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4.7 out of 5 stars352
4.7 out of 5 stars
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I didn’t get to the theater as much as usual in 2013, so I’m catching up via rentals now. One of those I missed was Turbo, and it was well worth watching.

The story follows the adventures of a snail who dreams of racing. And yes, we’re talking car racing. Not only does Turbo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) stay up nights watching tapes of races; it interferes with his day job of corralling the rotten tomatoes his co-workers send down from the vines.

One day, an accident infuses him with the one thing he craves, speed. Then he finds himself in the possession of a taco truck driver, Tito (Michael Pena), who thinks that Turbo just might be the way to get his brother’s taco stand notice. Will it work?

Obviously, this animated delight has no basis in reality – especially in the final act when Turbo, as a snail, fulfills a dream of racing cars. But you know what? I didn’t care.

Why is that? The film is filled with delightful characters from start to finish. While Turbo and his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) have their disagreements, they do obviously still care for each other. In fact, I loved how their relationship mirrored that of Tito and his brother Angelo (Luis Guzman). The other owners of the shops in the strip mall where much of the action takes place are fun as are the other racing snails in the complex. I truly loved all of them and enjoyed spending time with them.

The voice talent is wonderful. Whether famous or not, the only voice I recognized was Samuel L. Jackson, but it fit the character so perfectly I didn’t find it a distraction at all. The actors did what they needed to do, allow me to get lost in the story.

So how lost in the story did I get? During the climax, I was so into it I found myself yelling at the screen. Yes, I knew how the story would end (it is fairly predictable), but in that moment it didn’t matter. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t get to catch this one in the theaters after all.

And I can’t leave out the comedy. While the premise may be crazy, the execution is perfect, and I couldn’t help but laugh the entire way through. The scene where Turbo first discovers his changes is especially funny.

DreamWorks Animation is a mix of stylized and realistic. This one ventured more toward the realistic side of things with several beautiful shots throughout the film that come close to rivaling Pixar at their best. One key scene takes place in the Los Angeles “River” (don’t get me started on that drainage ditch), and I recognized it. This was before I knew the setting was the LA suburbs, and I was pretty excited with my catch.

Turbo was delightful from start to finish and I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it sooner. Don’t let this one race by without stopping to enjoy it yourself.
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on 1 December 2013
This film has such a heart warming storyline to it. Turbo-voiced very well by Ryan Reynolds, is a little snail with big ambitions in life. The story follows him through his journey to pursue his dreams, and even as he is outcasted by all those who love him, he still carries on.

Full of lots of laughs and a few tear jerking moments, this is a film for any child and parent a like! The cinema around me was full of lots of little giggles from all ages. Will defiantly be adding this to my collection once released.

Recommended for anyone who loves a good movie with a little unlikely character who wins the audiences hearts!
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on 22 May 2014
Wow I wish I had thought of this! Brilliant and awesome and so fun!
This film takes the mickey out of it'self in a way that makes it more credible.
That might make more sense once you have seen it.
Turbo is such a driven little character who draws in everyone around him both snail and human though not initially otherwise the story wouldn't be. For anyone who likes a little guy takes on the big people's world and wins above the odds story.
It's snails dressed as cars...great fun and pure fantasy fun...loads of famous voices too.
Having said all that both times I played it my little 3yr old fell asleep he prefers fireman sam and peppa pig. I think while suitable for all ages, kids older than mine would enjoy this more as many jokes are satire and cerebral in nature which little ones might not get.
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VIDEO (2D):

Turbo zooms onto blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.35:1 encode. This Fox/DreamWorks collaboration presents a stunning display of animated eye candy. The transfer is pristine. While characters appear a little bit like plastic (here, Pixar is still more superior), their environments are richly detailed. Little imperfections in roadways, pebbly backyard terrains, veins in leaves, individual blades of grass, and fine details on race cars are revealed to current technological perfection. Colours are bold and saturated. The choice of 2.35:1 ratio is appreciated because the colourful picture simply fills my 12 foot wide screen (using anamorphic lens), and looks majestic like a wonderful painting. (5/5)

VIDEO (3D):

Turbo speeds onto blu ray with an enjoyable 3D presentation. The image retains the same excellent characteristics of its 2D counterpart, as described above. The 3D presentation doesn't dim or in any way lessen the dazzling impact of the usual characteristics. Colours remain bold and accurate. Details, too, enjoy pinpoint accuracy across the board, revealing with seemingly limitless clarity individual grasses, earthen terrains, pot-marked roadways, and Dos Bros. Tacos menus seen in the background of several shots. Overall, this is a good 3D transfer, but it is not outstanding and not spectacular. (4/5)

AUDIO (3D & 2D):

Turbo blasts onto blu ray with a powerhouse DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack. The primary English track offers incredible stage presence in every area of concern. Whether a lawnmower powering through the stage, jets zooming overhead, or cars rumbling down the track at high speed, the track delivers a wide, seamless soundstage and brings its major effects to life with precision placement, movement, and sonic accuracy, right down to the ribcage-rattling low end support pieces. Clarity is superb across all sound effects and musical elements, too. Dialogue is clear. This is a robust, active and highly enjoyable soundtrack. (5/5)

TRIVIA:

Turbo has an estimated budget of $135 million, but only grossed $267 million worldwide.

PACKAGING:

This 3D set has 1 3D blu ray disc, 1 2D blu ray disc and 1 DVD (Digital Copy), each housed individually in its own flipcase. Warner Brothers (re Man of Steel, stacking one 3D disc on the 2D disc), are you listening?

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I bought the 3D set because I am starting to collect 3D version of major blockbuster movies. In this case, the 3D version is not spectacular. I would recommend the 2D version: bright bold colours with amazing details. Overall, it is a very enjoyable experience
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on 16 November 2013
Brilliant animation
original humorous
Unpredictable storyline
Far more entertaining than Monsters university
Appropriate for all ages
Loved by all the family
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on 6 December 2013
A amazing film. If I had pick between this and cloudy 2 I'd pick this. Dreamworks and fox did good this year (this +croods) hope mr.peabody and dragons 2 are good.
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on 22 November 2015
Ryan Reynolds stars as the voice of a garden snail with big dreams of racing in the Indy 500 in DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo. Is this snail another great addition to the DreamWorks cast of colorful characters or is it just a bug that needs to be squished?

Theo is an average garden snail with hopes and dreams of one day being incredibly fast. During the day he lives a mundane life working in a garden with his brother, Chet, and the rest of the snails removing overripe tomatoes from the crop. At night he watches video tapes of his favorite Formula One racecar driver Guy Gagné for inspiration as he tries to improve his speed in a thirty-six inch race. So desperate to be fast he drinks energy drinks like his hero and calls himself “Turbo.” Chet thinks it’s nonsense for Theo to have such preposterous dreams given the fact that he’s a snail.

One day after nearly getting run over by a lawnmower trying to prove he is fast, Theo shamefully runs away from the garden. He stops on a highway overpass of the 101 and stares in awe of cars racing by below. All of a sudden a semi truck knocks Theo off the highway and onto the hood of a tricked out racing Camaro. He is then sucked into the engine as the vehicle drag races which he is then drowned in a Nitrous Oxide solution within the pistons. The chemicals absorb into Theo’s blood stream and he becomes lightning fast.

When he returns to the garden to tell his brother of what happened, Chet is swooped away by a hungry crow. Theo races after the bird and rescues him, but then finds themselves stranded in the middle of a strip mall in Van Nuys, California. The two are captured and when they think they are doomed, they are actually placed on a racetrack against other snails. Theo finally gets his chance to show the world his powers and amazes everyone. The man who captured Theo and Chet is named Tito who works for his brother Angelo at Dos Bros. Tacos at the Starlight Plaza. Tito also has brother problems as his hair brained schemes to promote business never seem to work out. Tito is so desperate to help his brother and the other store owners of the runned down strip mall, he decides to enter Theo, now officially called Turbo, into the Indy 500. Can Turbo and Tito prove their brothers wrong and win the big race?

I have been a fan of DreamWorks movies for a while now. I feel that between them and Pixar, they really produce some high quality family entertainment. I love Kung-Fu Panda, Rise of the Guardians, and my favorite is How to Train your Dragon. So how does Turbo compare previous films? While the snails are cute, they have generic personalities and the story at times, pardon the pun, runs at a snails pace.

The first act of the movie starts off extremely similar to Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Turbo is an insect who isn’t content with his lot in life. He dreams of bigger and better opportunities. I couldn’t help but compare Turbo to the ant character Flick as even in one scene Turbo invents different tools to collect tomatoes. Once Turbo obtains his super speed ability (a scene that reminded me of Disney’s Bolt) it then apparently seemed to steal many influences from Pixar’s original Car’s. The complete second act has Turbo, just like Lighting McQueen, come to a dilapidated part of town where businesses are on the verge of bankruptcy and in desperate need of customers. The Starlight Plaza strip mall reeked of Radiator Springs. This all lead to the final act that took place at the Indy 500. If you watched Cars a million times with your kids like I have, you’ll already know that the outsider brings the cast of misfit humans and snails together. I won’t spoil how it ends, but it’s pretty predictable.

One thing I hate in movies is obvious product placement. I thought it was creatively ingenious that Cars and Cars 2 had made up sponsors and products like Dinoco and Rust-Eze. Turbo has no problem plastering brand names all over the screen. I know both NASCAR and Formula One racing has more sponsorships than New York City’s Times Square, but to me it felt like a distraction as Sunoco, Chevrolet, Verizon, Firestone, and many other name brands get pushed into you face in RealD 3D. Most kids will be completely oblivious, but as an adult the entire third act seemed like one big commercial.

Inherently Turbo is not a bad film. When you remove a lot of layers of the story it’s deep down just a story of two sets of brothers. One brother lives in the dreamworld. The other lives in reality. Ryan Reynolds is the voice of Turbo. He just wants to be fast. He’s just like any kid who wants to be a astronaut or a pilot but keeps getting told by his pessimistic older brother that it’s impossible. That’s where Chet comes in voiced by Paul Giamatti. Turbo just wants some encouragement, but his brother is too overbearing and protective to notice. This goes the same for the Dos Bros. Tacos brothers. Tito voiced by Michael Peña and Angelo voiced by Luis Guzmán constantly bicker. Tito wastes time thinking of merchandising and racing snails instead of selling tacos so Angelo yells at him. While kids may understand and relate to the parallels of the brothers’ relationships to their own siblings, I felt it was redundant and overly explained characters. It was like the movie was telling the same story twice at the exact same time.

What the kids are going to love are the rest of the snails. Not only are their shells colorful, but so are their personalities. One thing you’ll notice are that a couple of actors don’t really stray away from their perceived personas. The leader of the group is Whiplash voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. His character is pretty much Sam Jackson as a snail. That also goes for Smoove Move voiced by Snoop Dogg. He’s basically Snoop Dog as a snail and he snizzles for rizzles in the hizzie. Maya Rudolph is Burn, Mike Bell is White Shadow, and Ben Schwartz is Skid Mark. Other notable actors are the store owners, Michelle Rodriguez as Paz the mechanic, Ken Jeong as the nail stylist, and Richard Jenkins as bobby the hobbyist.

Turbo does have some pretty visuals that move at lightning speed. Many times, you get a really neat third person perspective of Turbo as he races at 200 mph. The filmmakers and artists took a lot of attention to detail to design the locations, especially as you get close up shots of the world from a snail’s perspective. I thought the film also looked really good in 3D.

One thing I always consider in reviewing family movies is my kids’ opinion. I took my 9 and 7 year old daughters and a couple of their friends. While they did indeed have fun with the movie, they liked it, but specifically told me they didn’t love it. In the long run Turbo felt like a 96 minute commercial to me rather than a heartfelt story.

Turbo wasn’t a horrible movie so if you do find yourself being forced by the kids to see it, you’re not going to hate yourself. It did have some really cool 3D effects, especially during the racing, but if you’re on a tight budget, you’re not going to lose out taking the little ones to a 2D bargain matinee. With movies like Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 that have a bit better story and characters, I’d say wait to rent or purchase when it’s available.
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on 8 November 2013
I'm a 19 year old teen and absolutely loved this, I'm a total sucker to Animations but saw this and thought it wouldn't tickle me like previous Dreamworks films (nothing compares to the beauty of How To Train Your Dragon).. okay, there isn't as much heart to it and we've all seen racing done before (Cars, Cars 2) but this had me drawn in from the start because its unique; definitely worth a watch in my opinion, and to compare I'd say it was much better than Dreamworks Brave!
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on 22 February 2014
we love this film!! it's great in 3d, but probably just as good in the Blu-ray version which we haven't seen yet. I would recommend this to people of all ages. it was pre-ordered for release for posting ages ago and couldn't wait when it did finally arrive on the release date. we weren't disappointed. it arrived on time and I was kept informed as to when it would be dispatched and it was well packaged. I would definitely order from this seller again.
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on 11 May 2014
I really enjoyed watching this with my niece and nephew. I have not been all that impressed with some of the kids films that I have been forced to endure of late. But this one struck me, like Toy Story when I first saw it, as the type of family film which reaches its audience with humour that can span the cap. Well worth the rent.
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