DreamWorks Animation’s latest film Turbo is the story of an underdog – and everyone loves an underdog, right? The animated family movie is centred on a garden snail, Theo, who is obsessed with the idea of competing in the Indy 500. Bored with the limitations of his slow snail life, Theo dreams of the day when he can be as fast as a racing car. When a freak accident leaves him with super speed, he becomes Turbo, and one step closer to realising his dreams.
Turbo is a likeable film with an all-star voice cast including Ryan Renyolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg. While the movie zips along, there are some genuine laughs and just enough one-liners to please the adults in the audience. The animation is glossy and the cast of racing snails are brought to life with great imagination and detail.
Like most animated features of late, Turbo is filmed in 3D, which at times detracts from the viewing experience. There is so much going on and so many scenes of movement that where the 3D is meant to enhance the viewing experience, it has the opposite effect. Viewers wouldn’t miss out seeing this in 2D.
DreamWorks have, in the past, created some clever and witty animated family films like the Shrek series, but Turbo falls short of the mark. Turbo is fun, silly and likeable enough, but it feels more like an exercise in ticking the formulaic genre boxes than creating a sharp, unique animated film. The movie lacks emotional depth and elements of surprise; we know exactly how the story will unfold from the start. This is fine if there were enough plot curve-balls to keep us entertained, but Turbo knows where it’s going and it speeds straight along the road to get there.
That said, Turbo is entertaining viewing if you aren’t expecting it to be unpredictable or challenge the family genre. It doesn’t compete with the likes of Despicable Me or Shrek for wit and humour and doesn’t rival any of the Pixar movies. But if you are looking for a family film that does exactly what it says on the tin, then Turbo is the movie for you.
Turbo is released nationwide on 18th October 2013.
Watch the trailer for Turbo here: