Turbo is a 2013 DreamWorks Animation CG family film that revolves around a garden snail, Turbo (Ryan Reynolds), who dreams about becoming fast so that he can race like his Indianapolis 500 idol, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader). His dreams make him a little distant from his slow-paced snail society, which includes his careful brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), who is constantly putting up with the embarrassment Turbo brings into his life. As luck would have it, a freak accident causes Turbo to get just what he's asking for when nitrous oxide becomes infused in his DNA. This causes him to become a snail racing wonder, and the possibility of competing in the Indianapolis 500 is just within his grasp.The film was directed by David Soren, who was a story artist for several other DreamWorks movies, as well as the head of story for Shark Tale. Watch the first trailer here and the second here.Before the film even aired, a television series entitled Turbo F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team) was announced to begin airing on Netflix in December 2013.
Acquired Situational Narcissism: After mastering his Super Speed, Turbo begins showing this trope, mainly by blowing off the Snail Crew when they propose him to join. They're quick to give him a lesson and deflate his ego.
Artistic License - Biology: The shot of Turbo's heart being imbued with nitrous oxide shows it attached to a branching network of blood vessels. Snails have an open circulatory system. They're also hermaphrodites, so the running joke of Chet's gender is a moot point.
Artistic License - Chemistry: Nitrous oxide isn't anything especially fast. It just allows engines to burn more fuel. And if anything it slows animals down (it's laughing gas).
Also, a crash like what happened on the last lap would have almost certainly drawn a red flag and stopped the race - having Turbo and Gagne "racing" to the finish line - one dragging his broken car, the other dragging his broken shell - was pure Rule of Funny.
The Faceless: The driver of the Camero never has his face shown.
Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Brothers, plural, in this case. One scene even has Chet and Angelo mirror each other as they chastise Turbo and Tito respectively. Hilariously, Chet even goes "what he said" to one of Angelo's comments.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Had Guy not felt the need to make himself look like a supporting and fellow racing competitor and lead a rally to get Turbo to compete in the Indy 500, he wouldn't have lost in the race; to make it worse on his part, Turbo won without his Super Speed.
On top of that, his attempts to stomp on Turbo and him jumping out to grab him only HELPED Turbo cross the finish line.
Meaningful Name: Guy Gagné. 'Guy' comes from 'Guido', which is derived from an old word for 'leader', and 'gagné' is French for 'won', so he's the leader who won. Some argue that Guido comes from the verb 'guidare', meaning to drive, which would make him the Driver Who Won. Unfortunately for him it doesn't come true in the end.
Memetic Mutation: In-universe, "Whoa! That snail is fast!" complete with remix videos.
Metronomic Man Mashing: Turbo does this from inside a crow that swallowed him just after he saved his brother Chet. Nope, it's NEVER a good idea to eat something with super powers.
Nonstandard Character Design: The crows are photorealistic, but the snails are cartoony, and humans somewhere in between. Justfied; this was done to set the crows apart as feral predators and later Power-Up Mounts to the Snail Crew.
Recycled IN SPACE!: RatatouilleWITH SNAILS!! The plot of turbo and ratatouille involve a single main character who desires to break out in a field in which it is discouraged due to their species and not their skills. Both Turbo and Rémy are The Speechless. Both characters have a brother who attempts to discourage them but eventually, grudgingly supports them. Both glimpse this world through the TV. Both are forced from their world due to circumstances involving natural disaster. Rémy is cast away by a flood and Turbo rescues his brother from a hungry bird. Both situations force them far from their original location. both works include a bittersweet success at the end. The restaurant in ratatouille closes down and Turbo looses his superspeed. Rémy ends up working at a small bistro,and Turbo regains his superpowers.
Recycled Premise: A non-human with dreams normally only achievable by humans?, gaining an indirect mentor (through television) in a famous practitioner of that dream?, the protagonist having a unique trait that makes that dream possible, as well as a human Heterosexual Life Partner? This, in a lot of ways, is the Dreamworks equivalent to Ratatouille if it was based around racing, starred a snail, and with the protagonist meeting the Gusteau analog (with the Gusteau analog being a villain).
Wham Line: While relatively minor, the moment the line dropped was the moment that Guy Gange was going to be the central antagonist, and if it doesn't help, then the music by the end of his speech turning sinister and him acting like a massive jerk afterwards will.
Well, the sad truth is, uh, underdogs seldom win. And the dreamers... let's just say, eventually they have to wake up.
This also happens within the show in "Ace of Race" when Turbo imagines a hypothetical situation, done in a cut-paper style similar to South Park.
The cut-paper style returns during "Hardcase Returns" when Chet imagines what type of crimes Hardcase could commit.
Batman Gambit: Breakneck's plan in "Breakneck's Back". He enters the Tomato Games to ensure that Whiplash also enters, then purposefully cheats, knowing Whiplash wouldn't pass up a chance to expose him and disqualify himself, thus having Whiplash win the cup and the ceremonial shell... so that he could steal his motorshell.
Fight Magnet: The series sees various creatures that keep showing up to challenge Turbo and the F.A.S.T. team, either in Starlight City or elsewhere.
Fun with Acronyms: In "Crazy Fast," the team decides to call themselves "Fast Action Racing Team" to which White Shadow responds "Go F.A.R.T.!" (Beat.) Turbo decides to change it to "Fast Action Stunt Team" and everyone agrees.
I Never Said It Was Poison: In "In Snails in Jail", when Turbo is racing Rudy Guana so he can visit a fan who wrote a letter to him, Rudy accidentally reveals that he knows his name is Timmy and that he had a crooked shell.
Inevitable Waterfall: Played With in "African Queen", as from the snails' point of view it's dark and dreaded, but the camera zooms out to show that it's about a foot, and pristine.
I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: The protagonist is voiced by Reid Scott who played Mike Chilton, the protagonist of Titmouse's previous cartoon (with most of the same staff and a similar animation style): Motorcity. In "Ace of Race" we meet Breakneck (hinted to be a main villain), voiced by Mark Hamill, who played main villain/Mike's enemy Abraham Kane in the same show.
Is This Thing Still On?: In "Hardcase Returns", the titular character does this with the phone call he makes, not realizing that it's still on after making a challenge for Turbo. During this time, he asks (someone off-camera, apparently) if he's able to send e-mail with the phone in question.
The Other Darrin: As with most animated shows based off popular movies, the entire cast of Celebrity Voice Actors are replaced with "actual" Voice Actors. The two main exceptions are Michael Patrick Bell as White Shadow and Ken Jeong as Kim-Ly.
Out-Gambitted: In "Breakneck's Back" Breakneck does this to Whiplash; Whiplash came up with a plan to catch Breakneck cheating, but it turned out Breakneck wanted that to happen, so when Whiplash was wearing the shell-shaped trophy, Breakneck could steal Whiplash's motor-shell.
Placebo Eureka Moment: In "Crazy Fast," Chet goes to give Turbo a pep talk. Turbo guesses everything Chet was going to say, yet tells him he's right and goes off to practice.
Chet: Leave it to Turbo to give a pep talk to himself.
The Psycho Rangers: In one episode, the F.A.S.T. team takes on the F.A.J.I.T.A. team, basically a team comprised of evil versions of them... The usual solution of the Opponent Switch is invoked.
Real Men Wear Pink: In "Snails in Jail," Whiplash apparently orders a "Ladies' Choice" perfume.
Scenery Porn: A lot of the backgrounds have a lot of detail and texture, as opposed to just being a solid color. It's gorgeous.
Theme Tune Cameo: In "Turbo Drift," Whiplash sings "That snail is fast!" in Japanese at karaoke.
We Want Our Jerk Back: The others towards Whiplash in "Surf 'N Turf." They find out the word "quit" triggers his old personality.
Who Is Driving?: White Shadow talks to the others about protecting Turbo... while he's supposed to be driving the car they built for him to hide from Hardcase.
Wilhelm Scream: First heard in "Bumperdome", when Baron Von Schwartzhozen lets one out after Burn torches him for inquiring about having Chet defend his title. Since then, it's appeared more or less Once an Episode.