Go-faster snail puts foot down

3SR: A zippy little film about never giving up on your dreams is a holiday must for the kids.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Maya Rudolph, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Michelle Rodriguez.

Directed by David Soren

Written by Darren Lemke, Robert D. Siegel and David Soren

Animated, comedy, family, kids. 1hr 36mins. Rated G.


Turbo races onto screens just in time for our school holidays, gunning for those kiddie minding dollars against Disney/Pixar’s Cars follow up, Planes, and perennial favourite the Smurfs.

My money’s on his go-faster stripes to put this Jonathan Livingston Snail out in front.

While cuteness and sentiment abound in this take on the old ‘‘never give up your dreams’’ story, there’s nothing trite or over-done about it.

A snail with a burning need for speed, Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is not like the other shell dwellers in the vege patch.

He wants to go fast, well, fast for a gastropod. A foot and a half in under 17 minutes is a personal record for this tiny number 5!

But when a freak Nitrous Oxide incident leaves him with the power of V8 engine under his shell, and in the care of Tito, a burrito guy with a heart of gold and big dreams of his own, it looks like Turbo might get is chance at the track.

Now he must overcome the fears of his stick-in-the-mud brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) and the threats of his racing idol competition to live up to his destiny as the fastest snail alive and the hopes of his new friends.

We may have seen it before in Finding Nemo, Cars, Toy Story and others, but the tale of the little guy with the big dream that could is one kids never get tired of, and we should never get tired of telling them.

Turbo borrows from a lot of great sources but is no less charming and uplifting for it.

Bad guy Guy Gagne’s (Bill Hader) with his suave Frankish charm and rambling metaphoric platitudes is even a nod to adult racing comedy Telladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’s sly nemesis, Jean Girard.

In fact, spotting the originals might be a good distraction for grown-ups who need a little more depth in their films than Turbo provides.

You can also have fun spotting the big name stars who’ve lent their voices to the cast of cheeky characters  – Samuel L. Jackson as the leader of a crew of tricked -out racing snails is probably the most adorable hard-ass ever to make it to the big screen.

But the best fun will be watching the kids fall in love with another team of indefatigable mini heroes to emulate. An adorable family watch.

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