Cast: Diedrich Bader, Nicole Parker, Billy West (VOICES)
Release Date: April 24, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 6/10
Inspired by the classic series, these 10 adventures are jam-packed with fast, furious fun! Featuring a talented voice cast that includes Diedrich Bader, Nicole Parker, Peter Woodward, Billy West and Tom Kenny, your favorite racers like Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect, the diabolical Dick Dastardly and his snickering side-kick Mutley are here – alongside new-comers Patty Pending, Princess Mimi and Captain Crankshaft and his Skeleton Crew. Race around the world with this wacky bunch, where the laps and the laughs don’t end ‘til the finish line!
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Five decades after Hanna-Barbera introduced the world to the goofiest pack of animated racers around, the ‘Wacky Races’ are finally back with an amusing new set of adventures featuring some of your favorite classic characters such as the demented Dick Dastardly and his wheezy side-kick Mutley, along with Penelope Pitstop, Peter Perfect and more including some newcomers as they trek across the globe competing in one over the top match after another in their continued quest to each be the wackiest racer around. Naturally, constant mishaps, comedic disasters and everything else imaginable to further complicate and interfere with the competition finds them along the way with hilarious results. So get ready, start your engines and join up with these wacky racers for plenty of goofy, high-speed animated fun in these ten amusing episodes!
The new, rebooted ‘Wacky Races’ animated series arrives home on DVD collecting the first ten episodes. Originally released (at least here in the states) exclusively on the Boomerang App, fans that aren’t interested in subscribing to another paid subscription service but have been itching to check out this twist on the classic cartoon series now have another way to go about doing so. Once again embracing the same 11-12 minute episode runtime as the original classic, this new reboot (or reinvention if you will) also brings back some classic characters such as Dick Dastardly and Mutley, Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop and the like, but one can’t help but be somewhat disappointed to discover that more than half of the original competitors including Professor Pat Pending and so many others are entirely absent from the show and in many instances replaced with far from notable newcomers (not to mention simply including less characters altogether this time). The lack of actual racing (does anybody in fact win an actual vehicle race?) and larger focus on the goofy mishaps and troubling situations our contestants repeatedly find themselves in at random locations across the globe tends to be the primary theme for this revamped toon. This new take on the ‘Wacky Races’ does have its charms though and provides no shortage of enjoyable and often fairly funny moments and as a whole still comes together into a pretty solid new series that fans of the classic show and newcomers should both at least appreciate to some degree, although I would urge diehard fans of the classic to try diving in with their expectations in check.
Overall, fans of this new take on Hanna-Barbera’s famous animated series and the households with kids that will surely want to be repeatedly revisiting the episodes will both want to consider picking up a copy of Warner’s ‘Wacky Races: Start Your Engines! – Season 1, Volume 1’ DVD release at some point (or look into purchasing it on Digital HD if preferred) when the price is right for you. This new DVD release offers quite gorgeous standard definition video presentations and decent enough stereo soundtracks on all ten included episodes, adding up to nearly two hours of goofy animated fun that fans can relive at any time they might desire. While the release unfortunately doesn’t offer any bonus content and some may be hesitant to cough up the funds for only ten animated shorts, I’m sure plenty of others will find it worthwhile for the reasonable price of the release.
The DVD release of ‘Wacky Races: Start Your Engines! – Season 1, Volume 1’ features a 16×9 friendly video presentation on all 10 included episodes, each utilizing the 1.78:1 aspect ratio in which they were originally broadcast/released. The video presentations look pretty great for the limitations of DVD and deliver fairly sharp, detailed and brightly colored presentations on every episode. They hold up impressively even during fast movement and darkly lit moments, with no real visible problems aside from some occasional mild video noise and banding. Overall, these are solid standard definition video presentations that should please the fans that still embrace the DVD format or at least don’t overly mind it.
The DVD release unfortunately includes a 192 kbps 2.0 channel stereo Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 10 of the included episodes which is admittedly a tad disappointing as the rear cover the DVD case lists 5.1 presentations. Nonetheless, these stereo soundtracks prove quite competent and capably balance the dialogue, music and other audio effects while always making sure that no audio elements overtake one another and cause anything to become distorted or negatively affected at any point throughout. Overall, these Dolby Digital stereo soundtracks deliver in every way required of them and sound pretty decent, even if being somewhat of a disappoint compared to the expected 5.1 soundtracks specified on the cover.
The DVD release of ‘Wacky Races: Start Your Engines! – Season 1, Volume 1’ doesn’t include any extras whatsoever.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the DVD and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this DVD release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 6/10
‘Wacky Races: Start Your Engines! – Season 1 Volume 1’ is Now Available to Own on DVD & Digital from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.