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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Racing > Cars > Animation > Speed Racer: The Next Generation – The Beginning (Lionsgate/Animated)

Speed Racer: The Next Generation – The Beginning (Lionsgate/Animated)


Picture: C-     Sound: C     Extras: D     Film: C



In a sense, Speed Racer: The Next Generation – the Beginning succeeds at what it attempts – it creates a Speed Racer series for today’s kids.  Watching this as an adult, however, is a very interesting challenge because you notice all of the little details that kids wouldn’t, and if you’re a fan of the original show, you’ll notice the references, subtle winks at fans, or the blatant “we’re taking this from the old show” placed all over this made-for-TV film.


A young racer named Speed enters the racing academy run by the original Speed Racer’s brother and attended by his son, X.  I wonder where this could be going.  X and Speed become rivals, eventually becoming friends when Speed discovers that he is Speed Racer’s other son.  His best friend is obsessed with the original Speed Racer and is one hell of a mechanic, while his female friend (not girlfriend, she’s just a girl) is an androgynous bit of filler.  Oh yeah, and there’s a robot Chim-chim.  Together they all fight against a guy with some money by doing the only thing they know how – racing.


The hand-drawn animation in this cartoon is refreshing, but the mixture of hand-drawn and CG gets really sloppy and boring really fast. In attempting to update this show for a new generation, however, it’s a success.  The problem is it’s just not that good at what it does.


Presented in 4x3 full frame and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, this release should please kids, some fans of the old show, but probably not many others.  If you’re looking for mindless Speed Racer fun, just go watch the original series or check out the recent film. It’s not as bad as they say it is.



-   Jordan Paley


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