If what the Wachowski’s are looking to do with their live-action SPEED RACER movie and its sensory overload of computer animated psychedelic pastels turns you off then perhaps this Hot Wheels-ization cash-in coming to DVD on May 6th will be more your… speed. (RIMSHOT)

SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION (Or is that SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION: THE BEGINNING?) is a 66-minute computer animated movie courtesy of Lionsgate that will hit DVD shelves prior to the release of the big screen, megabudget version. This futurized restyling claims it “builds on the legendary adventures of the iconic original series”. By “building” I think what they meant to say was the monkey is now a robot monkey and the Mach 5 is now the Mach 6.

“Following in the footsteps of the classic series, Speed Racer: The Next Generation, explores the passion of a teenage racer with the most powerful and stylish car on the planet. Speed arrives at The Racing Academy only to find himself immediately intimidated by his fast-paced classmates, but armed with his new friends Conor, Lucy, and Conor’s robot monkey, Chim Chim, Speed quickly lives up to his name and becomes the new one to beat in the driver’s seat! Along with action-packed adventure on the racetrack, Speed and his pals work together to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance and build the ultimate racing machine – the Mach 6.”

I’m still trying to decide if computer animated Speed Racer seen here looks more like a young Jason Gedrick or a really young John Davidson. One thing I know for sure, looking at him posed there I find myself fighting the urge to yell “THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!”

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