also freezes from time to time.
Maybe the producers of this think they are being generous by including 11 episodes.
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Format: DVD
Well, well, it's about time! The BEST Japanese anime show of its time, and loved by every one of us who watched it religiously while growing up, "Speed Racer" FINALLY comes to DVD with the first 11 episodes!! If done right and in order, as various websites say, this is what the disks should include:
1. The Great Plan pt. 1
2. The Great Plan pt. 2
3. Challenge of the Masked Racer pt. 1
4. Challenge of the Masked Racer pt. 2
5. The Secret Engine pt. 1
6. The Secret Engine pt. 2
7. The Race Against the Mammoth Car pt. 1
8. The Race Against the Mammoth Car pt. 2
9. The Most Dangerous Race pt. 1
10. The Most Dangerous Race pt. 2
11. The Most Dangerous Race pt. 3
"Mach V vs. Mach V" is one of my very favorites, but this is a great start, and will buy every DVD "Speed Racer" set that comes out. What a great addition to the collection of anyone who likes anime, nostalgic tv, and the dangerous adventures of Speed, Racer X, Pops, Trixie, Sparky, and of course Spritle and Chim Chim. Some sites say there are 55 episodes total, from what I have checked there are 52, but either way can't wait to own them all!
Trivia: Do you know what the "M" on Speed's helmet and the "G" on his shirt were for? I never did, until recently, but here's the DL: in the original Japanese version of the cartoon, titled "Mach Go Go," Speed's name is Go Mifune - so the "G" stands for Go (his first name), the "M" on the helmet for Mifune (his last name). Finally, THAT riddle from childhood solved!
GET THIS SET! Unless they really mess up the transfer, this is the best DVD animation news in years!
Go Speed Racer, Go!!
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Format: DVD
I've loved Speed Racer since I was a little kid. When Ted Turner's first television station, WTBS, Channel 13, started up in Georgia in the mid-70s, he had all the great old shows, The Munsters, The Brady Bunch, Get Smart, The Addams Family, I Dream of Jeannie, The Partridge Family....all part of his afternoon lineup. Speed Racer came on at 3 PM, Monday thru Friday. Every weekday for years I'd get out of school at 2:30, the bus would take me home, I'd rush into the house and turn on the TV just in time for the theme song. I never got tired of it.

(Just an interesting point of trivia - I think - in a book on Speed Racer I read the results of a survey where Speed fans were asked what they considered the single most important reason Speed Racer is so popular. The #1 answer: the theme song.)

I've seen some TV shows I loved as a kid, years later when they were released on video, and wondered how I ever could have enjoyed them. Being three years old is no excuse. The prime example being 8th Man. But I watch Speed Racer today, and while I'm well aware that, because of my history with the show, the fact it was such an important of my life while growing up, I love it perhaps more than can really be justified by what's there....some episodes still DO it for me. And that's pretty darn cool.

What in America we call Speed Racer actually began in the Sixties in Japan as a manga (comic book) called Maha Go Go Go. In America you'll usually see this partially translated as Mach Go Go Go so that's the terminology I'll use from here on. Grand prix auto racing was very popular in Japan at the time, almost a national obsession.
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