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Speed Racer the Next Generation - The Beginning (2008)

Kurt Csolak , Carter Jackson , Frank Rivera , John M. Holt  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kurt Csolak, Carter Jackson, Sahra Mellesse, Robbie Sublett, David Zen Mansley
  • Directors: Frank Rivera, John M. Holt, Matt Rodriguez
  • Writers: Aaron Bergeron, Allan Neuwirth, Larry Schwarz, Susan Kim
  • Producers: Amy Ackerman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: May 6, 2008
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0014D5P8O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Speed Racer the Next Generation - The Beginning" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The Making of Speed Racer: The Next Generation
  • The virtual track racing game
  • Meet the Folks at the Racing Academy
  • Trailer gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Speed, a teenage orphan with uncanny driving instincts, discovers he's the son of legendary Speed Racer. Full-throttle excitement ensues, as Speed must take on the evil millionaire, Zile Zazic, and his competition, the mysterious Racer X, before he can cl

The venerable Japanese animated series Speed Racer zooms into the not-so-distant future in this breezy American update. Speed himself is nowhere to be seen in this hourlong feature (he appears in an subsequent episode of the Nicktoons series), but his son, X Racer, is on hand, and showing that he's a chip off the old man's block by holding down the top spot at his family's Racing Academy. But the arrival of an orphan named Speed with even greater racing skills challenges not only X's position at the Academy, but everything he knows about his long-absent father. On the plus side, Speed Racer: The Next Generation honors its history by including elements from the original series like the Mach 5 and Speed's brother Spritle Racer (voiced here by Peter Fernandez, who also played Speed for the American dub of the original series), as well as a mechanized Chim-Chim. But it's also unnecessarily complicated in its plotting, and the dialogue is awfully trite (though the original didn't win any prizes in that department). The animation is also disappointingly mediocre and sterile, which may be the kiss of death for both fans of the original series and younger viewers looking for state-of-the-art craftsmanship. The DVD includes a making-of featurette which looks at the challenges presented in updating the series for a new audience, and a fun Virtual Racing game that emulates the track at the Academy. Text bios for the main characters are also included. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It's clear from the get-go that this show is geared more towards younger fans than how the original show was. Still, Speed Racer the Next Generation - The Beginning is a fun romp that fans of the original will enjoy as well as those new to the series.

Speed Racer the Next Generation - The Beginning tells the story of Speed, an orphan who gets to join an elite racing academy to learn how to be a great racer. There, he meets Conor and Lucy as well as X whom he later learns is his brother. Spritle from the old tv series is headmaster of the academy in this show. But, the evil Zile Zazic is the series protagonist who is trying to get his hands on the Mach 6. Things get pretty interesting in this barely over an hour animated film.

While it probably won't appeal to original Speed Racer fans, it will appeal to the younger set. Honestly, though, I enjoyed it very much.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is a terrible, extremely low budget show April 28, 2008
I watched the first episode of this show on Nick this weekend, and it was a flat-out embarrassment. The show looks like a homemade web cartoon...and honestly, that's an insult to some homemade web cartoons. The fact that a major Hollywood summer blockbuster is backed by an animated series that is this poor is just a shame.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could give this series a 5 star review. I'm sure there are some others who will enjoy it more than I did, but 5 stars is just out of the question with something this poorly done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My son loves the DVD January 21, 2009
By Krangel
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My son loves the DVD, he is 2 1/2yo, I like the next generation dvds better than the original because is not violent, they don't try to stab people or shoot them like the original speed racer. My daugther 5yo likes it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! July 6, 2010
By anikole
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Speed Racer since I saw it years ago, and when I saw this I had to get it because the story was great to hear that they carried on Speed, and family... and just knowing and seeing the behind the scenes... which I am a fan of most movies/tv... and heard that the orignal voice actor who did Speed/Racer X did the voice of older Spritle... and I LOVED IT... the story was great, and I can't wait to get the rest.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for kids and parents ! July 2, 2008
By **Mufi
Speed Racer the Next Generation - The Beginning is great!
My son LOVES the TV show. That's what it is all about. Entertaining
kids. Good, clean fun with some socially redeeming value. I was a teen
when the original Speed Racer show hit American TV. I go into while
babysitting. It made a lot of sense to do a "next" generation.
We also appreciate how they do the animation style. Speed Racer anime
style. Highly recommend this DVD (and the TV show!)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice update for the Speed Racer lore May 13, 2008
"Just watch me when I get on the track," Speed Racer tells the headmaster on his first day at the Racing Academy, where everyone's rather amused that he shares the name of the founder and major idol of the facility. So begins the journey of the animated "Speed Racer: The Next Generation," which takes Speed -- unaware that he's actually the son of the legendary Speed Racer -- on a quest to find his missing father and get to know his brother, X, who's developed quite a following of his own.

Thankfully, there are a few friendly faces at the academy: the sensible Lucy, the quirky Conor and Chim-Chim the pesky, monkeylike robot. After a little trash-talkin' with the other students at the academy, the kids hit the track (where the visuals -- lush, bright and heavy on the oranges and blues like the original until now -- turn more photographic and three-dimensional and CG). Despite a technical mishap with the clunker car he was given, Speed makes an impression. X, determined to reflect the legacy of his father, is getting a mite bit jealous.

Lionsgate launches the new Friday-night Nickelodeon animated series with this sleek pilot film. Bringing the original series, which ran for just 52 episodes in 1967 and 1968, up to speed, the movie allows its main character to discover his true identity rather quickly. He and his new friends find the "real" Speed Racer's car, the Mach 5, in pieces at the junkyard, and the key that was left with young Speed at the orphanage powers up the grand old machine!

As is often the case, this update of a classic TV icon requires an upgrade. Much like the new "Knight Rider" movie turned the 2000 KITT model into the 3000, the Mach 6 is now the engine to beat in this show, after the resurrected Mach 5 takes an unexpected spill.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of when I was young! July 24, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great movie for young kids. Reminds me of when I was a kid too!
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