I’m not usually in the business of reviewing movies, but I’m going to make an exception. Turbo debuted last night and I had to check it out.
The story is pretty simple, in a fanciful, animated sort of way. It’s about a snail from the San Fernando Valley who gets supercharged power that enables to him to achieve his dream of racing in the Indy 500. Based on a true story, no doubt.
I’m obviously going to be biased about this movie. I have nothing for snails (in fact they’re a little disgusting), but I’m a big fan of the Indy 500. How could I not like a movie that animates the greatest spectacle in racing on the big screen? Especially when it’s produced by DreamWorks.
But I’m also an animation fan. In fact, I have a collection of Disney animation art from various films, so I’m no cartoon pushover.
I liked Turbo for several good reasons. First, it’s a great brother movie. There are two sets of brothers at the center of this film and it’s all about sticking together even when you have doubts.
Second, the scenes from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are amazingly realistic. I’ve spent plenty of time there and each scene, from gasoline alley to pit row, had every detail. The racing scenes were also done right. While the snail was a cartoon, the cars looked like the real thing. Three time Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti acted as the racing consultant so they animators could get it right.
Finally, it had great characters. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t exactly reinvent the animation wheel here. But it didn’t take long to forget that snails are really slimy disgusting creatures. And Samuel L. Jackson is perfect as the leader of the snail pack.
Turbo is not likely to knock Toy Story II off as the number one animated movie on RottenTomatoes.com top 100 list. Yes, it’s predictable. But as a fun summer movie that emphasizes the bond between brothers, and the thrill of racing in the Indy 500, Turbo gets the checkered flag.
You can check out the Turbo trailer here.