Speed Racer, Cel Animation, and Animetism


Jordan Schonig


Published on/by



Accompanying text

Speed Racer (Wachowskis, 2008) isn’t just a “cartoony” movie; it’s also about cartoons. This video essay examines how the visual design of Speed Racer reflects on the technological processes behind the illusion of motion and cel animation. Specifically, the video looks at how Speed Racer’s visual design reproduces what Thomas Lamarre calls “animetism,” a style of representing motion specific to anime.
For more on Lamarre’s concept of “animetism,” check out @Pause and Select ‘s video on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GpUQ…
Thomas Lamarre, The Anime Machine: A Media Theory of Animation
Lev Manovich, “What is Digital Cinema?”
@Patrick (H) Willems, “Why Do We Care If Movies Are Realistic”?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxuK4NQ2NHk&t=0s