Dreamworks are on a roll here people, 'The Croods' 'Rise of the Guardians' and now this slick little number. Yet another insect tale and another creature checked off the to do list (will there be an animated flick about every creature?), this little story is so obvious and easy I'm amazed it hasn't been done already.
A simple snail is turned into a super fast snail when he accidentally gets sucked up into a modded cars turbo engine and he somehow mutates into this supersnail (yeah you missed this idea Marvel). So this story is gonna be even more outlandish than the regular insect animations.
At first the angle of the film is much like any other creepy crawly kids flick, its silly but its still based around how that creature actually exists in reality. In a garden munching on leaves, lettuce, tomatoes, getting eaten by birds and avoiding dangerous situations like evil kids. But as the film progresses it slowly morphs into a clear 'Fast n Furious' rip off for kids. At first I wasn't too sure if I was gonna like it but luckily the plot takes us into the realms of F1/Indycar racing...I feared an all out cheesy chav filled bling fest.
The visuals are filled with neon which tends to be a cheap way to try and make things look cool but admittedly it does look quite good here. I do like the neon snail trail 'Turbo' leaves and how it follows the coils in his shell. Although the fact his little body made all sorts of car noises and his eyes lit up as headlights was a bit too far for me. I did also find myself liking his fellow snail friends with their ridiculous shells, it was totally daft but kinda cute at the same time. The snail crew were actually really amusing I must admit, S.L. Jackson really makes the most of his well known loud aggressive persona which was funny coming from a little snail. The rest were kinda cliched with the obligatory hip hop snail in a small crew that were clearly a parody of the characters in '2 Fast 2 Furious', 'White Shadow' was easily the best snail for me.
The story is insane though, this fat guy (Mexican?) finds Turbo and decides the best thing to do is enter him in the Indianapolis 500...yes the real Indianapolis 500. Now I have to say this concept is beyond surreal frankly but there we go. I can't really moan about it as this is in no way suppose to be taken seriously. I mean the snails supposedly only know of their little garden world, so how would they know what Mexican food is or anything in the outside world? oh right Turbo watches TV...I'll stop right here. Anyway if it were me I'd just get the snail on the news and travel the world showing him off, why risk getting the little fella crushed straight away?!.
Its definitely more of a kids film but I'm sure adults will enjoy some of it, the whole thing is so cozy and cheerful how can you not like it?. The quick little quips from various snail characters kept me amused, Giamatti as 'Chet' was good for that. The classic underdog (undersnail hehehe) tale, there aren't any surprises here lets put it this way. What happens in the race (the whole plot) is basic 101 story telling and you know what will happen a mile off. This isn't a problem though as the film is all heart, full of bright colourful visuals and some great little characters (crank up the merchandise machine).