By KJ Dell Antonia,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Ever wonder: What if Scooby-Doo was a dune buggy?
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The bad guys (who are fairly stereotypical cartoon villains, often with indeterminate foreign accents) are always caught and punished. The main female character is a racetrack expert, but she's also not always taken very seriously; other female characters can be manipulative.
Violence & Scariness
Some minor cartoon violence, usually against cars -- laser beams that cause mild crashes, etc.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a classic cartoon that originally aired in the '70s, which means that villains are foreign, girls are manipulative, and slackers are hippies with beards. Still, it's not too bad -- the team girl is also the racetrack expert and usually the brave one (although she's not taken very seriously by the token studly boy team leader), and the provenance of the villain is usually indeterminate ... just think of that as a slight "evil" accent.
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What's the Story?
SPEED BUGGY, for example, milks the Scooby-Doo formula, cutting the Scooby gang of four down to three by blending the characteristics of both Daphne and Velma into Debbie (voiced by Arlene Golonka), who gets to be both cute and smart. Meanwhile, Fred and Shaggy become Mark (Mel Blanc), the talking wonder race car. Speedy and his gang solve racetrack mysteries and tie up the bad guys within the requisite half hour.
Is It Any Good?
It's never explained why Speedy looks like a dune buggy while all of the other cars he races against look like real race cars -- a fact that may strain the show's credibility for some kids. The violence is mild -- chasing, bumping into things, tying people up -- but even these mystery scenarios may be a bit scary to kids raised strictly on Noggin-style fare. Speed Buggy airs on Boomerang, which means there aren't any commercials except for other Cartoon Network programming.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what makes this cartoon series different from more recent ones. What's changed and what hasn't? Are the characters similar or different? How about the storylines and the villains? How is this show like Scooby-Doo? Are there other shows it's also similar to?
- Premiere date: September 8, 1973
- Cast: Arlene Golonka, Mel Blanc, Michael Bell
- Network: Boomerang
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Friendship
- TV rating: TV-Y
- Last updated: February 28, 2022
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