Arriba! Arriba! Andale! Andale! The Looney Tunes character and the Fastest Mouse in all of Mexico – Speedy Gonzales – is heading to the big screen in an animated feature tentatively titled Speedy.
Originally voiced by the late great Mel Blanc for nearly 40 years, Mexican actor/director Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included) will now be voicing the famous mini-speedster; and he’s thrilled by the opportunity saying (via Deadline):
In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales. He was like a superhero to us, or maybe more like a revolutionario like Simon Bolivar or Pacho Villa. He watched out for the little people but with a lot of bravado and a weakness for the ladies. I’m really excited to be bringing this character to the big screen. And besides being Mexican— my full name is Eugenio Derbez Gonzalez and I have big ears. The casting couldn’t be better.
Derbez with his production partner Ben Odell will also produce the feature alongside Dylan Sellers (Southpaw) for Warner Bros., and Hank Nelken (Mama’s Boy) has been tasked with the script writing duties. There are few details available yet beyond that the movie will be a heist caper, but according to Sellers:
We see this as an origin story of the great master, like a Robin Hood character, who ultimately ends up taking from the rich and giving to the poor. In a time when Donald Trump is gaining momentum, the world needs Speedy more than ever.
Ay caramba! Even if Trump does somehow convince Mexico to pay for his yuuuuge, classy, luxurious border wall Speedy will be there to prevent a single brick from being laid.
The beloved, yet controversial, character has had an up-and-down career path. Originally created in 1953, he headlined his first animated short in 1955 opposite Sylvester the Cat (also voiced by Mel Blanc) and promptly won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. Speedy’s shorts (short movies, damn it!) were later shelved by Cartoon Network in 1999 due to concerns by the network over his ethnic stereotyping and potential offensive characterisation.
However the character has always been exceedingly popular in Latin America and after a number of fan campaigns the character returned to the air in 2002. Warner Bros. tried to bring Speedy to life on the big screen, and voiced by George Lopez, in a hybrid live-action/animated feature back in 2010 – but that moved with all the speed of Speedy’s cousin
Nick Slowpoke Rodriguez.
I’m honestly quite pleased that one of my favourite childhood cartoon characters is making a return, and bringing his light and optimism to a new generation of kids. What do you think?
Last Updated: April 5, 2016