Speed Racer: The Next Generation is a modern NickToons sequel to the 1967 Speed Racer series that premiered on May 2, 2008. A second season began airing on March 24, 2011 but went off the air in November. The show quietly returned on July 28, 2013 to air the final eleven episodes and ended on August 25, 2013.
Prior to the events of the series, the original Speed Racer has disappeared for unknown reasons. Only one of the original characters, Spritle Racer, has a major role in this show. The rest of the original cast is unseen, and their whereabouts are unknown.
The series follows the adventures of another young man named Speed, an orphan who dreams of being a famed car racer like the one he is named after. He takes a bus to the elite Racing Academy, founded by the Racer family, and soon experiences the difficulties of fitting in and competing with X, the best racer/student in the school, who is Speed Racer's son. Spritle himself is now the headmaster. Speed finds enemies in Annalise, X's girlfriend, and Zile Zazic, the school's esteemed trustee, oil tycoon, and Annalise's father. Speed befriends fellow students Lucy, an obsessive workaholic, and Conor, a geeky Speed Racer fanatic and mechanic. He also befriends Chim-Chim, an all-purpose robot chimpanzee that Conor designed and built himself in honor of the real Chim-Chim. In the pilot movie, Speed discovers that he is another son of Speed Racer, meaning that X is his older brother.
Through the rest of the series, Speed and his new allies set out on a quest to get through the courses, discover the mystery of Speed Racer's disappearance, and try and build the Mach Six, a car that captures the spirit and gadgets of the Mach 5 for the new generation, and the first car to contain a gasless engine.
Voiced by: Kurt Csolak
The main character of the series, Speed is the second son of the original Speed Racer from the 1967 Japanese anime series. He was hidden from the public by his parents, for unknown reasons. Speed grew up in an orphanage for the majority of his childhood. His parents had left him a special key and a bandana, both of which he kept with him. He is often awkward and shy, but nothing can stop his determination when he's behind the wheel. Speed's skills on the racetrack are on par with those of the top ranking students at the Racing Academy and because of that he's #1 at the Racing Academy. Despite his prodigious talent, he is generally quite modest about his abilities and claims that his maneuvers are a result of instinct rather than skill. He is not in it for money or fame - he just wants to be "the best in the world", and to have fun.
Voiced by: Robbie Sublett
The oldest son of the original Speed Racer, X was the number one racer until Speed came at the Racing Academy. So he's now number two. Known for his skills and abilities on the track, he is slick, handsome, and popular among the girls at school. While X appears to be a tough guy on the outside, he has a more kind-hearted personality than he leads other people to believe. He is initially shocked to find out that Speed is his younger brother, but X becomes more accepting of the fact and develops a rivalry with his sibling, while still being there to give any advice to his little brother. He usually hangs out with Jared, Jesse, and his girlfriend, Annalise. They later break up in "The Great Escape: Part 3."
Headmaster Spritle Racer
Voiced by: Peter Fernandez
The only member of the original cast from the Japanese series, Spritle was once the brother of the original Speed Racer who traveled with him in his trunk, and now runs the Academy founded by the Racer Family. While he is Speed and X's uncle and provides fatherly wisdom from time to time, he never bends the school rules for his nephews' sake.
Voiced by: Sahra Mellesse
A good friend of Speed and Connor, Lucy appears to be the sensible one of the group. Strict, open-minded, and studious, she often assists Conor with his work, but is known to be a little bit bossy at times. While she is generally a friendly and calm individual, Lucy will occasionally insult Conor and bombard Speed with criticism. She always makes up for it by helping her friends.
Voiced by: Carter Jackson
A bad racer, but a great mechanic, Conor is good friends with Speed and Lucy. One of his most defining characteristics is that he his huge fan of the original Speed Racer to the point where his interest borders on obsession. He often cosplays in his Speed Racer outfit, has tons of memorabilia and merchandise in his dorm room, and knows everything there is to know about him and the Mach Five. While he is somewhat of a nerd, Conor is a reliable companion, and does his best to help his friends.
Conor built this robot based on the original pet chimpanzee the headmaster used to own, but added countless gadgets and professional engineering skills. He is entirely loyal to Conor. Chim-Chim has a seemingly unlimited amount of uses, from transforming into a scooter, to storing anything inside the compartment in his stomach, to repairing the Mach Six while it's moving. However, that doesn't stop him from eating necessary car parts, or creating the usual kind of mischief all monkeys make. As a pantomime character, like R2-D2, he talks in electronic beeps.
Voiced by: Michal Friedman
Annalise is X's girlfriend, and the third best racer in the school. A spoiled, selfish, whiny material girl, Annalise gets whatever she wants from her father, Zile Zazic, since they come from a rich family. She immediately dislikes Speed upon meeting him, since he's the new kid who gets picked upon in every school, and calls him "Noob" and "Speed Bump". Her discovery of his being X's brother only heightens her animosity for him, as he could be a possible competition for her own boyfriend, and becomes one of Speed's top enemies.
Voiced by: Dave Skigen
The academy would be nothing without Zile Zazic- he paid for, designed, and had the Academy's racing track "built for him". He also donated many buildings and additions to the school, and is on great terms with the headmaster and views X as the star student of the school. However, he has a vague, mysterious vendetta against Speed Racer from long ago, and once he discovers "Little Speed Jr." has built the Mach Six, he becomes his enemy in secret, carrying out undercover hits on him from his lair. This makes sense, since he is a rich oil tycoon, and the Mach Six's eco-friendly design could ruin him. Zile Zazic used to be Captain Terror, the leader of the Car Acrobatic Team, in the 1967 Speed Racer anime.
Jared and Jesse
Voiced by: Michael Sinterniklaas
Two twins who are part of X's student entourage, Jared and Jesse act as a team, and share the rank as the fourth best racers in the school. Normally rude and unpleasant, they often act as Annalise's bullish lackies. While they do their best to get the job done, both twins are equally incompetent. On the track, Jared and Jesse are a fearsome team. Although they race together in a single vehicle, the actual car has the ability to split into two pieces which both of them can operate separately for periods of time. They use this technique to surround a single opponent from both sides on the race track.
Voiced by: David "Zen" Mansley
Stan is Zile's personal assistant and second-in-command, despite being clumsy and dimwitted most of the time. His large, monstrous size and gentle composure almost makes him look like a jolly giant, often getting in the way of the evil plans he is supposed to carry out. He is overly polite to everyone, and is deeply apologetic whenever he disobeys his boss. However, Stan is still serious about the job, and his heart is always on Zile's side. Before their retirement, Stan used to be Snake Oiler, one of the Car Acrobatic Team's members and Zile used to be Captain Terror, the leader of the team in the 1967 Speed Racer series.
Professor Armand Aniskov
Voiced by: David "Zen" Mansley
An instructor at the Racing Academy, Professor Aniskov teaches the class on offensive driving techniques. Professional and aloof, he rarely shows any signs of favoritism, and treats all of his students with the same air of indifference. He is probably one of the more critical instructors that the academy has to offer, and is not particularly well-liked by his students.
Professor Susan Winn
Voiced by: Mami Kimura
Susan Winn is an intelligent and level-headed woman who teaches the class on defensive driving techniques at the Racing Academy. Professor Winn is generally much kinder and more accepting of her students than Professor Aniskov, and is respected because of this. While displaying a sense of strict guidelines and acceptable conduct in her classes, she is a very fair individual.