DreamWorks Review: Turbo

DreamWorks Animation's 27th feature film.
DreamWorks Animation’s 27th feature film.


Just to let yall know, I went through HELL putting together this review. The pictures would not initially upload, could not find a coherent site to watch the film, wrote a bunch of things to have it not saved. I went through it all. It would have been a different thing if the film was good.

My opinion right after watching movie

My opinion of the movie right after watching it is that it is predictable, a  ripoff of Ratatouille, and to a smaller extent Cars, and a lot of things in the movie are stupid and make no sense. Thank the lord this DreamWorks Review segment is finished.


So all I can find and care to find is that DreamWorks Animation held a competition where ANY employee can pitch an idea for a film, and David Soren was the lucky one to win. His idea of Fast and Furious with snails was left for 5 years before things took off.


So the movie starts with Theo aka Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) sneaking into a home to watch his favorite race tape, and inspires to be in the Indianapolis 500 and be like his inspiration Guy Gagne (Bill Hader). His brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) thinks he is delusional and needs to get ready to go to work as a…..tomato collector.

Since when do snails collect tomatoes? Do they even eat tomatoes? What are they gonna do with all the tomatoes they catch. Not on a good start.

So Turbo is trying to be funny when he taunts his brother, and he soon screws up his tomato job when he tries to race it, making the tomato squishy. Everyone laughs at him and Chet has another talk with him. Theo says racing with cars is in him -_-. So it is the next day and a tomato falls into someone’s garden and Turbo tries to get it before the lawn mower gets it,m but he almost gets killed.

His brother tells him to stop being delusional and he goes for a long ass walk in the evening. He ends up being winded down to a car race and gets suck into an engine, turning into a car-snail via … Nitrous Oxide


So his eyes are now like car lights, and he plays radio songs. Anyways, Turbo ends up catching the attention of a little kid and birds, and while he gets out of that situation, his brother is taken by the vultures. He follows them and the brothers somehow end up being kidnapped and taken to a mechanic shop by Tito (Michael Pane). Oh yeah, the snail crew fires them after the boy situation. So they are at a mechanic shop where Tito calls all of his neighbors to ring their snails, so….they…can….gamble….off…..of….them….racing.

What the fuck? Don’t these people with jobs have better things to do than gamble off of a snail race? Why are they even doing this? Is this some weird fetish? This film gets dumber and weirder.

So Turbo wins the race and we are introduced to a bunch of pointless and useless snail and human characters who add absolutely nothing to the movie but be a mere excuse to have people like Snoop dog in the movie.  I am gonna ski the filler scene where they sneak into Turbo’s room (which is the taco shop that Tito owns). So Tito and Turbo are constantly told by their brothers that they are crazy and that they need to focus on what matters, blah, blah, blah.

Tito tries to come up with an idea to use Turbo to revive the strip mall (since apparently all the other people’s businesses are empty too), I wonder why… Turbo conveniently refers that they can go to the Indy 500 race to somehow revive their business and so he can accomplish his dream.

So Tito and Turbo explain their plan to their brothers about entering the Indy 500, and Angelo ad Chet thinks that it is the dumbest idea ever…..since the race is FOR CARS. These characters are annoying me with their failed jokes. So the snails serve some purpose in this movie and brings a tour group to the plaza, where they pay after seeing Turbo run, and go to the taco store and all of the other places; they got enough money to go to the race. Tito steals the life savings him and his brother have to go to Indiana, and they play a Jackson 5 song as they head to there.

I would be really pissed.

So they make it to the race, and they can not get Turbo in the race until he runs on camera. A kid records this and it ends up all over the internet, and on the news. The CEO if Indy 500 refused to let him on the track, until everyone begs him to and he eventually obliges.

It is night-time, and everyone is happy and looking forward to tomorrow except for Chet, who still thinks it is ridiculous and unsafe. Him and Turbo gets into a tiff. So Turbo sneaks into Guy’s chambers, where he learns that he is  a bad guy and only wants attention.

OMG, I SO did not see that coming.

So let’s get this under wraps. Turbo is struggling at first, but when he is on his pit break, the other snails take over being the pit crew and give him a pep talk. He is doing better and is getting closer and closer to the top, beating many cars. Then he gets smashed up by Guy Gagne, his brother inspires him to go on, and he eventually makes it. He wins, the strip mall gets a bunch of money, Chet gets a girl, the snails gear is improved, and all of them get a happily ever after. Oh yeah, Turbo is fast again.

While I have definitely seen worse in this canon, this film is just so mind-boggling at what it tried to throw at us. Not much made sense about it, there was no characters to relate to, since most of them are bad jokes and flat, AND I saw a bunch of similarities to Ratatouille and Cars, but at least the explanations on those make sense. Anyways,  guess this follows the underdog story formula well enough, and there are not a bunch of glaring plot holes. The animation is OKAY. At least this is finished.


I am gonna sum it up quickly. None of these characters have depth to them. Most; if not all of them are trying to be comic relief, but it fails, most of them are useless and there to be an excuse to have celebrities like Snoop Dog in the movie, and just plain annoying.

Turbo is the best character in the film, though…. that is not saying much. He is like Oscar from Shark Tale in the way that half of their dialogue is jokes, and they are only defined as being the underdogs. Not an investable main character, and only given the few traits needed to be an underdog.
Chet is the opposite of Theo. Serious and realistic He is the thorn to Turbo’s plans, and we are supposed to disagree with him, but I don’t. Still not interesting though.
He is the human form of Turbo, but dumber……and more annoying. He should have focused on his job and marketing it more than gambling on snails. Loser.
He plays the role of Chet to Tito; nothing more, nothing else.
He MIGHT be the most developed character in the movie. He is constantly breaking his own records, so he can get more attention and to stay relevant, and is initially Turbo’s role model, until he wants to crush the snail. He is very dirty, ruthless, and is self-centered. He is alright.

Those other snails do not even deserved to be talked about. Ugh


The animation in this film is okay to bad. What is okay about it are the designs of the snails and some of the background designs. They are cartoony and a bit overly so, but they work. What is bad about the animation are the human characters. Their designs are extremely unappealing to look at.  also feel that the textures on some objects are off.


The music is supposed to be street, hip-hopp-ish, to make it sound cool and what-not, but it is forgettable. The theme of it makes sense though.

Reception at Release

When this film was released in July 17th, 2013, it disappointed. It opened at #3 behind the Conjuring and Despicable Me 2, and it has one of the lowest performances ever for a DreamWorks CGI film, and the lowest in general if inflation is not included. As of December 22nd, 2013, it has currently made $83,028,128 in North America, and $199,290,503 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $282,318,631. It is still in theaters in a few places currently, so i will change, but I don’t think it will change much. This film costed  $127 million to produce, and DreamWorks Animation spent between $150 million and $175 million to market it, meaning so far, they only got a few million of change from it.

Critically, it got mixed to positive reviews. The positive reviews said that it is harmless, charming, great sense of humor and fun, while the negative reviews said that it ripped off Pixar’s Cars and Ratatouille, but failed, how the premise does not make sense, it is annoying, and the story is weak.

Since the awards for 2013 did not take place yet, there are many nominations this film got that are pending, like 6 Annies (none being Best Animated Feature), and nominated for a Golden Trailer Award. It got snubbed by everywhere else.

Reception Today  

6 months after it is released, it is known to be one of DreamWorks’ worst films, and set the company back. It is considered  a flop, but it did get its own spinoff show on Netflix called Turbo: F.A.S.T. (Fast Action Stunt Team). Actually it premieres today. This probably happened because it was set up before the film was even released.

Final Score

Story = 6/10

Characters = 3.5/10

Music = 7/10

Animation = 6.5/10

=23/40=  58% 

Next Time……

DreamWorks Review Conclusion. I wil express what I learned about the company, give thanks, where things went wrong and right for the company, what I am gonna do next, etc.
DreamWorks Review Conclusion. I will express what I learned about the company, give thanks, where things went wrong and right for the company, what I am gonna do next, etc.

9 thoughts on “DreamWorks Review: Turbo

    1. I will have a list in my Conclusion post of which film is the best and the worst. It will also explain my process through going through the canon, and a reflection.

      This film was a bore to go through, but I had SO MANY issues typing the post. I would have written this over a month ago if it went smoothly. Merry Christmas.

    1. Well, my Dream Works conclusion should be done within the next few days, and my AnimatedKid’s Best and Worst films of 2013 will be up by New Years. I think I will probably do WDAS or Disneytoons next.

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