Turbo (film)

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Turbo
Turbo (film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Soren
Produced by Lisa Stewart
Written by David Soren
Robert Siegel
Darren Lemke
Story by David Soren
Starring Ryan Reynolds
Paul Giamatti
Michael Peña
Snoop Dogg
Maya Rudolph
Michelle Rodriguez
Samuel L. Jackson
Music by Henry Jackman
Cinematography Chris Stover
Edited by James Ryan[1]
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox[2]
Release dates
  • June 24, 2013 (2013-06-24) (CineEurope, Barcelona)[3]
  • July 17, 2013 (2013-07-17) (United States)
Running time 96 minutes[1][4]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $127 million[5][6]
Box office $282,570,682[7]

Turbo is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated comedy sports film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is based on an original idea by David Soren, who also directed the film.[8] Set in Los Angeles, the film features an ordinary garden snail whose dream to become the fastest snail in the world comes true. The film was released on July 17, 2013.[9]

The film stars the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez and Samuel L. Jackson.[8]

The film has been followed by a television series, titled Turbo FAST (Fast Action Stunt Team), which first aired on Netflix on December 24, 2013.[10]

Plot[edit]

In a suburban San Fernando Valley garden in Los Angeles,[11] Theo, a.k.a Turbo, is a snail who dreams of being the greatest racer in the world, just like his hero, 5-time Indianapolis 500 champ, Guy Gagné. His obsession with speed and all things fast has made him an outcast in the slow and cautious snail community, and a constant embarrassment to his older brother, Chet. Turbo desperately wishes he could escape the slow-paced life he's living, but his one chance to live proves a near fatal disaster when he tries to recover a prize tomato and needs to be rescued by Chet.

Demoralized, Theo wanders onto a freeway to admire the traffic and wishes he was fast on the first star (which is actually an airplane light). Suddenly, he gets into a freak accident when he gets sucked into the supercharger of a drag racer, fusing his DNA with nitrous oxide. The next day, when Theo wakes up, the incident finds himself vested with incredible speed and accuracy, as well as some characteristics of an actual car. Unfortunately, Theo's first attempt to show this power off ends with him crashing a Big Wheel tricycle into the garden, getting himself and Chet fired from the garden crew by their foreman.

As the siblings quarrel over Theo's problems, Chet is snatched by a crow, but is pursued and rescued by Theo at a run down strip mall called Starlight Plaza. There, they are captured by Tito, a "Dos Bros" taco truck driver, and are brought to a snail race held by him and his co-workers. Theo astounds both humans and snails alike and earns the respect of the snails, led by Whiplash, with his crew members Smoove Move, Burn, Skidmark, and White Shadow, who have skills of their own. Inspired by this extraordinary snail, Tito dreams to revive the strip mall with Theo as an attraction, and eventually with the help of the snails who manage to divert and strand a tour bus and drum up impressive business. At this success, Theo convinces Tito to enter him in Indianapolis 500 as a competitor. While Tito's brother, Angelo, still declines to support him, the neighbors agree to put up the entrance fee and accompany them to Indianapolis.

Once there, Tito is refused entry into the race, but a chance meeting with Guy Gagné gives Turbo a chance to show off his speed, astounding the audience and the racers and qualifies for the race. This impossible feat soon becomes a sensation on social media and the CEO gives in to the pressure, egged on by Gagné himself, to let the snail compete. However, the night before the race, Turbo is demoralized by Gagné, while Chet confesses that he cannot bear to see his brother endanger himself. Undeterred, Turbo enters the race the next day, but the dangerous racetrack and the more experienced competitors leave him trailing in last place. At a pitstop, Whiplash and his crew give Turbo a vital pep talk, advising him to stop racing like a car. Back in the race, Turbo realizes what they mean and uses his small size to his advantage. With the snail rapidly gaining in the standings, Gagné starts racing dirty and manages to knock Turbo against the circuit wall, damaging his shell and weakening his speed powers.

Eventually, in the final stretch with Turbo in the lead, Gagné tries a desperate maneuver to beat the snail and gets into a major crash that snares most of the competitors in a major pileup. Similarly, Turbo is thrown, waking up from unconsciousness with his shell punctured and his speed gone. Alarmed at seeing Turbo giving up, Chet puts himself into incredible dangers to meet up with Whiplash's crew to get to the racer. Seeing his brother and the crew arrive in crows to encourage him to continue, Turbo resumes the race. Unfortunately, Gagné, refusing to lose, single-mindedly pursues him by dragging his wrecked car after the snail and attempts to crush him. At the last second, Chet tells Turbo to tuck and roll into his shell at Gagné's last blow and the force allows him to tumble past the finish line to win. Gagné is then attacked by Kim-Ly.

At this victory, Starlight Plaza becomes a major attraction with all the businesses becoming spectacular successes including extremely elaborate snail races with Whiplash's crew getting special propulsion aids for their shells, while Chet is content as the track referee. As for Turbo, he becomes happier discovering that his shell has healed, and with that, his superspeed has returned.

Voice cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Turbo was directed by first-time director, David Soren, who also came up with the idea for the film. It all started when DreamWorks Animation organized a competition for all employees to pitch a one page idea. The night before, Soren conceptualized Fast & Furious with snails, and won the competition. The studio bought the idea, and let it "simmer" for more than five years. When Soren and his family moved into a new home with a backyard infested with snails, he pushed for the idea and "got it back on the fast track."[23] Soren explained why he chose snails: "For me, it was less about trying to make a racing movie and more about finding an underdog that I could really latch onto. I think that a snail is inherently an underdog. It's smashed, eaten by people, the butt of slow jokes around the world. It just seemed loaded with obstacles. Obviously, the opposite of slow is fast, and that's where racing came into the picture."[24] For the racing side of the film, Soren was inspired by his six-year-old son's fascination with race cars.[12]

DreamWorks Animation partnered with Hulman & Company, parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League, LLC (the organisation that sanctions the IZOD IndyCar Series) to make the racing as authentic as possible. Dario Franchitti, four-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion, was a technical consultant on the film, giving advice how Turbo should navigate the speed and competition through the eyes of a snail.[25]

Release[edit]

Turbo had its world premiere on June 24, 2013, at the CineEurope film distributors' trade fair in Barcelona, Spain.[3] It was theatrically released in the United States on July 17, 2013.[9] Turbo was originally scheduled for a July 19, 2013, release, but DreamWorks Animation moved the release up by two days.[26]

In Chile, this film was the first feature film to play in the 4DX motion format, featuring strobe lightning, motion, wind, water sprays, and aroma effects, which premiered at a Cine Hotys theater in La Reina, Chile.[27][28][29]

Home media[edit]

Turbo was released digitally on October 22, 2013, having in its first week the highest box office to digital unit ratio for DreamWorks Animation.[30] It was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on November 12, 2013. The Blu-ray came with a Turbo toy.[31]

Video games[edit]

A video game based on the film, titled Super Stunt Squad, was released on July 16, 2013 on Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Published by D3 Publisher, Bandai Namco Games And Dolby Digital, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U versions were developed by Monkey Bar Games And The Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS versions were developed by Torus Games. In the game, a crew of characters has to perform stunts to build up their skills and win challenges.[32] The game received negative reviews from critics with Metacritic giving the PS3 version a 38/100.[33] It was the last DreamWorks Animation game to be published by D3 Publisher and also the last DreamWorks Animation SKG game to be released on DS.

A mobile game called: Turbo Racing League, developed by Pikpok, was released on May 16, 2013, for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 devices. Played as a snail, the game allows players to race against time and collect tomatoes to earn upgrades. Verizon Wireless sponsored a competition with a total of $1 million in cash prizes - the largest sum for a mobile game to date - in which competitors had to achieve daily goals or collect enough tomatoes to unlock access to the weekly contest. The competition, which ran for eight weeks from May 16 through July 7, 2013, awarded the 10 fastest racers of each week up to $25,000, while the winner of the week was invited to the Grand Finale Race Event, which took place in Los Angeles on July 17, 2013, to earn the title of Turbo Racing League Champion and earn $250,000.[34] In its first ten weeks, the game was downloaded more than 20 million times, and was the most downloaded racing application during the time.[35]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Turbo received generally positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 67% approval rating with an average rating of 6.1/10 based on 105 reviews.[36] The site's consensus reads: "It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare." Another review aggregation website Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 59 out of 100 based on 26 reviews.[37] The film earned an "A" from general audiences polled by CinemaScore, and an "A+" from audiences under age 18.[38]

Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Co-writer/director David Soren's story offers little that even the average 6-year-old couldn't imagine, though the film's considerable charm comes through via its characters and sense of humor."[1] Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B, saying "While there's no denying that the film is a harmless, wholesome, and heart-warming ride crafted with polish and skill, it's also so predictable that you'll see every twist in the story driving down Fifth Avenue."[39] Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Let’s just say there are no surprises here, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing in a film that’s aimed mostly at the under-10 set. Mercifully, the characters and the comedy are just sophisticated enough to keep their minders from drifting off."[40] Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic gave the film three out of five stars, saying "There’s certainly no harm in seeing “Turbo.” Competent, pretty funny in places, awfully nice to look at, that sort of thing. There’s just not a lot of excitement, though."[41] Rafer Guzman of Newsday gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Turbo" has just enough heart to make it to the winner's circle."[42] Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "This good-natured but generic animated tale of a puny garden snail with huge dreams has some appealing characters, a few laughs and then devolves into a predictable Tortoise and the Hare spinoff.'[43]

A.O. Scott The New York Times gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Even in the absence of originality, there is fun to be had, thanks to some loopy, clever jokes and a lively celebrity voice cast."[44] Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film three and a half stars out of five, saying "Honestly, they pretty much had me at "racing snails."[45] Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star gave the film two out of four stars, saying "Turbo's colourful trek to product placement-littered Indianapolis is as rote as it gets, but little viewers won't care about predictability."[46] David Hiltbrand of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film two out of four stars, saying "Let's face it: Kids aren't a very demanding audience. If there's color, movement, and a high quotient of silliness, they're happy."[47] Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film a negative review, saying "After the originality of the hero, the filmmakers borrow too heavily from other movies; the similarities to Ratatouille and Cars are almost distracting."[48] Laremy Legel of Film.com gave the film an 8.5 out of 10, saying "Turbo" is the sort of film that should work extremely well for folks who are interested in it. It lives up to expectations, even often exceeding them, though it’s a shame it’s unlikely to find much of a cross-over audience."[49]

Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave the film three out four stars, saying "Turbo" isn't a perfect cartoon, but it's so likable that, like its humble hero, you have to root for it."[50] Moira MacDonald of The Seattle Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Ultimately, "Turbo" nicely lives up to its diminutive hero's credo of, "No dream is too big, and no dreamer too small" - a pleasant thought, for people of all sizes."[51] Jen Chaney of The Washington Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying “Turbo” is a derivative but nevertheless good-hearted movie that’s peppered with enough clever touches to engage adults as well as moviegoers of the smaller, squirmier variety."[52] Joe Neumaier of New York Daily News gave the film three out of five stars, saying "Families who have already raced to Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 will find “Turbo” an acceptable third-place finisher. A sort-of escargot-meets-“Cars” adventure, it has some sharp vocal turns and remains fun even when its inventiveness runs out of gas."[53] Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "While Disney seems to actively court entertainment headlines every time it gives us a new princess of color, here there’s no fuss, just a fully realized cartoon world that happens to be made up of the places and diverse faces found around an urban strip mall."[54]

Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called the film "An attractively designed but narratively challenged, one-note film."[55] David Fear of Time Out gave the film two out of five stars, saying "All Turbo does is give Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg the easiest paychecks they'll ever make, and its corporate overlords the chance to sell a few toys."[56] Nell Minow of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a B+, saying "The movie gets a bit slow, with too much time spent on the human characters, who are dreary and underwritten, compared to the big dreams of the little snail. But the film picks up when the racing snails come back onscreen, thanks to the adorable character design, with expressive use of those googly eyes, and especially to the voice talent."[57] A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a B–, saying "For all its chronic familiarity, the movie has its minor pleasures, many of them visual. Though at this point it's basically a given that a new studio-animated movie will look good, Turbo often looks downright exceptional."[58] R. Kurt Osenlund of Slant Magazine gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "As a film about social issues, and simply being yourself, it's commendably progressive, going so far as serving as a kind of coming-out story."[59]

Box office[edit]

Turbo grossed $83,028,128 in North America, and $199,542,554 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $282,570,682.[7] The film cost $127 million to produce,[5] and DreamWorks Animation spent between $150 million and $175 million to market it.[6] Although, the film had one the lowest grosses in the DreamWorks Animation history,[60] forcing the company to take a $13.5 million writedown,[61] Turbo franchise, which includes Netflix television series Turbo FAST, is still expected to be profitable.[62]

In North America, on its opening day the film earned 5.8 million in 3,552 theaters.[63] The film opened to number 3 in its first weekend, with $21,312,625, behind The Conjuring and Despicable Me 2,[64] having the third lowest all-time opening for a DreamWorks Animation computer-animated film, or adjusted for inflation and 3D prices, the lowest ever for a DWA CG film.[65] Turbo's domestic performance was a disappointment for DreamWorks Animation, which had expectation for their films to be "$150 million, $200 million grossing movies."[66] Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation's CEO, attributed less than expected gross to the bad release date, set in the middle of over-crowded summer marketplace, having an original film compete with five other animated films[60] ― by about 100% more than before.[67]

The film opened at number one in 32 territories. It became one of the top dozens animated films of all time in China, Korea and Venezuela.[30]

On February 25, 2014, Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the studio would have to take a $13.5 million write-down on the film, claiming that it "fell short of our expectations", particularly in key international markets.[68] This marked the second film in two years that DreamWorks Animation has lost money on, after Rise of the Guardians.[69] On October 29 it was revealed that DreamWorks had taken a further $2.1 million loss on the film, due to its poor performance in international markets.[70]

Accolades[edit]

Award Category Winner/Nominee Result
Annie Award[71] Animated Effects in an Animated Production Greg Gladstone, Nikita Pavlov, Allen Ruilova, Matt Titus, Can Yuksel Nominated
Character Design in an Animated Feature Production Sylvain Deboissy, Shannon Tindle Nominated
Directing in an Animated Feature Production David Soren Nominated
Music in an Animated Feature Production Henry Jackman Nominated
Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production Paul Giamatti Nominated
Editorial in an Animated Feature Production James Ryan Nominated
Golden Trailer Awards[72] Best Animation/Family Trailer "Fast Lane" trailer Nominated
Satellite Awards[73] Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media Nominated
British Academy Children's Awards[74] BAFTA Kid's Vote - Film in 2014 Nominated

Soundtrack[edit]

Turbo: Music from the Motion Picture
Film score by Henry Jackman
Released July 16, 2013
Recorded 2013
Genre Score
Length 59:38
87:26 (Deluxe edition)
Label Relativity Music Group
Henry Jackman film scores chronology
This Is the End
(2013)
Turbo
(2013)
Snoop Dogg, who voices Smoove Move in the film, debuted "Let the Bass Go", a song he created for the film's soundtrack, at the E3 convention.[75]

Turbo: Music from the Motion Picture is the soundtrack of the film. Henry Jackman composed the original music for the film, which was released on July 16, 2013 by Relativity Music Group.[76][77] The soundtrack with an additional 11 songs was released on the deluxe edition.[78][79] Snoop Dogg, who voiced one of the characters in the film, also contributed to the soundtrack with an original song titled "Let the Bass Go", which was played over the closing credits. According to Dogg, the song is "something upbeat that everyone in the house can enjoy. I'm on my old-school rap style there: we took sounds from the Eighties like an 808 bass to give it that 'Planet Rock' and 'Going Back to Cali' feel. It was about paying homage, while at the same time taking the movie to the next level."[80]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Henry Jackman, except where noted.

No. Title Music Length
1. "Let the Bass Go"   Snoop Dogg 3:55
2. "Another Day at the Plant"     2:52
3. "It's Tricky"   Run–D.M.C. 3:04
4. "What's New Pussycat?"   Tom Jones 2:19
5. "Drop It Like It's Hot"   Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell Williams 4:28
6. "Supersnail"     1:47
7. "Meet the Competition"     2:35
8. "Krazy"   Pitbull featuring Lil Jon 3:44
9. "Jump Around"   House of Pain 3:39
10. "Goin' Back to Indiana"   Jackson 5 3:32
11. "The Snail is Fast"   V12 and Nomadik 3:18
12. "Indianapolis"     2:30
13. "Tuck & Roll"     4:21
14. "Speedin'"   Classic 2:21
15. "Here We Come"   V12 and Classic 2:31
16. "Eye of the Tiger" (Sher Gunn Remix) Survivor 5:52
17. "Saturday Night"   Ozomatli 4:01
18. "Turbo"     2:49
Total length:
59:38

Series[edit]

Main article: Turbo FAST

A flash-animated[81] television series, titled Turbo FAST (Fast Action Stunt Team), debuted exclusively on Netflix on December 24, 2013, when the first five episodes of the first 26-episode season were released, with subsequent episodes following around holidays throughout 2014.[82][83] As the first original Netflix series for children, it is available in United States and in the 40 countries where Netflix offers its service.[10] Picking up where the films has left off, the series follows Turbo and his crew on their worldwide exploits while mastering new stunts and competing with villains.[10] A total of 56 11-minute[84] episodes will be produced by DreamWorks Animation Television, with production services provided by Titmouse.[83][85] A large part of the production is outsourced to South Korea, which marks the first time for DreamWorks Animation to outsource to the country.[86] The series is directed by Mike Roush,[81] executive produced by Chris Prynoski,[87] and features Reid Scott as the voice of Turbo,[88] John Eric Bentley as Whiplash, Grey DeLisle-Griffin as Burn, Phil LaMarr as Smoove Move, Amir Talai as Skidmark and Tito,[89] Eric Bauza as Chet,[90] and Ken Jeong, who reprises his role of Kim Ly.[83]

References[edit]

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