Wacky Races Returns, Less Perfect (and Less Dastardly)

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

Wacky Races S1 V1

Every once in a while, the Ghosts of Saturday Mornings Past rears its sentimental head (and that's two Christmas Carol references in the same day for those keeping count; no there's no real reason behind it), and reminds me just how much better things were when they were not so over-produced.

Today's case in point: The Wacky Races. The original Hanna-Barbera series had a motley cast of characters who were more than two-dimensional players. They had depth to them, and some even had their own series, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Having such a large cast afforded the opportunity for more (and more interesting) interactions, even if each racing team had its one-note to hit (Peter Perfect was always "perfect," the Gruesome Twosome were always monstrous, the Slag Brothers were always clubbing each other on the head).

Carried Away. The cast of the new Wacky Races: Dick Dastardly, Tiny and Bella Gruesome, Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect.

With the modern version of Wacky Races, the characters are rendered in a more three-dimensional style, but are more two-dimensional than ever. The cast is more of a close-knit team who go camping together to try to be less competitive. They visit other time periods without explanation just to have a differently-themed reason to race each other. About the only interesting change is the introduction of Penelope's evil-twin Pandora.

I introduced my son to this new set of Wacky Races. He's ten, so he's probably too old for it now, but he had about the same disinterest in the shows as I had. I may have to go get the original series and try him with that.

3.0 / 5.0