Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Culture: Speed Racer, what next - Gigantor?

The earliest cartoons I remember are from the sixties: Kimba was my favourite, but before that was Speed Racer and my earliest favourite, Gigantor.

Interestingly, I don't have clear early memories of the American ones, such as Hanna-Barbera and Warners. The former had a string of cartoons, the earliest of which I saw would have been Huckleberry Hound. Warners didn't really figure until the later Roadrunner, with a smattering of Bugs and Daffy before.

The production dates of these cartoons may not have been relevant: in New Zealand, I have a feeling they were rather like a bad day at a train station (running late, and out of timetable order). All seen in black and white only.

Those I particularly liked or remembered - mentioned up top - were all Japanese (although I didn't have a clue at the time). Maybe the American ones were too homogeneous: mostly anthropomorphic animals. Those Japanese cartoons were somewhat crude, but stylistically distinctive. But I'm not sure what appealed to my young mind. Plot? Characters? Unusual situations?

So Speed Racer has been revived for the big screen (following Kimba's conversion to the Lion King). Nothing like the original, of course, which makes me wonder what was there of intrinsic merit that compelled the plundering. Maybe no specific spark is needed, bar the producers' childhoods. Hanna-Barbera's been up too, via Jetsons and Flintstones.

Nothing so far has impelled me to see the big screen versions. Gigantor was my earliest favourite... let's see.


Me. said...

Speed Racer was ABSOLUTELY delightful. If you're a true fan - maybe you should check it out, rather then making negative implications without having the facts?

I'm a die-hard; saw it on opening night and have seen it three more times since. I tell you true: its everything that we recall from our childhood and more.
Stop being a ill informed cynic - check it out for yourself.

Also - Look around at the comments on the net; plenty of crusty, hater critics booing the W. Brothers for this remarkable work of vision. Question That.

Then ---- read what most of the viewers are saying. People are walking out of the theaters smiling again. ^ ^
Its fun in the best kind of way.

If your heart is still young enough inside to remember what it was like, watching the show and scooting around on the floor with our little Hot Wheels cars ~ then, I promise you; this will take you back. And forward at the same time!!

Its wonderful. Just THAT good.
Hey -- From one 30+ racer to another. ;P

Please give it a chance - I think you're going to find something special, and I hope you'll come back here and tell us all about your experience !

Best Regards.


S Simmonds said...

I don't know what Warners will bring to the party... but I do know this film was made by the Wachowski brothers. I have a lot of respect for them, since they did the Matrix films (although they also did V For Vendetta, which was somewhat less groundbreaking).

It's the old Thomas Wolfe thing: you can never go home.

Home is not just where you came from, but it's also a time - and a different maturity than one has now.