Parents, there are some snails who'd like your attention, and I don't mean the ones in your garden. The movie Turbo, opening Wednesday, July 17, has one of the most unlikely story lines you'll see all summer: A snail realizes his dream to race in the Indy 500. He's not racing other snails, mind you -- he's competing against human race car drivers. I'll let that sink in.
It's an outlandish idea, but that's why your kids love animated features. Anything is possible. Turbo sounds bonkers enough to catch your kids' attention, but will they like it? Should you take them to see it?
So here's what happens: Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is a snail who dreams of racing. When he accidentally falls inside the engine of a racing car, he gets a jolt of magic that makes him ultra fast. Now he really can compete in the Indy 500! Theo's so fast, he changes his name to Turbo. But he needs a crew. So Turbo and his older brother befriend the owners of a taco truck, a garage, and a nail salon -- plus a crew of other racing snails -- and together they take on the big race.
Like most kids' movies these days, Turbo is LOUD and intense, especially if you see it in 3-D. You would expect that from a movie about racing, right? If your kids were all right with Pixar's Cars movies, they'll be fine with Turbo. There are some scenes when our intrepid little snail is in quite a bit of physical danger, and he even gets hurt. But (SPOILER ALERT!) he lives. Several other snails die when birds swoop in and pick them off, but this is presented swiftly and with humor -- just part of life for your average garden snail.
What I really liked about the movie is how it promotes a spirit of cooperation. Turbo may be a super snail, but he still needs the support of his new friends. And they, in turn, benefit from his success.
There's also two sweet brother story lines your kids may relate to -- or maybe you will, too. The characters are a diverse bunch: Mexican-American, Korean-American, and black. If I have one criticism, it's that there's just two female characters.
And of course, this is another tale about someone who's different, whose passions make them seem odd at first. But he doesn't give up his dreams. He takes risks and pushes himself as far as he possibly can. Also? Those snails are suuuper cute.
By the way, if you're wondering how they came up with this insane idea, here's director David Soren explaining it.
And here's Samuel Jackson (who voices Whiplash, the leader of the racing snail crew) and Ryan Reynolds talking about what makes Turbo different from other kids' movies ... aside from the racing snails.
And here's the trailer!
Are your kids excited to see the movie Turbo?
Image via Dreamworks