Watch Where You Step
Voices of: Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena, Maya Rudolph Snoop Dogg, Richard Jenkins, Luis Guzman and Ken Jeong
Director: David Soren
Scriptwriters: David Soren, Robert Siegel and Darren Lemke
Rating: PG
Running Length: 109 minutes
Die-hard car racers will take any kind of motorized racing for the thrill of it, however, in “Turbo,” the racer turns out to be a super-charged snail (a gastropod.)  You read that right. Theo (alias “Turbo” and voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is the shelled creature with an attitude and aspirations to be the best Indy 500 racer in the world. There are so many stars voicing parts in this movie, one wonders if anyone was left to work on other movies. Theo’s pathway to fame is filled with adventure, some of which may be uneasy for children under the age of six.
We begin in a garden where garden snails work with tomato plants. Turbo is sometimes slower than the rest and is teased. His brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti) comes to his rescue. The creatures to watch out for are children with tricycles (shell crushers) who like to run over snails and ravens who fly away with snails. Theo has close calls and one day makes it to a place where he can watch street racing (think “Fast and Furious” here) He accidentally falls onto a race car equipped with nitrous oxide and inhales some, transforming himself (think “Spider-Man” here) into Turbo, the super-charged snail who can race faster than a car, has glowing eyes, a bright shell and music around him. Before you can say, Indy 500, Turbo has racing fever and is caught up with a pit crew (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Schwartz, Maya Rudolph and Snoop Dogg) at a local shopping mall. Turbo’s idol has always been Gagne, the top Indy racer. When they finally meet, Gagne offers to help the snail, thus fulfilling a lifelong dream. Finally, Turbo is at the Indy 500 and then Gagne realizes the snail will be a threat to him and things change for the worse. If Turbo's shell is  broken he loses his powers and may die. How can he compete here?
“Turbo” certainly is unique  in having a snail as a central figure. Snails are eaten in some countries, their shells are crushed in others for various purposes, and currently are used in beauty treatments. Thus, having a snail actually race, isn't so far-fetched after all. There is a great deal of activity going on in “Turbo,” so much so, that watching it unfold on the screen is almost time-consuming.  What to grasp? My favorite sections are at the beginning when Turbo tries to get a large tomato into place and the race at the end.  Parents may suddenly be asked for a snail as a pet (no hugging) and no putting the little creature by a car in hopes it will race Mom to the grocery store. I don't think the film production crew of “Turbo” thought of everything here.
Just as with “Despicable Me 2” in which the Minions almost stole the movie, in “Turbo” the cars and Indy 500 influence almost steal the film. The holidays will be active this year, especially with a “Turbo” cartoon series coming in 2014. In “Turbo’s” story, we see that friends can be found anywhere and they, and family, really matter, idols may have feet of clay, there can be danger anywhere and achieving one’s goal may or may not be the easiest thing in the world.
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner
For other film reviews of animated films at
see the following:
Puss in Boots
Cars 2
Winnie The Pooh


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