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Have you ever had a movie sneak up on you and exceed your expectations? That happened to me with “Turbo” (rated PG), a new DreamWorks animated movie for the whole family.

According to the movie’s website, “Turbo is a high velocity comedy about an underdog snail who kicks into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed. … he puts his heart and shell on the line to help his pals achieve their dreams, before Turbo-charging his own impossible dream: winning the Indy 500.”

Positive elements

For starters, the voice talents in this movie, which included Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson, fit the parts perfect. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud funny moments for adults, not only the children. Further, this movie was a clean movie. Not only were there few, if any, bad words, the characters did not do the usual cheap laugh gimmicks, like loud belching. Finally, the movie excels at character development (yes, they are only snails, but they represent people here, like in Aesop’s fables. There are people in the movie too that give the movie warmth and a little more depth).

Negative elements

There’s little to say here, save one thing. If you are highly, hyper-sensitive to anything approaching ethnic stereotypes, there is a small chance you could be offended by some of the stereotypes displayed on the silver screen. Again, you would have to really be thin-skinned to take offense to say, the French-Canadian Indy race car driver “Gagne,” who exhibits some of the famed quirks of French Canadians.

Spiritual elements

In one scene, one of the snails thinks he has died and gone to heaven. In another, one of the characters makes a passing reference to confirmation (in a Lutheran or Catholic sense). While the movie does not explicitly direct the viewer to God, there are godly characteristics on display, such as perseverance, hope and faith to name a few.


Yes, the plot is far-fetched and unrealistic. If you set that aside and enjoy the ride, for a run-of-mill family movie, “Turbo” will provide entertainment, laughs and some good life-lesson conversations. This is one movie we will highly consider adding to our DVD/Blu-Ray collection.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 4)