SPRING will see a healthy number of race-related films hit our screens, but before the adults get their turn with Ron Howard's Rush, the kids get their share ahead of school holidays.
With Pixar rival Planes hoping to appeal to audiences who loved its predecessor Cars, DreamWorks has released its own competitor. They've decided to stay on the ground because they believe slow and steady wins the race.
Their choice to feature one of Earth's slowest creatures is entertaining in premise. Working on the idealistic moral of everyone wanting to follow their dream, one little snail has (of his world's standards) a most impossible wish - to race the Indianapolis 500.
Turbo/Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is a believer. And good things come to those who wish upon a star, right?
Things come along to those who deserve them, and when Theo finds himself in a bad situation it ends up being the beginning of a great adventure.
He becomes Turbo a la Spider-Man, with a bit of nitrous oxide altering his DNA to make him super-speedy. Turbo is the toast of new peers after he and brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) are found by Tito (Michael Pena), and he uses his newfound ability with no sense of that so-called great responsibility.
With great power comes the inevitability of one losing their way a bit. Turbo's dream of racing in the Indy 500 becomes real with Tito's enthusiasm, but is knocked back by Chet's overwhelming disapproval.
Childhood heroes are also exposed to not be everything they seem. Racing legend Guy Gagne (Bill Hader) finds Turbo intimidating enough to bully him with fear. In both relating the irony of talking to a snail and what this little animal has dreamed of their meeting, it gives the overall story a stab in the side.
The oddness of this all centring on snails is something that lingers as the film goes on. Their lack of speed is well utilised with entertaining slow-motion shots, while the enormity of their day-to-day affairs are highlighted in much the same way Antz and A Bug's Life did so long ago. But it still brings a fascination to those watching.
David Soren brings a feisty protagonist to his first directorial feature, a young Generation X snail believing he can do it all. Reynolds brings the 'I can' attitude to the room to make Turbo a nicely likable character you want to cheer for.
Ken Jeong (The Hangover trilogy) hams up his feminine side voicing nail technician Kim Ly, while Snoop Dogg is Smooth Move... a smooth mover.
The script by Soren, Darren Lemke and Robert D Siegel blends a cute tale of pursuing your dream amongst those who shoot you down.
Slow and steady, their DreamWorks snails are quite possibly the coolest they'll ever look or sound.
Now screening at