Speed Racer: The Next Generation

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Speed Racer: The Next Generation TV Poster Image
New take on old fave is OK for kids but listless.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The show is focused on auto racing, and many of the characters have a win-at-all-costs attitude. They're often willing to cheat or use dangerous maneuvers to win, even if they cause other drivers to crash (in fact, sometimes that's the goal). The characters attend a school for young racers, and the class alpha male is X, who relishes his role as the top driver and son of the legendary Speed Racer. X isn't thrilled to discover that the new student, Speed, is his long-lost brother who never knew his father's identity. X and Speed often butt heads, and X goes out of his way to make life difficult for Speed both on and off the track.

Violence & Scariness

No fistfights or gun battles, but there are plenty of rough-and-tumble, almost-anything-goes road races with dangerous robot cars trying to take out other vehicles, virtual obstacle courses with very real hazards, and a lot of aggressive driving techniques aimed at causing crashes. That said, though there are frequent car accidents (many of which look very dangerous), actual injuries are very rare.

Sexy Stuff

Plenty of Speed Racer merchandise out there thanks to this series and the big-screen film.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this cartoon glamorizes auto racing and puts a heavy emphasis on winning. Characters take plenty of risky maneuvers on the track and play quite a few dirty tricks on each other, some of which seem very dangerous. But although there are many serious car accidents, there are few injuries -- the show seems to exist in a world where drivers are always able to walk away from a wreck. Speed has a difficult back story, which adds to his character's mystique, but the show offers few insights into why a parent would abandon his son at an orphanage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 30, 2012

I agree with CSM on this one.

If it's still on Nicktoons,i'd be SO ANGRY.The animation looks HORRIBLE,the acting is ear reap,and it has pretty bad artwork.Plus,this show is just so... Continue reading
Adult Written byWhitechick April 9, 2008

A must read book for 8 yr old.

Hello, I am a 46 yr old mother of a 5.6 yr old boy and have been married over 22 yrs to one man. Having a baby at 41 yrs old have learn many things about raisin... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylewistig51 February 22, 2021

Mixed Thoughts

Putting a heavy emphasis on winning is OK, but taking risky maneuvers... this may or may not be Ok for kids. Risky maneuvers in this cartoon, are often performe... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWhatanexitright... December 27, 2020

Good cartoon for a new generation

The animation is ok, the story is great with good role models, but the cgi for the cars is pretty bad. Still enjoy it as well as the original and movie. Except... Continue reading

What's the story?

As the new kid at the Racing Academy, Speed (voiced by Kurt Csolak) wants to prove himself the only way he knows how -- on the track. But he's got a rough road ahead of him. As an orphan, Speed arrives at the prestigious school with almost nothing to his name, not even a car, and quickly manages to run afoul of top student X (Robbie Sublett), son of the legendary Speed Racer. But Speed's own amazing skills behind the wheel prove that he has driving in his blood -- and, in fact, he soon discovers that he's Speed Racer's long-lost other son.

Is it any good?

SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION picks up the racing legend years after the original 1960s anime series, following young Speed's efforts to hone his skills and become a top driver, just like Dad. Only two things stand in his way: a shadowy billionaire who seems determined to wreck Speed's career before it really revs up, and X, who's less than thrilled to have a rival. Fortunately, Speed also finds a few allies, including whiz-kid mechanic Conor (Carter Jackson), strategist Lucy (Sahra Mellesse), and Headmaster Spritle (Peter Fernandez, who voiced Speed Racer in the original show), who, as Speed Racer's brother, is uncle to both Speed and X.

The original Speed Racer series, with its entertaining characters and one of television's most amazing vehicles, the Mach 5, has a justifiably cherished place in cartoon history. But this new entry in the franchise does little to advance the cause. The characters are thinly developed, the animation is clunky, and even the race sequences seem generic and lethargic. It just never seems to get up to full speed.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about winning and losing. Many characters seem willing to cheat in order to win, and the losers often complain loudly. Does anyone demonstrate good sportsmanship? Is cheating ever OK? Would you ever cheat to win an athletic event? How about on a test? Families can also talk about Speed and X's relationship. How would you feel if you suddenly discovered you had a sibling you never knew about? Would you welcome him or her into your family or feel resentful?

TV details

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