Racing Movie Month: "Turbo" Review

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

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Rating: PG
Length: 96 minutes
Release Date: July 17, 2013
Directed by: David Soren
Genre: Animation / Adventure / Comedy

With a big name like DreamWorks Studios backing this children's film, parents and kids alike are drawn to this fun movie about a snail with big dreams. In the animated flick "Turbo," children follow along as a snail withstands a freak accident, which just might be the thing that the main character, Turbo, needs to realize his dreams of winning the Indy 500.

Although "Turbo" is a children's film, well-known actors voice the characters of the movie. Ryan Reynolds voices the main character, while other recognizable voices include Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph and Michelle Rodriguez among many other recognizable celebrities. With such a star-studded cast behind these animated characters, parents enjoy identifying their favorite actors' voices as their children watch the film. Additionally, the experienced cast conveys the correct emotions solely through their voices, which is extremely important in an animated film and really adds to the dynamics of the movie.

The animators of "Turbo" did a fantastic job making the characters feel as real as possible. While they are not so real in a physical sense, the characters themselves are realistic. Children and adults alike appreciate the clean lines of the animation, which makes the cartoon easy on the eyes. The colors in the animation are vivid, and the surrounding scenery is extremely realistic.

While watching "Turbo," viewers experience a range of feelings and emotional reactions. In the beginning, when Turbo is working hard to achieve his goal, but his time is still so slow, movie watchers find the situation quite comedic, especially because Turbo is so happy with his time. Later, when Turbo is sucked into the nitrous oxide tank of a street racing car, viewers feel worry and concern for his safety and well-being. Finally, as Turbo realizes his new-found powers and works to become the fastest snail in the world, children and adults alike feel excitement and joy. The movie has an overall positive feel about it, much to the pleasure of both parents and children.

As the movie progresses and Turbo meets new friends and moves forward in his race career, some underlying themes become evident. One thing this movie screams is to follow your dreams. Throughout the film, in good times and in bad, Turbo never forgets his goal to win the Indy 500. Even when he literally moves at a snail's pace, Turbo works his hardest to fulfill his dream and never stops practicing or believing.

Additionally, "Turbo" teaches children to always believe in themselves, no matter if there is no one behind them or everyone in their corner. There are times in the flick in which Turbo's friends tell him to give up on his dream, but he stands firm and always believes that he can achieve his goal. This important lesson is solidified by the additional theme of never giving up.

While this animated film is about an underdog working hard to reach his goals, there is plenty of humor within "Turbo." Funny scenes, such as when the normal-speed snails are racing while all making race car sounds or when one of the race snail's shell starts singing and flashing lights, are small touches that make a memorable impression in the overall comedic theme of the movie. The characters all have humorous lines that catch a chuckle, and their actions and quirks are both relatable and adorable. Each character has its own distinct personality, which allows children to pick their favorite snails. The humor in the film is immature enough for even a young audience to understand, and inappropriate innuendos are kept to a minimum.

As the movie progresses, movie viewers encounter a variety of race scenes. However, they never become boring or repetitive. The races are fast-paced and include plenty of action to keep the audience's attention. Throughout the film, the snails find themselves in many dangerous and interesting situations that keep viewers on the edges of their seats. The fact that the events are so well-timed, such as when the snail racer finds Turbo right after his happy accident, ensures an enjoyable ride for each and every movie watcher.

While the idea behind this film of an underdog working his hardest to achieve his dream despite adversity is not entirely original, the fun characters and the unique storyline make "Turbo" a great film for cartoon-lovers of all ages. Racing enthusiasts and those who have never taken interest in racing enjoy this movie equally thanks to the universal humor and the exciting sequence of events.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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