Speed Racer

Speed Racer "Go, Speed Racer, go!"

Speed Racer, along with Mighty Atom, was one of the first Japanese animated shows to become popular with American children, and is very fondly remembered by adults who grew up when it was in wide syndication around the U.S.

Speed Racer was an Americanized version of a popular Japanese comic book and cartoon, Mach Go Go Go, which centered around the race- track adventures of young Speed Racer (named Go Mifune in the original) and his companions, girlfriend Trixie, little brother Spitle, and pet monkey Chim-Chim, as well as his clever arch-nemesis, Racer X. Speed Racer's car - one of the most beloved automobiles in popular culture - is the Mach 5, which is tricked out with all sorts of gadgets a la James Bond (supposedly Goldfinger was one of the inspirations for the show). Speed Racer's life isn't that different from James Bond's, in that he travels all over the world to compete in races, and gets into all sorts of adventures. Trixie, however, never gave him more than a sisterly kiss.

The series premiered in the U.S. in 1967, to almost instant acceptance by American kids. Although the plots of individual episodes were often complex, the show followed a fairly rigid formula, with storylines taking place in two segments. What adults mainly remember today is how the voices never quite matched up to the characters' mouth movements, sometimes squeezing a generous amount of exposition into available slots.

Here are the lyrics to Speed Racer's theme song:

Here he comes
Here comes Speed Racer
He's a demon on wheels
He's a demon and he's gonna be chasin' after someone.

He's gainin' on you so you better look alive.
He's busy revvin' up a powerful Mach 5.

And when the odds are against him
And there's dangerous work to do
You bet your life Speed Racer
Will see it through.

Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer, Go!

He's off and flyin' as he guns the car around the track
He's jammin' down the pedal like he's never comin' back
Adventure's waitin' just ahead.

Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer
Go Speed Racer, Go!

Episodes: (many have two parts)
The Great Plan
Challenge Masked Racer
The Secret Engine
Race Vs. Mammoth Car
Most Dangerous Race
Race For Revenge
Desperate Desert Race
The Fire Race
Girl Daredevil
Fastest Car On Earth
Mach 5 Vs. Mach 5
The Royal Racer
The Car Heater
Race Against Time
The Snack Track
Man on the Lam
Gang of Assassins
Race For Life
Supersonic Car
Cash in Jungle
Terrifying Gambler
Secret Invaders
Man Behind the Mask
Car Destroyer
Desperate Racer
Dangerous Witness
Race/Laser Tank
Great Car Wrestling
Motorcycle Apaches
Car With A Brain
Junk Car Grand Prix
Car in the Sky
The Trick Race
Race Around the World