A while back, I linked to an article about bad American cosplay, and someone in the comments made an excellent point: that Japanese cosplayers attempt to go to the heart of the character when designing the costume, while American (and presumably Canadian and other generally western-type) cosplayers rely much more heavily on the external visual. The result of this is that Japanese cosplayers actually look pretty badass when they know what they’re doing, and American cosplayers look like idiots.
Now consider this maxim as applied to the following trailer.
I think the parallels are obvious. On first glance, Speed Racer is a dedication to external imagery: making the car look just like the cartoon car, giving John Goodman that stupid moustache because the cartoon dad had a moustache, giving Emile Hersch that ugly-ass costume. These are visual elements that worked in the cartoon because it was a cartoon; they don’t directly translate well into real-life visuals.
Or, to put it another way, consider if Batman Returns had had, instead of dark, brooding Christian Bale in Kevlar and leather and rubber Batsuit, Adam West geared up in spandex Bat-togs, which look more like what actually is in the comics, even today.
(Note that I say all of this as one who honestly does not particularly give a damn about the sanctity of Speed Racer, a show I never ever watched, but strictly as somebody who, generally speaking, likes it when studios spend an estimated $120 million dollars on a movie and it manages to not be aggravatingly bad.)