Posts Tagged ‘TURBO’


Turbo_Movie_Wallpaper1From Scottish ogres to anamorphic cars to yellow jellybean shaped Minions who speak gibberish and earn lots of money, in animated films it seems like anything or anyone can take the lead role. This weekend the question is: How will audiences react to aspirational terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk?

Ryan Reynolds voices Turbo, a snail who dreams an impossible dream—to go fast. He’s obsessed with car racing, and even wears a number 5 and a racing flag on his shell. His friends and family, particularly brother Theo (Paul Giamatti), don’t approve of his fast and furious pursuits, but he is undeterred. “Everyone has that thing that makes them happy,” he says, “and for me it’s terrifying, terrifying speed.”

Enter some magic realism—hey, this is a cartoon, anything can happen. Turbo gets sucked into a car engine and after inhaling some fumes develops the power of speed. Moving at rates at up to 200 MPH this motoring mollusk is discovered by the co-owner of a taco truck (Michael Peña) who takes him on a brief detour to the shady world of underground snail racing before sponsoring him in the big show—a spot at the Indianapolis 500.

“Turbo” has some good voice work, thanks to Giamatti and Samuel L. Jackson as a wisecracking racing snail who breathes some life into lines like “Your trash talking is unnecessarily complicated!”

It also has a poetic moment or two. Early on Turbo wishes on a shooting star only to have it turn out to the light on an airplane as it flies away, taking his dreams with it. The sequence is nicely animated and suitably cinematic, as are the race scenes and some early mild action shots of Turbo and friends in their home garden.

There are some good messages about never giving up and following your dreams and all in all it’s a cute idea. Too bad it is saddled with a dull script that’s about as interesting as escargot without garlic and butter.

“Turbo” is amiable, and the racing snail characters will make cool Snails ‘R’ Us toys for the little ones, but the story feels padded with music and montages. As well done as the visuals are, the story moves at a snail’s pace, which seems like it should be appropriate for this movie, but really isn’t.

METRO DAVID SOREN TURBO INTERVIEW Metro Canada By Richard Crouse July 16, 2013

Turbo-Ryan-ReynoldsThe Sheridan College trained Dreamworks animator David Soren first hit on the concept of Turbo ten years ago.

“It started as a lark,” he says. “There was a competition and I turned in the idea the night before the deadline. The Fast and the Furious with snails. That was it. It happened that it won the competition and Dreamworks bought the idea. Then it went nowhere for a long time.”

While Soren worked on other projects like Chicken Run, Shrek, Shark Tale and directed a trio of TV specials based on the Madgascar film franchise the idea of an aspirational snail with dreams of speed stayed with him.

“My six year old boy, from birth, came with a love of cars and racing and all things fast,” he says. “I was not a car nut or a race fan growing up but it really got me thinking about the character in different terms and that freed me up to realize that a snail really is kind of a perfect underdog. Nobody expects anything of them, they’re lives are filled with obstacles; nobody really knows what they do, other than being gross and pesky.”

The next step was character design, no mean feat when your stars are ninety percent shell.

“In the beginning the fact that all those things that you usually rely on, like arms and legs and eyebrows [were missing meant that] we had to get more creative about how to do it. I did drawings early on of these snails with arms and it was creepy. It was just a matter of coming up with other viable ways for them to emote and move around.”

Taking his kids to animated movies also gave him a real sense of what he wanted and more importantly, didn’t want, in Turbo.

“I find myself growing impatient with animated movies that are just a bunch of gags,” he says. “I feel like I am just going to amuse or baby sit my kid. And yet by the same virtue I think it is pointless to make an animated movie that doesn’t have some appeal to children. It has made me want to see all sides of it a bit more and find the heart, find the human story in there. That universal thing that any audience member can connect with but not lose the kids either, because they’re important.”