From Friday’s Weekend LOOK:
“Speed Racer: The Next Generation” introduces viewers to the next generation of characters in the “Speed Racer” universe. Decades after events of the first cartoon, Speed Racer has disappeared. His brother, Spritle, operates the Racing Academy, founded by the Racer family. The star pupil is X, Speed Racer’s son.
An orphan, Speed, comes to the academy, hoping to prove his worth as a racer. Speed conflicts with X as well as Zile Zazic, an oil tycoon who backs the school. Speed’s roommate is Conor, a Speed Racer fanatic who built a robot based on Spritle’s chimpanzee companion from the original series. Speed also bonds with Lucy, a young mechanic.
Secrets about Speed are revealed that connect him to the original series. Speed and X must learn to work together to find out what happened to the original Speed Racer.
The animation is passable. Peter Fernandez, the original voice of Speed Racer, brings a gravitas to his role as Headmaster Spritle. The script by comic-book veterans Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray has clever moments. It’s aimed more at kids than fans of the original, though it seems likely the mysteries of what happened to the original cast will be explored over the course of the series. (This DVD contains the pilot for the new series airing on Nicktoons.)
Extras: Interactive racing game; featurette on creating the new “Speed Racer.”
– Matthew Price