Movie Review: Turbo

Turbo-2013-3D-Movie-Poster-Download-1When you want to be in the fastlane, being a snail can make that difficult. Turbo has that problem. A humble garden snail, he dreams of going fast. He tells his brother it is “in him”. He also dreams of racing in the real world.

These dream are met with laughs and cynicism from the other snails. Until that is, one day Turbo is sucked into an engine flooded with nitros… and something inexplicable happens. He is able to reach speeds of 200mph+, and has hope once again to race in the the Indie 500.

Many snails are still cynical though, including his brother. Tito however, a young guy who works at “Dos Bros Tacos”, believes in Turbo, along with a small group of racing snails tricked out in some fancy shell gear. Now there is just one problem. Turbo is going to race in the indie 500, but can a supercharged snail really win a race of this magnitude?

Things I Liked

Turbo/Theo is truly a heroic snail at heart. He wants to be something more than just a garden snail living  a menial existence. He rejects the standard snail worldview of “The sooner you accept the dull, miserable reality of your existence, the happier you’ll be.” and is determined to be something more. He doesn’t settle for the bad, good, or even acceptable. We see him pursue the great throughout the entire movie. Good enough isn’t good enough to him, and that’s an example which is definitely one which is worth commending.

Turbo’s racing team are impressive as well. Though they talk tough in terms of competing with each other, they are a team which has the best in mind for each other, and work together to achieve things which they could not do on their own. Even when Turbo is prideful and arrogant about his newfound speed, the team outsmarts him in a competition- showing that racing isn’t all about speed.

Chet and Turbo have been at odds since day one. Not just the standard brotherly bickering, but serious clashes of personality and thinking. Chet is a play it safe kind of guy. He follows the procedures, focuses on safety, and above all- cares immensely for Turbo. Chet doesn’t downplay his brother’s dreams because he doesn’t believe in him, but because he wants to make sure nothing happens to him. “What if you wake up tomorrow and your powers are gone?” Chet asks Turbo. In the movie we see this relationship evolve into a strong and uplifting one, and see Chet lessen in fear, and Turbo learn to listen to advice. Advice that eventually saves his life.

Turbo adores Guy Gagné- a famous racer who appears to be the perfect sports role model. Until we see him in person, and realize he is a self absorbed, egotistical, jerk. I thought it was a nice touch, to show that the heroes we see on TV often really aren’t that heroic. And that we have people who care for us right in our home, who should be our real heroes instead.

Things I didn’t Like

There is truly very little to be wary of in this film, two things I had problems with. The first is Tito steals money from the Taco Restauraunt to help fund the entry fee to the Indie 500. This isn’t shown as bad or  negative at all, which is worth mentioning. The other thing was a girl snail named “Burn” has this thing for Chet and they exchanging romantic (and Cheesy) dialogue.

Something else to be aware of, which I didn’t mind but younger kids might, is the final racing is pretty intense for a kid.

Closing thoughts

~No dream is to big, no dreamer to small.~ Guy Gagné

This movie could have gone wrong on so many levels. It is like Dreamworks took Pixar’s Ratatouille, Cars, and Bug’s life and combined them into one. But you know what? After viewing Turbo and walking out of the theater, I was quite impressed with the flick I had just watched.

This movie is incredibly devoid of inappropriate toilette or crude humor, no foul language, and a sliver of relationship stuff which is harmless. There is some intense racing that you might want to be wary of for the youngsters. Perhaps the biggest issue in the movie is the justified theft of some money by Tito to pay for the Indie 500 Registration fee.

If you can get past the impossibility of a snail going the speed of a racecar, you’ll find this film to be a fun and rousing tale about many commendable life lessons: To never settle for good enough, To dream big in the face of impossible odds, then work to achieve those dreams, the value of brothers, and to live each day to its fullest. The traits and lessons taught provide the slimy foundation of Turbo’s adventures. Add to that some well written, clean laughs and a nicely twisted and mature finish, this movie has definitely found its way into my winner’s circle. Dreamworks did indeed dream big about this small little snail. And they delivered with flying colors.

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