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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Action > Racing > CGI > Turbo (2013/Fox/DreamWorks Animation Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Turbo (2013/Fox/DreamWorks Animation Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)

Picture: A-/B Sound: A/B Extras: C+ Film: B-

After a host of out of this world, imaginative CGI tales from Pixar, DreamWorks, and other studios; there have been some less than stellar productions as well. Turbo is the tale of a snail (thanks Dr Seuss!) who has the need for speed (and again with the rhyming!).

Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is the snail and wants nothing more than to speed around the earth like his favorite racer Guy Gagne (voiced by Bill Hader). Based (somewhat) in reality Turbo adheres to the rules that snails are, well…slow. So unfortunately for Theo, being a high speeding, gas guzzling racer are not in the cards for him. In reality Theo can't even get himself across the yard fast enough to partake in a yummy tomato the garden community has been enjoying. Then (seemingly out of nowhere) a wonderfully odd accident gives Theo the powers he has desired for so long; flinging him into the world of high speed racing, blinking lights and all. Sadly for Theo his speed comes with a price and after destroying the main vine of a tomato plant his community centers around; Theo and his cautious brother (Chet; voiced by Paul Giamatti) are cast out from the suburban garden and into the streets of Van Nuys.

In Van Nuys Theo is captured by Hispanic taco truck owner Tito (voiced by Michael Pena) who puts him in a snail race with some astounding results. The snails and Tito alike are impressed by Theo's skills; Tito thinking that Theo may finally be the floundering strip malls salvation. Barely scraping by Tito and his family (along with other strip mall shop owners) are in dire straits, in need of cash and a miracle. Just as Theo has his cautious brother Chet, Tito has his brother Angelo (Luis Guzman) who is more than content slinging tacos; a life without adventure. But with big dreams and inspired by Theo, Tito packs up Theo and heads for the Indy 500. Tito figures since there are no rules explicitly stating NO SNAILS in the Indy 500, then why not?!

I am all for strange, oddball, creative tales; but in my humble opinion Turbo was a bit too silly and in the end missed the mark? It is certainly imaginative, with solid animation and voice acting with the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Sam Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Luis Guzman, and many more to back it up; but in the end the film was a far cry from other DreamWorks and Pixar ventures that are already at this time all time classics. The story is the age old premise of the underdog coming out on top, but the follow through is average at best. Sadly, Turbo doesn't manage to leave the competition in the dust but is fun enough with a degree of creativity and solid artistry that is sure to entertain some; certainly a gripping tale for younger audiences.

Whereas I may have found the premise of Turbo a bit underwhelming, the visuals and sound quality are anything but. The picture is presented in a 1080p 2.39 X 1 digital High Definition that is stunning from beginning to end with crisp, clean animation, bright colors and fine details and textures. The 2D picture quality (a Blu-ray 3D version was issued separately from our set here) is dazzling to say the least and is near perfection as the lighting/shadowing, ambitious color pallet and all that is in between remains visually pleasing beginning to end. The sound is up there with the picture as the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track lights up the entire speaker range with solid panning effects that truly bring this racing film to life. Dialogue is crisp, clean, and clear that prioritizes in conjunction with other atmospheric elements, mixed down nicely from its best Auro 11.1 and Dolby Atmos 11.1 theatrical screenings.

The included DVD and Digital Copy are merely downgrades of the already stellar Blu-ray release.

The extras are plentiful, though I was not thrilled with any in particular as they are all too short without much detail. Extras include:

  • Deleted Scenes

  • Champions Corner featurette

  • Smoove Moves Music Maker

  • Team Turbo: Tricked Out

  • Story-Board to Screen Comparison

  • Shell Creator

  • Trailer

  • Be An Artist! Featurette

- Michael P. Dougherty II


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