Speed Racer: Season 1 DVD Review

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April 22, 2003



Speed Racer: Limited Collector's Edition DVD
By: Matt C. on April 18, 2003

For the first time ever, the entire first season of Speed Racer is coming out on DVD from Artisan Family Home Entertainment next week, and we recently took the new limited collector's edition DVD for a test drive.

Speed Racer was first introduced in 1966, so I wasn't alive when the show originally aired on TV. I remember viewing a few clips of the show when I was younger, but that's about it. Needless to say, I am a Speed Racer newbie, and as a result I was initially turned off by the dated animations. However, halfway through the first episode, I truly started enjoying the show. In fact, I watched all 11 episodes and now I am very fond of the series. The characters are very likable and the storyline is simple yet satisfying. Hopefully Artisan will release season #2 on DVD in the near future.

But enough about my opinions on Speed Racer -- what does this Limited Edition DVD offer for people who are already fans of this international classic? First off, the actual package has real tire rubber on it. Not only does it look cool, but it also ensures that the case doesn't fall off your coffee table since it grips onto any surface you place it on. Seriously though, the Speed Racer: Limited Collector's Edition DVD is digitally mastered and it is presented in full screen format with Dolby monaural audio.

As mentioned before, the first 11 episodes are included (52 total episodes were produced) and finding the episode you want to view is super easy. In addition, extra features are available, such as production notes, interactive Mach 5 (Speed's trademark racing car) control demonstrations, a gallery of the shows' villains (with clips of each villain in action), and a theme song sing along mode. In the production notes section, you can learn interesting facts about the Japan to U.S. translation process, the American theme song, the English cast, and more.

And finally, there is a section entitled "Speed Lives On," which gives brief information on Speed Racer sequels/spin offs and Speed merchandise that has been released over the years. I only wish that there were more extra features, such as cast interviews or an interactive Speed Racer quiz section so fans can test his or her knowledge about the series.

All in all, this is an excellent package for Speed Racer fans and collectors. If you enjoy old-school cartoons, you may want to check this DVD out as well. The Speed Racer: Limited Collector's Edition DVD will be available on Tuesday, April 22, 2003 for a SRP of $22.98, although some stores will offer it for about $16-20.

Movie Score: A-
Extra Features: B

Speed Racer DVD Screenshot Speed Racer DVD Screenshot 2 Speed Racer DVD Screenshot 3

Episode Index:
Episode 1: The Great Plan (part 1)
Episode 2: The Great Plan (part 2)
Episode 3: Challenge of the Masked Racer (part 1)
Episode 4: Challenge of the Masked Racer (part 2)
Episode 5: The Secret Engine (part 1)
Episode 6: The Secret Engine (part 2)
Episode 7: The Race Against the Mammoth Car (Part 1)
Episode 8: The Race Against the Mammoth Car (Part 2)
Episode 9: The Most Dangerous Race (Part 1)
Episode 10: The Most Dangerous Race (Part 2)
Episode 11: The Most Dangerous Race (Part 3)

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