Wacky Races

TV review by
Deirdre Sheppard, Common Sense Media
Wacky Races TV Poster Image
Wild, wacky, witty cartoon -- a retro classic!

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

All of the characters are competitive, and Dastardly and Muttley cheat all the time (but never win). Penelope Pitstop is a strong female character.

Violence & Scariness

Bullets and explosives, but no bloodshed.

Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this classic Hanna-Barbera hit is still entertaining for all ages. Although mild violence and innuendo pop up occasionally, overall this series doesn't raise too many eyebrows.

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What's the story?

THE WACKY RACES features an oddball collection of 11 race car drivers hoping to seize the title of the world's wackiest racer. No matter where these folks are competing (and it could be anywhere in America), the rules are as lax as can be. But that doesn't stop villains Dick Dastardly and Muttley (who later got their own spin off) from finding ways to cheat, although ultimately their efforts are unsuccessful in the end. The show features an impressive list of voice actors, including Daws Butler, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, Dave Willock, and Paul Winchell.

Is it any good?

Penelope Pitstop (who also got her own spin off) and her car, The Compact Pussycat, steal the show. Instead of resorting to destructive weapons to get ahead, Penelope will coyly spray hair products to temporarily blind Dastardly and his canine sidekick. Although not always innocent, Penelope sets the example that women can be both feminine and independent.

Meanwhile, Dastardly and Muttley set up violent explosives to slow down the other drivers, although there's never any bloodshed. And all of the characters are pretty cutthroat and will do anything it takes to get to the finish line, so parents should be sure to explain what constitutes healthy competition. But on the other hand, the villains are the only ones who bend the rules, and they finish last every time, helping cement the message that cheaters never win.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about competition. How can competition increase self-esteem? How can competition be rewarding without winning? Do the characters in this show take a healthy approach to competition?

TV details

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