Speedy Gonzales has never been one of my favourite Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies characters, but he doesn’t deserve this:
¡Andale! ¡Andale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!
Speedy Gonzales is taking his folk hero status, incredible speed and signature red kerchief to the big screen, courtesy of New Line. “Garfield” scribes Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen will adapt the classic animated Looney Tunes character into a live-action/CG hybrid feature, with George Lopez attached to voice Speedy.
It’s kind of amusing that we’ve gone in only a decade from Speedy being de facto banned from TV (Cartoon Network took his cartoons off for a while before putting them back on again, and when I was a kid, ABC removed most Speedy cartoons from their “Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show” package) to being popular again. But that’s about all I can say for it. Think of what the Garfield movies were like, and remember that they got no less a personage than Bill Murray to replace the original voice actor. Now think about the same kind of thing, except with George Lopez instead of Bill Murray. Then, as they say, know fear.
Oh, well, I hope at least they give him a decent antagonist this time around. One problem I had with the cartoons is that, starting with his Oscar-winning “pilot” cartoon from 1955 (a rougher, tougher version of Speedy had debuted in 1953, created by Bob McKimson, but Friz Freleng took him and revamped him for a potential series), he was usually pitted against Sylvester. This has been one of the keys to his popularity in Mexico, since the cartoons usually have Speedy beating the crap out of a “gringo pussycat.” But in comedy terms, I prefer the cartoons where he’s going up against some other villain who’s a little less pathetic than Sylvester. And if the cartoon focuses more on Speedy’s pals than Speedy himself, all the better.