Thursday, December 18, 2003
"C'mon, Speed Racer, C'mon!" 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
"Considering the age of this transfer, it looks quite good. The print is marred by the expected scratches/dust/debris that come with a 35 year old master, but the digitally remastered video looks good. Due to the source, the colors are muted and far from vibrant - but any sensible person cannot expect this show to look as good as Ice Age or Monsters Inc."
Has anyone out there heard any scuttlebutt on more Speed? Will there be a release of Episodes 12-up? I know Artisan spent a good amount on the limited edition rubber-tyre DVD jackets, and I think sales of the first disc were fairly strong.

I'm actually really looking forward to Episodes 12 and 13, "Race for Revenge" - I saw it once as a child on TV, and it's stuck in my memory as a creepy, dark and sci-fi-ish tale of a robotic racecar, the Mallenge (named after Napoleon's horse) X3, that forces other cars off the road to their doom - and calls out in a Kraftwerk-like mechanical voice, "the Mallenge still races..." Oooh...it sure scared the heck out of my 5-year old self. I could barely stand to look at the shots of the steel-gray robotic driver - I was so freaked out - but in retrospect the robot looked pretty much like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz. In any case, I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for an old VHS out-of-print copy on eBay when someone's got their fingers on the original masters. I am holding out.

Actually, the quote above is from Upcomingdiscs.com's review of the April 2003 release of the first season of Speed Racer on DVD by Artisan Family Home Entertainment. The Artisan story is a bit complicated, because on December 16th they purchased and merged with financially troubled Lion's Gate Films. A websearch for "Artisan" and "Speed Racer" is bit elusive - and no word anywhere on a possible date for the next release in the series.

Artisan unfortunately doesn't provide a contact number, name or address anywhere on their site - at least that I could find, and in their defense, they may be restructuring. But that's still a personal peeve of mine: commercial websites that don't provide readers with a means to ask a question or contact someone at the organization. I don't need the company president's home address; but they could at least set up a generic e-mail drop like "info@blahblah.com," and have an office lackey clear out the spam once a week and forward legitimate requests for information. Is that too much to ask?

Maybe they could hire the old "Mallenge X3" robot to do it.