Riding the wave of publicity building up to this Friday’s release of the Wachowski brothers’ live-action Speed Racer, Lionsgate is releasing Speed Racer the Next Generation: The Beginning DVD today. The single-disc Speed Racer: The Next Generation focuses on a new racing academy cadet who learns that he is the son of the original Speed Racer from the 1967 show. He will also discover that he has a brother, the new Racer X. Speed’s monkey pal, Chim-Chim, has been replaced by a robot, and the driver’s younger brother, Spritle, shows up as head of the racing academy and is voiced by Peter Fernandez, who dubbed in Speed Racer’s voice for the English-language version of earlier series.
The new Speed Racer toon is executive produced by John and Jim Rocknowski (principals of Speed Racers Enterprises) and Larry Schwarz, CEO of Animation Collective, the New York-based studio behind Kappa Mikey and Ellen’s Acres. The 66-minute DVD, which also includes an Interactive Racing Game and a featurette about the making of the new series, is priced at $19.95.
Fans of Nickelodeon’s popular Avatar: The Last Airbender series have a new DVD release to look forward to today in stores as well. Book 3: Fire, Volume 3, containing five action-packed chapters from the show’s third season’The Day of the Black Sun, Part 2, The Western Air Temple, The Firebending Masters, and The Boiling Rock, Parts 1 and 2′which aired last year. Including audio commentary by creators Michael Dante MiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and key crew members, the single-disc release has a retail price tag of $16.99