Reviews: Turbo

Funny for Children, but Forgettable and Mediocre

I, a cynical teenager, did enjoy some of the movie, and I can understand why a kid around 5-10 would as well. But even though it has a heart, it doesn't give room for much creativity.

The characters: they were okay, but they feel like knockoffs from Cars. The main character's dream is similar to Lightning Mc Queen's -he wants to be a famous racer! But the big difference is that, while Mc Queen is a car and can attain this dream by advancing a career he already has, the snail is just a snail. This makes his need for speed a lot less obnoxious and more dedicated (in my opinion). His brother's impatient with him, but it's understandable -he doesn't know he's in a children's film, he thinks his brother will get run over in seconds! And his fear is very justified, "What if you lose your powers tomorrow?" The other characters are okay, not good but okay. It is cool that they're Mexican, though, so the film has more diverse characters. I didn't think it was insulting, but I'm not Mexican so I don't know. It was also neat that the main characters weren't rich and had convenient things available. They had to work their way to the top, which is very inspiring.

The humor: Wasn't great, but it got a few laughs from me. If only they took the "snails getting taken by crows" joke away. It did set up for an awesome scene later in the movie, though.

The story: The conflicts really make the story. If you're not interested in the race, the snail brothers, or the Mexican brothers, then it'll be a long hour. But the characters aren't hard to invest in, if you're willing to see both sides of the issue. One brother is a dreamer, the other is a realist (for the humans and the snails). It would have worked better if the snail brothers didn't feel too much like the Ratatouille brothers, but if you can let that pass then the dynamic works.

The moral: gets a little choppy with the ending, but kids will get the message. It takes dedication, not strength, to achieve your goals.

Overall, this is an okay movie. Not great, not bad.

Dissapointing Effort by DreamWorks

DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo tells the story of Theo, a garden snail with large ambitions. His role model, Guy Gagne, inspires him to become a racer, even though he is ridiculed for his unrealistic dreams. After a freak accident involving Nitrous Oxide, Theo’s DNA and life will never be the same. After meeting several friends along the way, he and his human friend Tito start on a journey to win the Indy 500, despite the arguments put up by their practical brothers.

Turbo is one of the more disappointing animated movies of 2013, even more so after considering that DreamWorks Animation produced this for $127 million. Upon first glance, Turbo appears to be a sort of Ratatouille and Cars hybrid. After watching the movie, it comes true, as it features the same themes as the former and the environment of the latter. DreamWorks Animation effectively creates parallels between the two pairs of brothers – Theo and Chet; Tito and Angelo. However, it doesn’t do much else with them and the brotherly bond subplot, among many others (like the "romance"), is lost in the wind due to its underdevelopment. Part of the reason for this is that the cast is made up of far too many characters. It gets to the point that the majority of the characters play too minor a part to justify development or a connection with the audience.

Children might find joy and excitement in watching Turbo, thanks to its flashy visuals – highlighted by a minor race and Turbo’s neon-blue trail. The auto-tuned song, “The Snail is Fast”, might have children singing it, but may only serve to annoy the rest of us. Turbo attempts to introduce humour a few times with the eagles, tomatoes, and snail crew, but unfortunately falls short every time. A running gag, the crows snatching up the snails, hopefully will zip past childrens’ minds, as that won’t be a particularly enjoyable conversation to have with a young one.

One thing that parents may notice is the extremely blatent product placement. Brands on cars is perfectly understandable (although avoidable), but I’m sure DreamWorks could have made the same movie without a Verizon-branded phone or HP-branded laptops – no offense to either company.

DreamWorks Animation had a juicy premise with Turbo, but instead of fleshing out the characters and plot, fails to deliver anything substantial, instead giving quite a rotten movie. =