User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 90
  2. Negative: 14 out of 90

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  1. Mar 8, 2014
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo tells the story of Theo, a garden snail with large ambitions. His role model, Guy Gagne, inspires him to become a racer, even though he is ridiculed for his unrealistic dreams. After a freak accident involving Nitrous Oxide, Theo’s DNA and life will never be the same. After meeting several friends along the way, he and his human friend Tito start on a journey to win the Indianapolis 500, despite the arguments put up by their down-to-Earth brothers.

    Turbo is one of the more disappointing animated movies of 2013, even more so after considering that DreamWorks produced this for $127 million. Upon first glance, Turbo appears to be a sort of Ratatouille and Cars hybrid. After watching the movie, it comes true, as it features the same themes as the former and the environment of the latter. DreamWorks effectively creates parallels between the two pairs of brothers – Theo and Chet; Tito and Angelo. However, it doesn’t do much else with them and the brotherly bond subplot, among many others, is lost in the wind due to its underdevelopment. Part of the reason for this is that the cast is made up of far too many characters. It gets to the point that the majority of the characters play too minor a part to justify development or a connection with the audience.

    Children might find joy and excitement in watching Turbo, thanks to its flashy visuals – highlighted by a minor race sequence and Turbo’s neon-blue trail. Its auto-tuned song, “The Snail is Fast”, might have children singing it upon leaving the theatre, but may only serve to annoy the rest of us. Turbo attempts to introduce humour a few times with the eagles, tomatoes, and snail crew, but unfortunately falls short every time. A running gag, the crows snatching up the snails, hopefully will zip past childrens’ minds, as that won’t be a particularly enjoyable conversation to have with a young one.

    One thing that parents may notice is the extremely blatent product placement. Brands on cars is perfectly understandable (although avoidable), but I’m sure DreamWorks could have made the same movie without a Verizon-branded phone or HP-branded laptops – no offense to either company.

    A few plot-holes are present in the movie, namely the over-dramatized “permission to race” sequence – Tito earlier mentions that snails can race in the Indy 500. So why make such a big deal out of it? DreamWorks also feels the need to run an extremely minor and useless romance subplot in the background of the entire movie – for no reason except to maybe entertain younger audiences.

    DreamWorks had a juicy premise with Turbo, but instead of fleshing out the characters and plot, fails to deliver anything substantial, instead giving quite a rotten movie.
    Expand
  2. Dec 2, 2013
    1
    This movie is boring, poorly original, with a terrible plot and terrible characters. The "bad guy" is really the worst example for an antagonist in such a movie. I've seen tons of child-related movies and this one is surely the most boring.
    Unconsistent and awful. Nothing more.
  3. Oct 17, 2013
    0
    I think what kills Turbo is the fact that it has a painfully generic plot, poorly developed and unlike-able characters, and terrible miscasting. I mean hopefully, Who puts people like Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg in an animated film aimed towards kids? Morons...that's who.

    Overall, Turbo shouldn't even be on your radar. It's painfully unoriginal and boring. Would be a waste of time
    and money to see it. Expand
  4. Jul 22, 2013
    4
    "Dreamwork's Turbo" suffers greatly from its already weak premise, unoriginal tale, and unsatisfying group of characters, and still struggles greatly to convey a message. The film greatly struggles with making likable characters from the start, as the protagonist Turbo is hard to like due to his whiny and weakly developed personality. Turbo's growth through the film is a basic one that doesn't develop as well as it should have, with moments of humor interacting into awkward moments of slight emotional edges. While the humor derives mostly on characters, it isn't that laugh out loud hilarious that you could have gotten from films like "Despicable Me 2" or "Monsters University", and that the fact that this movies tries to be hilarious but evidently fails to show extremely funny humor (example as only a few chuckles were found in my theater in Turbo, as opposed to bawling laughter while in MU and DM2) Along with the humor from the characters, a lot of the supporting characters are not even developed well, aside from Turbo and maybe his human counter part Tito. The themes are very (seriously) close to those from Pixar films "Ratatouille" and "Cars", and while compared to those, it is fallen back way behind. While the themes from "Ratatouille" and "Cars" are put into emotional depth with characters, you aren't as emotionally attached or even care for the ones in "Turbo". Starlight Plaza isn't as deeply inspired as Radiator Springs, and Turbo isn't as strong as a character as Remy, which leaves this film nearly impossible to be matched with movies similar to it. The main idea to "Turbo" is that "dreams can come true to everyone", which to the opposite of "Monsters University", but in this case, the message isn't able to influence the audience due to the case of Turbo's situation. Turbo's ability to get a radio attached inside of him and his physical speed is obviously aimed to reach the younger audience and to get a couple of laughs, but interacts negatively to the message because of the fact that it tells us that the impossible can happen, even though impossible. The message in "Monsters University" counteracts the one in "Turbo" much better, because it tells us the truth, even though the truth hurts. Turbo's positives are that its wonderfully animated (except the strange looking snails that are obviously prone for kids to like) and that its got some humor in it. While "Turbo" has its downsides, you may want to watch it on DVD instead of theaters, as "Monsters University" and even "Despicable Me 2" are much better than this film. While "Turbo" may be not as tight and well executed as it could have been, it is most likely that it will be the third best animated film of the summer (not that optimistic on Planes and Smurfs 2). Expand
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Oct 24, 2013
    60
    Rather than bionically enhancing all its characters, a better movie might have found ways to celebrate their sloth and slime.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Oct 21, 2013
    60
    Paul Giamatti shines as Theo’s pessimistic brother Chet, and the uplifting message never smashes you over the head.
  3. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Oct 15, 2013
    60
    Kids should be game for the ride, and the colourful characters offer humour and poignancy: Paul Giamatti’s cautious snail Chet shares a sweet friendship with reckless Turbo. Comparisons with Pixar’s ‘Cars’ are easy to make, but that’s no bad thing.