Speed Racer Movie Guide

By Steven Case Posted on May 16 2008


 

  • Title: Speed Racer
  • Company: Warner Brothers
  • Length: 129min
  • Rating: PG - mild violence
  • Created by: The Wachowski Bros. (The Matrix)
  • Warnings: Car crashes, a couple of monkey poop jokes and a kid flips the bird to the bad guy.
  • Synopsis: The Racer family has racing in their blood. It is like a religion to them. Having lost one son in an accident, Pops Racer is leery of having his middle son, Speed, sign on with a giant racing corporation. With the help of a few friends, including the mysterious racer "X", Speed and his family take on the giant conglomerate on the track and behind the scenes.

Scriptures:

"The chariots pour into the streets. They fill the public squares, Flaming like torches in the sun, like lightning darting and flashing." Nahum 2:4 (MSG) This one is just for fun, you can use it to help advertising the event.

Exodus 31:1-11—God "breathes" into people the gift of craftsmanship

Deuteronomy 33:1-29—God gives gifts to the tribes of Judah

1 Kings 19:11-13—Elijah learns to listen

Luke 19: 11-27—The parable of the servants

1 Corinthians 12:4-11—Everyone gets a gift

Ephesians 2:1-10—God's craftsmanship

Ephesians 4:9-13—All of us (individually) using our gifts to make us all (collectively) better people

Activities:

Option #1: RACE AROUND THE WORD (or at least the church).

You will need:

  • A large room or hallways with tile floors.
  • Several sleeping bags.

Break your group into pairs. Have one person sit on the sleeping bag, the other person will pull. You can set this up as a simple relay race or turn it into an obstacle course. Download the original Speed Racer theme song to play during the race.

Option #2: Create a Car

You will need:

  • Construction paper
  • Markers

Raid the Sunday school cabinet for markers and paper. Have each student design their own car and their own team logo. (If you have the funds and the capability, scan the logo and print them off onto make-your-own magnet paper. Usually available at any office supply store). Cut these out and stick them on your students' cars or give them to the teens for their lockers. You can also make stickers or tattoos fairly inexpensively.

Option #3: SR3000

If you can get your hands on some of the original Speed Racer cartoons, play these for your students and have them improve the dialogue. Be sure to have someone doing the classic car-jump sound effect.

Option #4: Flip This

You will need:

  • A pad of post-it notes for each student
  • Pens for each student

Pass out packs of post-it notes. Have students draw their own flipbooks like the one "young Speed" drew in his math book. Give a prize to the best one. (Bonus points if the flipbook has Jesus in it.)

Snack Ideas:


  • Serve pancakes as a snack.
  • There are still a few companies (Gustafson's and Promise Land) who still market milk in a glass bottle. Serve this ice cold at the end of the study.
  • Buy a few rolls of sugar cookie dough. Slice these off and bake. Use food coloring to dye some white frosting black. Let students make the cookies into racecar tires or make these up before the movie.

Discussion Questions:

Let's start easy: Explain which part of the car is most like you and why. (Example: I am like the breaks because I can help people stop before they get in trouble. OR, I am like the windshield wiper. My friends depend on me for clarity.)

How supportive are your parents of your gifts? Are any of your God-given gifts similar to your parents' gifts?

Read the scripture from Deuteronomy. Notice how it isn't that God gives gifts to certain individuals but rather seems to draw out their own unique talents and tells them how they can use these gifts for God's purposes. Do you think we tend to use the word "gifted" incorrectly?

Speed's teacher has trouble reaching him because she sees his racing obsession as an obstacle rather than a gift. What happens when we try to put others into the same mold because it's just easier for us to deal with them that way? What happens when someone tries to make you like everyone else?

Speed's brother Rex tells him to listen to the car's engine (he pulls this out again ala: Luke Skywalker at the end of the film). Is God speaking to us all the time? What gets in the way? Read the passage from 1 Kings 19. When is Elijah able to listen?

In the beginning of the film it seems that Speed is quite literally chasing his brother's ghost. Have you ever been in someone else's shadow? Talk about a time when someone judged you by your association with someone one else.

Pops tells Rex that his life is his choice. Have you ever blamed who you are on your parents? Your siblings? Your teachers? Your culture? Why is it hard to accept that who we are is who we have decided to be?

Are you bothered by corporate sponsorship in sports? Does the DORITOS half-time show seem fundamentally wrong somehow? If you sponsor a Little League team, does that give a business a right to turn the uniform into a billboard? How far is over the top with corporate sponsorship? Think of some non-sports activities that could benefit from corporate sponsors? Do you think could ever see the Pizza Hut suspension bridge?

What does it mean to keep the sport "pure?" At what point does a sport lose its pureness? At what point do we lose the pureness in our own lives?

Mr. Royalton tells Speed, "All that matters is power and the might of money." Do you see this in professional sports? Do you see it elsewhere in our culture? Explain.

Read the passage from Ephesians 4. Note the part where Paul talks about us working together in the same rhythm. Have you ever been in a situation where the group just seems to hit a "groove" and move together as one even though they are all doing different things? Talk about that.

What is the difference between risk and stupidity?

How good are you at risk?

Read the parable about the servants in Luke 19:11-27

This might seem easy but think about it in the deeper sense. What happened to the guy who used his gifts wisely? What happened to the guy who buried his in a hole?

What are we "risking" when we become obsessed? What are we risking when we strive to be number one every time?

Read the scripture from Exodus. Speed's mom tells him that watching him drive is like watching an artist. What are some things that we sometimes have trouble considering an "art form?" What if we treated everything like it was an art form—from making a sandwich to running with the football? How would our opinions of each other change?

Read the passage from Ephesians 2. What is God's art?

Olympic runner Eric Liddell said, "When I run, I feel God's pleasure." What are you doing, that while you are doing it, you think ‘I could do this forever'? St. Ignatius said that is where you will be in the presence of God.

To the Racer family, racing is like a religion. What part of your life is like a religion to you? Is it a family activity? Is it something that you do on your own?

Think of your life as a race, and you are Speed. Now think of the people that Speed surrounds himself with and the roles they play in his life. Who fills these roles in your "race?"

Pops
Mom
Rex
Sparky
Spritel
Royalton

Rex tells Speed, it's not because he is a driver but because he is driven. Explain that phrase. Is there anything out there that you have to do, just to fulfill your own soul? What is it?

Pops says, "You think you can drive a car and change the world?" Repeat that sentences as a fill in the blank. "You think you can ______________________ and change the world?" Now fill in the blank with something that you are passionate about that others think is trivial. Now answer the question—can you change the world doing that?

Closing Prayer

God, this world seems like its moving too fast sometimes. It's all we can do to strap in and hang on. We know you are with us. We know we just need to quiet ourselves and listen and we will hear. We will hear your voice. We will receive your gifts. We will be pure. Amen.




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