Fast & Furious: Spy Racers
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Diverse adventure series' race scenes will thrill tweens.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
A mixed bag. Tony and friends partake in illegal, unsavory activity under pretense of helping undermine notorious racing gang, but rarely balk at what they're doing to make it happen, often seem thrilled by chance to do it. Innocent people presumably get hurt in the process. On the upside are messages about value of family, especially family that's chosen and not determined by genetics. Characters are racially diverse, and it's hinted that one is nonbinary. The female teens are technological wizards.
Positive Role Models
Tony takes inspiration from his cousin, Dom, who emphasizes value of loyalty, family bonds. Some characters mention feeling unsettled by realities of what they do to infiltrate the gang, but in the end, they go along with the mission, seem to enjoy riding the high it brings.
Violence & Scariness
High-speed car chases involve crashes, intentional sabotage. Explosions put innocent people in danger, though death usually isn't shown or even confirmed. A man is kidnapped, thrown into a van for a quick getaway. Another is knocked out, tied up, hung upside down. There's inherent danger in most of the characters' activities.
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No cursing, but some mild language like "dang it," name-calling like "punk" and "moron."
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Products & Purchases
This series is inspired by the live-action Fast & Furious movies.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fast & Furious: Spy Racers is an animated series based on the Fast & Furious feature films that follows a new group of teen street racers who join forces with a government agency to take down a gang. To do so, the characters engage in illegal and socially irresponsible behavior, but for the most part, their intentions are good. Even so, young kids won't grasp the intricacies of the characters' relationships or fully understand why they do what they do. Expect a fair amount of violence in this fast-paced series. Some scenes imply that people are hurt or even killed, although it's not shown in detail. Ultimately, though, the main concern here is the show's relationship to the movies, which are meant for a much older audience. On the upside, there are strong messages about family and loyalty, a diverse cast of characters (including one who may be nonbinary), and whip-smart girls who are tech geniuses.
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Fast & Furious: Spy Racers
Based on 6 parent reviews
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Fast and Furious is not for younger kids
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What's the Story?
In FAST & FURIOUS: SPY RACERS, four teenagers get recruited by a secret agency to infiltrate a notorious gang called SH1FT3R that poses as a street racing league to cover its tracks in more nefarious doings. Team leader Tony Toretto (voiced by Tyler Posey), whose cousin Dom (Vin Diesel) recommended the group for the job, is all in on this thrilling endeavor, bringing his friends Frostee (Luke Youngblood), Echo (Charlet Takahashi Chung), and Cisco (Jorge Diaz) with him to the operation led by the erratic Ms. Nowhere (Renee Elise Goldsberry). To get in good with SH1FT3R's head honcho, Shashi (Manish Dayal), Tony has to prove himself on the racecourse, but what comes next is even more heart-stopping action.
Is It Any Good?
This fast-paced series will thrill older kids and tweens who love speed. Its animation is so sharp that you almost forget you're not watching live action as the cars race down the roads in contests or in chase. There are shadowy characters with uncertain motives, smart and fearless teens who refuse to lose, spy gear galore, and a dodgy government agent calling the shots. Secrets are revealed at nearly every turn, the lines between enemy and friend blur, and the action never stops.
But Spy Racers isn't without hazards for viewers who may be drawn to the wheels and the action but aren't ready for the mature realities of the show. These characters aren't the jovial villains and altruistic protagonists of so many cartoons. They're cunning masters of illegal activity, skilled with technological warfare, and undaunted by the danger inherent in what they're doing, all the while being portrayed as sympathetic.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Fast & Furious: Spy Racers' messages about family. How do you define family? Is it always a matter of biological relation, or are there other determining factors? How do Tony and his friends demonstrate their loyalty to those they consider family?
Does this series confuse the definition of right and wrong? Can wrong actions be done for the right reasons? If so, does that always make them right? What real-life examples of these kinds of situations can you think of? Does your impression of who is right and who is wrong change as this story evolves?
Which characters demonstrate courage in this series? Which ones act courageously but don't seem to show it as a challenge? Can villains be role models of certain behavioral traits? Is it OK to take inspiration from them under the right circumstances?
- Premiere date: December 26, 2019
- Cast: Tyler Posey, Luke Youngblood, Jorge Diaz
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Cars and Trucks
- TV rating: TV-Y7-FV
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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