By Julie Samrick
Theo the garden snail may handle overripe tomatoes during the day but after hours he dreams of navigating the curves of Nascar’s track and the “terrifying, blazing speed” of it that makes him happiest. Though he’s subject to ridicule for these grand dreams, an accident soon gives him turbo powers. But will his new life really make him happy?
In a phrase, Turbo is terrific. Though the storyline is a familiar one- an underdog is pitted against someone or something powerful (think Flik in A Bug’s Life- the tiny ant who goes up against much more muscular insects- or the cadre of toys against the neighbor boy in Toy Story) Turbo works with this premise too.
The storyline hums along, the characters are lovable, and the music will get the whole family dancing. Turbo isn’t a movie just for boys or for girls, but for everyone.
Turbo is rated PG for loud sounds that could frighten children under 5 as well as some crows that swoop down and scoop up unsuspecting snails to carry them off for dinner.
There are plenty of great messages in Turbo. The importance of teamwork is prevalent throughout. And with two sets of brothers featured, one set human and the others snails (Ryan Reynolds as Turbo and Paul Giamatti as his cautious brother Chet) we see how close that bond can be. Parents may also discuss the concept of who would really stick by you during the good times and also the bad? Or making the most of each day and why we shouldn’t settle for “good enough.”
Of course, with a snail who wants to be a race car driver, the concept of irony- simply explained as when the opposite of what’s expected to happen occurs- could be an early introduction to tools authors and movie makers use to make a storyline exciting to read or watch. Once young people are aware of irony they will see books and movies in a whole new way.
Turbo is recommended for the whole family to enjoy.
Kid Focused Grades for Turbo:
Compelling story line- A- (it’s a little confusing for kids how Theo gets his new powers)
Strong message- A
Leading character is a role model- A
Sexual or adult content – A- (two snails flirt mildly. In one scene it’s assumed celebratory bottles are alcoholic beverages)
Language and Violence- A- (the crows take snails away to eat. Nascar scenes are loud. There is no potty humor, sarcasm or language that is so prevalent in many kids’ films today.)
Suited for the whole family- A
Overall Kid Focused Grade for Turbo: A
Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
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