Judge Paul Corupe's pet monkey often tags along on epic journeys to the grocery store.
Our reviews of Speed Racer (published September 16th, 2008), Speed Racer: Volume 4 (published April 13th, 2006), Speed Racer (Blu-Ray) (published September 24th, 2008), Speed Racer: Limited Collector's Edition, Volume Two (published July 29th, 2004), and Speed Racer: Limited Edition (published October 28th, 2003) are also available.
He's busy revving up the powerful Mach 5!
With thousands upon thousands of competitors, it's amazing that even after 30 years, Speed Racer remains one of the most fondly remembered cartoons of all time. This innovative, early Japanamation hit that chronicled the adventures of a young teenage boy and his souped-up supercar, seems to have gotten stuck in neutral in the memories of all who have seen it, thanks to its outlandish stories, off-kilter dubbing, and fiery, crash-filled races. Patient fans have waited over three years (!) for all 52 episodes to finally hit DVD, and Speed Racer: Volume Five represents the show's final digital hurrah, as fans across the country can finally wave the checkered flag on their collection.
In the cult classic series, world-class driver Speed Racer is the proud owner of the Mach Five, a technologically advanced automobile built by his genius mechanic father, Pops Racer. Speed and his girlfriend (and navigator) Trixie travel to exotic locales with his marvelous racing machine, where he routinely matches skills with competitors like Snake Oiler, Zoomer Slick, and the not-so-mysterious Racer X. When not handily winning the latest Grand Prix, Speed spends his downtime thwarting the nefarious schemes of incredible villains and mobsters intent on exploiting the International Racing Circuit for their own evil gain. Helping Speed both on and off the track are his friend and mechanic Sparky, as well as his little brother Spritle, and Spritle's pet monkey Chim Chim, who often stow away in the Mach Five's trunk to join in the wacky fun.
Picking up where Speed Racer: Volume Four left off, Speed Racer: Volume Five features the motor-revvin' series' final eight episodes:
• The Great Car Wrestling Match
• Motorcycle Apaches
• Car with a Brain
• Junk Car Grand Prix
• The Car in the Sky
• The Trick Race
• Race Around the World (Part 1)
• Race Around the World (Part 2)
As with Speed Racer Volume 4, there are only eight episodes here rather than the 11 or 12 found on earlier volumes—a move that has allowed Lionsgate to stretch the series to a needless five volumes—not cool, especially where your wallet is concerned. Also, the latest gimmicky giveaway designed to distract attention from the fact that there aren't any substantial supplements on the disc is a miniature Speed Racer license plate, one of the least impressive giveaways yet, topped only by Volume 3's oddly chosen, round tin packaging. Other than that, you can expect Lionsgate's usual passable presentation: tinny mono sound and source-artifact littered frames. It's pretty much on par with other '60s animation classics, so I won't give Speed a hard time on the technical details.
It's about time, Lionsgate—seriously. As much as it's a relief to finally have all of Speed's vehicular adventures available, next time just release a box set like everybody else, okay?
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Scales of Justice
• Mach Five Mini License Plate
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