Turbo, initially, had us wondering how a story about a garden snail with dreams of racing in the Indianapolis 500 would really come together. In fact, we were surprised how much the DreamWorks Animation movie was delightful, inspiring and a wholly entertaining experience.
Ryan Reynolds voices Turbo, a snail who is living life in the backyard of a Los Angeles suburban home, alongside his brother (Paul Giamatti). They wake up, go to work on the tomato plants, and go home -- every day, day in… day out. Turbo is convinced there is more to life and in fact, he spends his off time watching video tapes on an abandoned TV in the garage of his inspiration, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader), winning the Indy 500 over and over again.
After a period of time everyone in his snail group of friends, and especially his brother, keep on telling him to stop dreaming and start living the life he was destined to lead. Turbo is despondent, and as we see in the Turbo trailer, our little guy wanders away from his home and winds up getting sucked into a street racer’s car and gets amped up on Nitrous Oxide that turns him into a speed machine.
A madcap serious of events (fateful to say the least) leads Turbo and his brother to a taco stand run by Tito (Michael Pena) and his brother Angelo (Luis Guzman), where the former just happens to run a back alley snail racing racket, and guess who’s the new star?
It is also there that we are introduced to Turbo’s pals and fellow snail racing compatriots. And the vocal talents of the group are beyond stellar. Samuel L. Jackson is Whiplash, Snoop Dogg is Smoove Move, Maya Rudolph voices Burn and Ben Schwartz tackles Skidmark.
Turbo is not only a priceless lesson in determination and a never giving up on one’s dreams story for kids, but it also works incredibly well as an overcoming the odds tale that will easily resonate with adults. The humor permeates across age groups, the thrills are intense -- but not too intense for small children -- and the heart pulsates with the performances of the cast and the strength of the story.
Our Turbo review believes that director David Soren achieves all those fantastic attributes and also manages to craft an animated movie that pops off the screen with a color that is as vibrant as his tale of the snail who may be small, but whose dreams are enormous.