Speed Racer

TV review by
Brian Camp, Common Sense Media
Speed Racer TV Poster Image
Fast, sleek and explosive classic TV series.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Several fistfights, some car crashes and burnings. Speed's father is quite rough with him in two scenes. Implied death of a character. In one episode, a car-hating father roughly shoves his daughter to the ground and whips Speed Racer and a race track official.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Speed Racer is a 1960s Japanese cartoon series that gained popularity in the United States when MTV picked it up in the 1990s. While there's a profusion of explosions and action, it's very cartoonish and garnished with a sleek retro look.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byLovinMyGift June 9, 2011

Cautions for young ones, but lots of positive msgs, enjoyment fluff.

My daughter is almost 3 and loves this! I still think it would have been better to wait until she was a bit older to introduce her to Speed, but now she's... Continue reading
Parent of a 3 and 5-year-old Written bymarceladns March 4, 2011

Cheesy but harmless

My son is obsessed, scratch that, possesed by things that have wheels. Speed racer was love at first sight. And while my daughter enjoys it too, she often gets... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylewistig51 January 14, 2021

Excellent classic!

This is a great way for kids to revisit what their grandparents watched as kids! Some violence, fast and sleek, positive role models, andadventure makes it that... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWhatanexitright... December 27, 2020

Great intense classic!

Very original racing cartoon for all to enjoy

What's the story?

The beginning of this SPEED RACER tells an exciting, if simply animated, adventure story. Here, our hero Speed races to win prize money for a new car, while fending off villains trying to steal plans for the car. By the end of the series, after going up against a number of villainous characters, dangerously tricked-out cars, and shady schemes -- while sticking to his good-guy image -- Speed is a seasoned driver ready for the title of best racer in the world.

Is it any good?

This hit 1960s Japanese cartoon has a sleek look and an emphasis on car crashes and other explosions that kids will love almost as much as die-hard anime fans. The beginning of Speed Racer is more awkwardly animated and less streamlined than later episodes, but there are still plenty of fast-paced thrills. As the series progresses, fans will find more psychological themes and drama mixed with the action and suspense.

The best in this series is Episode 21, "The Fastest Car on Earth," where Speed falls under the spell of a powerful new racing engine. The series' usual emphasis on action and movement is heightened by some very dramatic visual effects and a fully orchestrated, suspenseful music score.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of Speed Racer. Why do you think it became popular in the U.S., and so long after it came out in Japan? What do you think about Speed's good-guy image? Is he such a good character if there are always explosions and dangerous situations all around him? Does he ever solve something with violence that could have been solved another way?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoons

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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