Wacky Races: The Complete Series

DVD Reviews | Mar 4th, 2005

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Starring Daws Butler, Don Messick, John Stephenson, Janet Waldo, Dave Willock, Paul Winchell
Written By: Larz Bourne, Tom Dagenais, Michael Maltese, Dalton Sandifer
Directed By: Joseph Barbera, William Hanna, Charles A. Nichols
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com

I remember watching this show as a kid, but for some reason I can’t remember anything more than Dick Dastardly and Muttley.

Wacky Races was a slapstick silly cartoon in the same vein as Tom and Jerry, but just a bunch of wacky characters racing. There was a bunch of different characters like Peter Perfect, Luke and Blubber Bear, Ant Hill Mob, Penelope Pitstop, Professor Pending, and of course Dick Dastardly and his hehehe-ing sidekick Muttley. Each episode, Dastardly and Muttley would cheat their way to the front, but usually their plans would back fire into their faces. Each car and character driving the vehicle had their own special gadgets. Dastardly’s vehicle had a bunch of tricks and sneaky things in trying to divert the people from winning. The Professor’s vehicle changed into practically anything. I liked the car, forget the characters driving it, that had the dragon in it. Those guys were cool. The Captain cavemen looking dudes were funny too!

The complete series is 34 episodes, which is a lot! No more commercials so a lot of the episodes are really short. I think the episodes were okay, kind of boring sometimes. I really hate the narrator. His voice puts me to sleep. Shut up and let me watch the episode. Your “insightful” commentary isn’t making this race any more exciting mr narrator! I’m not sure I watched this cartoon or the spinoffs when I was a kid. I remember Stop the Pigeon, and the annoying yet catchy theme song. STOP THE PIGEON, STOP THE PIGEON! Why are stopping the pigeon? I think my favorite spinoff was Laff-A Lympics with Muttley. I’m not sure if Dastardly was in that show though. I really wish they would put that on DVD. I can never seem to catch it when it’s on Boomerang. That’s probably one of my favorite Hanna Barbera cartoons.

This Hanna Barbera era featured some of the greatest voice over actors ever! Just do a search on IMDB.com of all the voices these actors did and you’ll be amazed how much stuff they are in. Paul Winchell, who was the voice of Dastardly, was also the voice of Gargamel from the Smurfs, and of course, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Janet Waldo was also the voice of Judy Jetson. Daws Butler did an onslaught of voices, his most popular voices was Barney Rumble from the Flintstones and Yogi Bear. One can’t forget Don Messick, the voice of Scooby Doo and plenty of other characters like Ricochet Rabbit, Atom Ant, Boo Boo Bear, Bamm Bamm, Papa Smuf and bunch more! Quite a resume of great actors right there kids!

The extras consist of a retrospective look back at the series, some commentaries, a look at the spinoffs and some other things. The Rearview Mirror feature was pretty good. A lot of people were interviewed about Wacky Races, some involved with it, and some not. Janet Waldo, (voice of Penelope Pitstop, Judy Jetson) was in the feature and it’s great that she’s in every DVD that she was associated with. Everyone who was interviewed has their favorite character and memory from the show. In my opinion, that was the best extra in the set. There’s a 10 minute featurette on the spinoffs that occurred after Wacky Races. There was “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop” and “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines.” I remember “Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines” but not Penelope Pitstop. Though seeing the villain again in the feature, does bring back a memory or two, so perhaps I did see this aired on Cartoon Network. Who knows.

Wacky Races is an okay cartoon, with a few worthwhile characters like Dastardly and Muttley. The voice-over acting is incredible, the quality of the episodes are decent but nothing spectacular. I prefer Laff-A-Lympics to this show, but fans of Wacky Races will enjoy this set. Though any Hanna Barbera fan or DVD collector will want this for their collection.

– Rearview Mirror: A Look Back At Wacky Races chronicles the history of the series
– Commentary on 4 key episodes by Hanna-Barbera Veterans
– Seen-Saw to Arkansas and Creepy Trip to Lemon Twist On-screen pop-up Factoids
– Spinout Spinoffs looks at the Spinoff Series Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
SPANISH: Dolby Digital Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Stereo CC

Standard 1.33:1 Color


Favorite Scenes: Why of why Wyoming, Real Gone Ape, Wrong Lumber Race
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 408 minutes
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