George Lopez is Speedy Gonzales in Live-Action Hybrid Mess
by Ethan Anderton
February 24, 2010
As if Looney Tunes: Back in Action wasn't enough reason for Mel Blanc, The Man of a Thousand Voices, to spin in his grave, this just might do it, as Heat Vision reports actor, comedian and late night talk show host George Lopez will voice of the fastest mouse in old Mexico, Speedy Gonzales, in a new live-action/CG hybrid movie. Adapting the classic cartoon will be Alec Sokolow & Joel Cohen, the same writers who ruined Garfield. And in related news, I have it on good authority that in addition to this and a Marvin the Martian movie, other Looney Tunes characters like Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny will also have their own films.
Speedy Gonzales has been around since the 50s and appeared in movies like Space Jam and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but has always drawn some fire for being somewhat racist as a Mexican cartoon character, not to mention his far more offensive lazy cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez. However, Anne Lopez, one of the producers of the film, from the George Lopez Presents banner, says this contemporary version will do away with the more questionable characteristics of the character with Lopez giving it "the Latin seal of approval."
"We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s -- the racist Speedy. Speedy's going to be a misunderstood boy who comes from a family that works in a very meticulous setting, and he's a little too fast for what they do. He makes a mess of that. So he has to go out in the world to find what he's good at."
Too bad this still sounds like an absolutely awful idea. Obviously this is yet another annoying attempt to use name recognition to rake in audiences, but what makes this even more offensive is the blatant disregard for what made characters like Speedy Gonzales so great: the uncanny voice talents of Mel Blanc and brilliant animation direction from Friz Freling. I just don't want to see iconic, childhood favorite characters like this turned into pseudo-realistic computer animated creatures made to interact with real-life humans and voiced by actors who can never reach the same level as the original voices. Even when casting seems nearly perfect (i.e. Bill Murray as Garfield), it almost always turns out to be a complete mess. Yet another cartoon casualty.