Parents' Guide to

Speed Racer

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Action-packed kids' film fun, with a few sputters.

Movie PG 2008 129 minutes
Speed Racer Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 14 parent reviews

age 9+

In my opinion very underrated movie and I think everyone should give it at least a try.

Watched this show as a kid, don't really remember how old I was, maybe around 10 or 11, it was pretty good, yeah I remember not understanding some scenes so well, and there was quite a bit of violence, but it really really depends on the kid, but I think kids at age 10 (4 grade+) or so should be fine watching it. And now let's talk about my experience watching it as an adult, and oh boy that a movie this is. The story it self they are telling maybe is not the best, but what is amazing is how they manage to tell it. So many good dialogues and monologues and especially scenes where no words are needed we manage to understand what is happening just by visuals (This is a really good point in my opinion if kids want to watch the show, of course there are scenes and maybe monologues that may or may not be a bit difficult to understand for kids, but it should not damage overall enjoyment of the movie for kid in my opinion.), really liked how they portrayed the bond of the family. Of course in my opinion the best aspect of the movie are as I mentioned a little bit, visuals. The fact that they put us in this unrealistic and futuristic universe, but still manages to make viewer feel like we are were in a live action movies in my opinion is amazing and as I said one of the best aspects of the movie.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
age 14+

Pretty Intense

I saw this movie when it first came out, I was 8, I couldn't watch it all the way through because I was terrified, to this day I still recall scenes from it that I find upsetting. Since it is a kids movie and I was a kid when I saw it I thought maybe I overreacted, maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought it was? I'm re-watching it now and I'm genuinely shocked that it's rated PG. There is a strong implication of a man being eaten alive by piranhas as well as a good deal of very over dramatic gun violence and a man being beat up. I am 18 now and it's bad but there is no question about why I found it so traumatizing when I was younger.

This title has:

Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (14):
Kids say (27):

It's not entirely clear why the Wachowski sisters, the CGI geniuses behind the Matrix trilogy, didn't make this nto an animated feature. It ertainly feels like it wants to be one. In the best sense, it has that hyperbolic feel of a Road Runner cartoon, all whiz-bang and excitement (though, that said, the first act is pretty slow). The race scenes look as if they're taking place inside a flashing pinball machine -- all the more appealing for young fans. But parents shouldn't worry: Except for a few salty words and some painful fight scenes, it's squeaky clean. Perhaps a little too squeaky clean, in fact, for Matrix fans looking for an edge. There isn't one (only the Mach 5's turns are sharp).

Speed Racer also suffers from some of the pitfalls of many animated adventures -- it's light on storytelling (the underlying theme about sports being too beholden to large corporations barely gets out of the gate) and burdened with earnest, snoozy dialogue. The actors have so little to do -- clearly, emphasis was placed on the special effects -- that the movie almost doesn't need its big-name stars. And the mightily stylized look goes into overdrive, potentially leaving older audiences with a migraine. Some may find themselves longing for a good, old-fashioned race, one that takes place on a real track, to give them some non-computer-generated excitement.

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