Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal attempts to make sense of the spectacular box office failure of Speed Racer, which raced to becoming a bona fide flop both in the US and overseas. He writes:
“[C]haos isn’t a surefire selling tool, not even when the target audience is sensation-hungry kids…Kids need inoculation against media-generated chaos. That’s not to suggest seeking out entertainment that preaches, peddles homilies, hustles uplift or shies away from the darker areas of human experience that inform some of our most cherished fairy tales (or, for that matter, one of my most cherished films, Carol Reed’s “Oliver!”). It’s more than enough when movies enhance a sense of wonder (and, as a byproduct, a capacity for concentration); when they delight and surprise (as Pixar productions do so dependably); when they open up the world through the window of thrilling fiction.”
Director and animator Will Finn also shares some worthwhile filmmaking insights on his blog about why Speed Racer was so poorly received by audiences.