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Fast & Furious: Spy Racers
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
Themes & Topics
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