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‘Wacky Races Forever’ unaired pilot

Here’s an unaired pilot from a few years back for an update to Hanna Barbera’s 1968 series, Wacky Races. Produced at Six Point Harness, the short was designed and directed by Matt Danner. It features the sons and daughters of the original cast and heck, it’s pretty good. How do I know it’s good? Cartoon Network didn’t pick it up.

(Thanks, Matthew Gaastra)

  • Sherrie

    I actually enjoyed this! There’s some real promising characters and story ideas I can see happening. Too bad it didn’t get picked up.

  • Wow! Now this is what cartoons should be: wild, wacky, crazy, creative, whirlwind of insane stories and clever humor. This is something I would like to work on when I become an animator, something I can be proud of and know it will be a success.

  • Caitlin

    Why was this rejected! Its was awesome…I want to see more now

  • Not gonna lie – I’d watch the HELL outta that. :D

  • That short was directed by Matt Danner at Six Point Harness!

  • I’d watch it.

  • Tory

    I like it, much better than the Speed Racer update. Only problem, no Ant-Hill Mob children. I’d watch this show if it were on.

    • Titanius Anglesmith, Fancy Man of Cornwood

      I agree. This was great, but they should have done all the characters.

  • Pedro Nakama

    I just Smurfed a little in my mouth.

  • d$

    A bit too much of a Speed Racer feel, but I would watch the crap out of that

  • Michel Van

    Damm is this good
    sad it was not taken by Boomerang…
    atlast we know wat happend to Penelope Pitstop.

  • IFN

    Yeah…This is sad that CN do mistakes like this…

  • tedzey

    When I first saw this posted I wanted to to hate it! I pretty much put wacky races on a pedestal as one of my favorite shows as a kid, even though it’s before my time! I watch this, and in all honesty… it was pretty cool! It’s a shame that it didn’t get picked up. I kind of wish we could see the other racers like the ant-hill mob and… was that Jim Cummings as Dick Dastardly?! wwwWINNING!

  • Not a big fan of Hanna-Barbara, but that was surprisingly decent. CN has been known for its inexcusable screw-ups when it comes to pilots pitched to them. There was a Plastic Man pilot that featured a cartoonyish Plastic-man, which got tossed aside and CN picked Johnny Test over Plastic-man. Talk about a major mistake.

    • Kenny’s Plastic Man does appear on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, so it’s not a total loss. Brave and the Bold isn’t as cartoony, but at least it’s fun and makes good use of Aquaman.

  • “We made it out of snakes!” :D

  • Emm

    Lots of fun! I really enjoyed it!

    I gave up on Cartoon Network a few years ago, but I definitely would have watched this show!

  • Oluseyi

    Not bad, but is nobody bothered by the fact that the race tracks are built and maintained by Perfect Industries, with Peter Perfect calling his son Parker to give him a heads up on what lies ahead? I had no idea good old chivalrous Peter Perfect would stoop so low once he had kids… and prefer the boy, to boot!

    Anyway, it’s definitely watchable, though the pilot is really heavy on the Flash – crazy tweening all over the place, mouth shapes from a symbol library. If they touched up the animation just a bit, this would be a total winner in my book.

    Thanks for sharing. :-)

  • Was My Face Red

    Yes, there’s things that could have been better and probably would have been if they’d taken it to series, but that was FUN and felt like the kind of FUN a lot of todays kids would have gone for too. What a shame. I’d love to know why they passed on it.

  • AaronSch

    I can’t believe I watched the whole thing… and actually enjoyed it.

  • Manny


  • Holy crap, that was fun to watch… and then sad to realize that’s probably going to be all there is of this.

    I was a huge fan of the original Wacky Races, and I would love to see CN change their minds and put this into full production ASAP!

  • Huh. That did look good. This is the coolest thing they done with HB characters in a long time.

  • Brian

    I feel the exact opposite about this pilot. Apart from the goth girl’s design, nothing really jumped out at me or excited me. The Flash animation relied a lot on straight-on views of the cars (either the side or the back), which made the actual racing way more boring than it should have been. I suppose it’s because I wasn’t much of a fan of the original Wacky Races cartoon, but I can see why Cartoon Network would have passed on this to pick up a show they though kids would care more about.

  • Mr Gaines

    Really? Does everyone agree this is great? Why? Just because CN booted it?

    How about some wonderfully creative shows that are (or were) actually on CN, like Flapjack, Adventure Time, Chowder, Regular Show or the upcoming Amazing World of Gumball? This “Wacky Races” reboot just seems unfunny and derivative. And a remake. Come on, guys…

    • Courage, A Cowardly Dog

      Shhhhh, you’ll anger the people who confuse a network responsible for three seperate animation renessainces, one which is imitated by mainstream producers, for an evil empire bent on crushing dreams!

  • bluelineclass

    I’m actually pleasantly surprised that this article havn’t already been overrun with the typical “i hate this with it’s newfangled flash animation and its consarned teckno music and its GET OFF MAH LAWN!!” comments that the “everything is better in the olden days” animation snobs that frequent this site are always yammering about.

    ….Or maybe they are just late noticing this.

    • AJ

      Well to be fair, hanna barbera’s animation technique was pretty much the flash of its day so it wouldn’t make any real differance. personally I really like it especially when dasterdly just refused to finnish because he hadn’t cheated.

    • Iritscen

      I’m not judging it by the heavy use of translating Flash symbols because the YouTube description says it’s an animatic trailer. I assume there would be more bona fide animation in an actual episode.

  • Chris Sokalofsky

    I dunno, i have to disagree with the comments above…The pacing was really poor for the pilot, going from wacky racing to almost a minute and a half of poorly cut dialogue between the four family members. For a pilot, it would have been much smarter to reveal the characters personality THROUGH the action, not through stilted stereotypical family voices.

    Come on Brew readers, this one wasn’t even close lol. This was like hot wheels meets the jetsons.

  • Roland Denby

    I seem to be in the minority here. But, I am really tired of people taking classic HB properties and raping them. This totally sucked. If I want to watch “Wacky Races,” I’ll throw the DVD in. If CN wants to do a series about a bunch of car racers, then they should create their own. Whatever charm and appeal the original series had is gone.

    I need a Silkwood Shower. And my eyes are bleeding.

    • Jim

      WB already killed Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. So why?

  • The Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure reference at the end was the best part.

  • NC

    I’m sorry but i don’t get it. Maybe I’m just a young whipper snapper who enjoys his Regular Show and Adventure Time too much.

  • Maybe they saw Koike’s film ‘Redline’

  • D

    I loved the original series but this was just well sub-par. There were some neat character designs and some decent humour but unfortunately the characters themselves personality wise felt contrived, shallow and stereotypical and I honestly could not see myself watching a 20 minute episode of this.

  • Keegan

    Overall it was mehhhhhh.

    >Flesh colored eyes

    Very mehhhhhhh.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Heh, another person who hates the usual cheat in some of the very cartoons I grew up on!

      • Keegan

        Heh, another person who deems something good based on nostalgic value!

      • Courage, A Cowardly Dog

        Yay Passive Agression!

    • tedzey

      I’m pretty sure the flesh color eyes is a nod to the original.

      • Keegan

        And I’m pretty sure it’s a lazy animation technique.

      • tedzey

        and i’m pretty sure it’s not going away, whether you like it or not!

  • That was a lot of fun!!! Who was involved?

  • Clint

    I never watched the original show, but I thought this looked cool! Jim Cummings as Dastardly was a real treat.


    Hey Guys, this is awesome!

  • Ignatz the Brick Pitcher

    Huh? This revamp or whatever pales in comparison to the original WACKY RACES. Are we watching the same clip? LOOL The gags are cool, at best.

    Why not make it a golden rule to create new classics, instead of reviving and rebooting old animated classics. Let old properties enjoy their retirement! Give us new laughs…new memorable pastimes…with new animated properties?!!

    Please. Pretty please…with sugar on top! :-)

  • Shawn

    It was better than I was expecting, but I always thought the premise of Wacky Races seemed kind of thin, and I think a lot of the HB characters these characters are based on wouldn’t be relatable to a lot of kids today. I only recognized Dastardly and Penelope Pitstop’s kids, but only after they actually showed Penelope. Everyone else is a mystery to me, and I watched Wacky Races as a kid. I can see why they would have passed on it for that reason.

    I did like the music a lot, but the limits of the Flash animation made the cars themselves seem kind of flat. I felt that took away from the “everyone is driving in a wacky race car” feel a bit.

  • 2011 Adult

    Who produced this pilot?

    • It was probably Six Point Harness. The animation in this pilot is very reminescent of the animation used on the Ricky Gervais Show.

    • It was Six Point Harness! The short was designed and directed by Matt Danner.

  • Hey, anyone that enjoyed this as much as I did, I’ve started a group on Facebook called “We Want “Wacky Races Forever” On Cartoon Network,” hoping that if enough people join the group, there’s a chance — however slight — that CN may decide to reverse their decision and put this show into production, even if it’s been a few years! The group is at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_141927872541821

  • James E. Parten

    First off, this was a PILOT–and would probably have not been seen on screen had this become a series. As a pilot, the mistakes could be dispensed with before they showed up interrupted by commercials.

    As for the pacing–has none of the commentators here ever heard of a little thing called “exposition”? That’s what that “minute-and-a-half of talk” was all about. Thus, we are set up to know about Perfect Industries, the sibling rivalry between the two Perfect children, and the duplicitous Viceroy.

    We saw the offspring of the Slag Brothers in this clip. I think that the fellow in the globe was supposed to be the scion of Prof. Pat Pending, and we also saw the new version of the Creepy Coupe. Had this gone to series, we would have heard about the Red Max in his Crimson Hay-Baler, and the Army Surplus Special, and whoever is running the Arkansas Chug-a-Bug.

    Re-inagining the old “classics” is not the total waste of time and space some of these commentators would have it be. And, at that, this would have been more enjoyable than some of the unfunny, witless drivel that passes for “creator-driven” cartoons these days.

    What next? “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop” meets “Saw”??

  • udx

    Quick. We better pressure Warner Bros and Cartoon Network to make this.

  • tredlow

    I disagree with the statement that CN only airs bad shows, because they have some good ones right now. But I do agree that this is awesome!

    I especially love how Dick Dastardly insists on cheating even though they’re already next to the finish line. When I was a kid, I always wondered why the hell he does that, when he always ends up being in the lead every episode.

  • Spencer Brandt

    -Tony Cervone and my father Spike Brandt played around with the idea of bringing back the Wacky Races. The original Wacky Races were all fun and classic, but I got the feel that they thought the core ideas (from the original Wacky Races) had even more potential.

    -I could be wrong but I believe that the talented Matt Danner had a lot to do with the production of this pilot. I’m going to stop jabbering and let someone else more knowledgeable fill in the details.

  • I saw this someplace before, and I hoped it would get picked up. Shame it didn’t, it looks awesome!

  • That was fun! the animation was a little stiff at times but I enjoyed the writing.

  • lola

    I wouldn’t watch this if I was paid to.
    Generic characters, boring dialogue, I watched the whole thing hoping to be pleasantly surprised but that never happened.
    CN did something good for once!

  • Sure would’ve liked to see this much more than yet another Scooby Doo series.

    • BJ Wanlund

      Yep, would much rather have seen this vis a vis some of the absolute drivel that passes for “new cartoons” (or “Cartoon Cartoons” if ya wanna get technical) on the Cartoon Network these days (*cough* Johnny Test, etc. *cough*).


    • i dig the new series…

  • Andy

    Has potential. Little too noisy for my tastes, but I guess that’s what executives think kids like. Was that supposed to be Dick Dastardly’s kid or the original DD? Same with the Slag brothers and Professor Pat Pending. I did like that they made Prof. Pending utterly insane. That was funny.

  • BJ Wanlund

    OMG, what an amazing pilot! I normally don’t care much for pilots, but this one had so much story potential and different things they could do (heck, they COULD bring back Janet Waldo if they so chose to play Ms. Pitstop), it was ridiculous they passed on this versus something like Johnny Test. My God, I’ve seen an episode of Johnny Test peripherally and that could not have looked more dreadful.


  • mat

    The original dick dastardly.

  • Peter H

    I’m sorry to disillusion those of you who grew up loving it, but the original Wacky Races was cheap, derivative, tedious, tired and unispired tosh! (In my own humble opinion, of course!)

    This reworking was wonderful – everything the original promised but never delivered. It must have been done by people who’d gown up with and loved the old Wacky Races, because they’ve made this such fun.

    • Roland Denby

      Gosh, what are you smoking, and can you please pass the pipe? If it’s so “cheap, derivative, tedious, tired and uninspired,” then why is it still so fondly remembered today? Why is it still immensely popular all over the globe? WHY, then, was there a need to revive it if the original is such dreck? Seriously — I know opinions are “like asshole; everybody has one,” but yours’ needs a serious wipe. LOL!

    • EJP

      There is a petition to sign it.

  • It reminded me of Ghostbot’s “Penelope Pitstop GT”, which in my opinion is an excellent adaptation of the Wacky Races’ universe, made in Flash. I remember watching it inside CN’s website many years ago:


  • Baron Lego


  • Sir Richard

    I liked the new My Little Pony better…

  • I used to like the original as a kid, now I find it utterly boring. This has good and bad things. On one side it seems to have more action than the original, on the other it also seems to have too much dialogue at parts. And the action parts are a little too noisy for my tastes. Some of the designs look cool, like a new HB/Tartakovsky kind of thing, but others look too elaborate and influenced by anime. I’m not particular fond of the new look of Dastardly, his original design was good enough. The colors are more vivid and interesting here, I find the coloring in the original show quite dull and boring. The actual animation is better here, the character move more and they are more expressive.

    The whole idea about the fathers and sons is not especially interesting either.

    With series like Wacky Races and Scooby Doo , which never lived up to their potential, I think that, instead of trying to reimagine the franchise introducing sons or showing the characters as kids, the best way to remake them is keeping most of the thing similar and just make the designs and animation a little more cartoony. With Scooby Doo they almost made it with A Pup Named Scooby Doo, but I rewatched some episode of that series lately and now it looks pretty poor too and the animation wasn’t much better than the one in the original series. Only the opening was especially great and showed fantastic animation of the characters.

    Anyway the only characters that were really charismatic in Wacky Races were Dastardly and Mutley, that’s why I tend to prefer their adventures chasing the pidgeon as I’ve grown older. Of course we all found Penelope Pitstop hot when we were kids, but she doesn’t have a lot of personaliy and Tex Avery’s Red or Betty Boop are way hotter.

  • Needs more wacky, and that type of namby pamby good guys is rather irritating. Maybe more strange racers :)

  • From the same executives who canned the plastic man cartoon.

  • Gr8Scott

    Where the heck are Luke and Blubber Bear? You cannot have the Races without the Arkansas Chug-A-Bug! Steampunk Rednecks invented racing!

  • Brandon Pierce

    A shame that Penelope Pitstop’s daughter didn’t inherit her mother’s looks.

  • It was watchable! …Which, sadly, is one of the highest compliments I can pay to anything animated these days.

  • I miss hearing the narrator from the original, but that’s only a trifle. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. It stayed true to the original series while finding it’s own voice in this era. Why would CN have rejected it? Oh yeah, they’re soulless idiots.

  • Arf Trondolio

    One issue: in a show about racing, every shot of a car was a static, dead center image.

    Also the soundtrack was horrible, just like all other CN soundtracks.

  • name an animated series that is good, recent, quality and story. go……only thing that comes to mind, Flap Jack. what network is that on??? Oh yea, Cartoon Network… the end.

  • Evan

    This needs to be show. Dude What Could Happen is worth being a show on Cartoon Network but this isn’t. Poo on Time Warner

  • Jack F

    Too many headshots, too much time spent on panning repeat backgrounds (probably an homage to the original) and most of all, too much resurrecting of properties that were lame to begin with. Why do they keep returning to a poison well? Hanna-Barbera was great in its day but it ended about 1966.

  • Toonio

    Hey! What happened to the Ant Hill Mob? What about Yak yak’s psychotic laugh saying: “we are going to die!”

  • At least I now know why my car designs were rejected. they wouldn’t have been able to duplicate them as easily in flash.

    Nice looking pilot. I’d have watched this.

  • john

    It has better animation than Sym Bionic Titan.

  • Jeffrey Gray

    Are you sure this isn’t a Harry Partridge parody?


    (A TV series by Harry Partridge…now that’d be awesome. Lazzo and Crofford, are you listening?)

  • A WACKY RACE with no beginning, no end and no announcer to introduce the contestants? If I were a kid who’d never seen the original, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea what I was watching. And that bridge made of snakes? It sounds a lot better than it works, and it doesn’t sound very feasible in the first place. I realize this is a cartoon, but gimmicks like this have to make SOME sort of sense…

    • I’ll bet anything that this pilot was focus-tested with kids who’d had no exposure to the original WACKY RACES and who didn’t have a clue as to what this cartoon is about. And since executroids always cover their synthetic asses, CN turned down WACKY RACES FOREVER….forever.

  • Dr.Truth

    Wacky Races as a franchise is lame HB trash that should rightfully remain dead. Wacky Races…..yeah..now there’s something relevant kids today will love. How about McCarthyism, the animated series!

  • Brendan Spillane

    Missing are The Ant Hill Mob, the Red Max, Luke, Blubber Bear, Rufus Ruffcut, Sawtooth, Sgt. Blast & Private Meekley. Or their offspring. I like the idea of Peter Perfect & Penelope Pitstop as a married couple, along with Dick Dastardly uttering his “DRRRRAT!!” catchphrase, but was put off by the flash animation. And a bridge made out of snakes is funnyyyy, why?

  • Ness Capone

    The H-B vault is also loaded with versions of Fonzie that Joe Barbera and the networks tried for a decade or more to rip off, including the human version that starred in “Fonz and the Happy Days Gang” (voiced by Henry Winkler) in 1981. But there was also “Big H” from their “Hey, It’s the King!” series of 1977, starring a lion with a d.a. who wore a leather jacket. Among the co-stars was Big H, a hippo who was big and his name began with an H. Rather than these endless and pointless dead-end attempts at H-B reboots, there really should be a gold DVD collection of Hanna-Barbera’s shittiest shit of all time. There is nostalgia for everything and a buck to be made. Time-Warner, you’re leaving money on the table!!

  • Keith McCaffety

    “Me afraid. Me very afraid.”
    That’s actually really funny.

  • Anoniguy

    It was okay, I guess.

    “Wacky Races Forever” sounds more like some kind of hell than anything else, though.

  • Jeffrey Gray

    Yeah, the thing with Peter and Penelope and their kids was the only thing that came close to clever in this. A little bit of a poor man’s Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated style self-awareness…

  • And then, there’s this version:


  • Jory

    Huh? This is dreadful! None of the gags are staged well at all.

  • Goddammit, I can’t stop watching this thing! Love to see these cars done up in Futurama styles 3d.

  • Tim

    This was very much like the orginial Wacky Races.

  • yaoi huntress earth

    Say, I’m doing a petition to get the pilot to be made into a show here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/air_wacky_races_forever/

    Thought you’d like to know.

  • Andacar

    As a fan of the original show when it first came out (oops, I gave my age away!) I thought this was going to be another modernized dud like that stupefyingly dumb Loonatics Unleashed that came out a while ago. But I was pleasantly surprised that this was funny, well produced, and modern while still paying homage to the original show. I’d have liked to see the new Arkansas Chuggabug, Army Surplus Special and more of the other cars. Still, it’s sad, though not surprising, that Cartoon Network didn’t pick this up. It seems to be run by the same bean counting executive clones that tried to ruin Disney a while ago.

  • A.Fox

    There’s still hope for the story, so it doesn’t get picked up, they can always just remake it and try again.
    Personally Cartoon Network could benefit from a change in programing, a good deal of their shows really are stupid…why couldn’t something like Tiny Toons Adventures be on again?

  • Joshua Miller

    Ehh it’s decent but not great….if it employed some of the cartoon logic that most cartoons now a days are missing then maybe it would be decent…sadly they kinda turned me on to anime and off cartoons with how things are run now :- Jim took it way to hard with what happened when he walked away….when he went away any chance for more decent cartoons that actually seemed like cartoons and not a cartoonification of real life with real life logic instead of cartoon logic was swept away sadly….