Book Review: The Art of Turbo
When Turbo reveals how fast he has become, the hyperenthusiastic Tito plans to use it to attract customers to their taco shop; only to have Angelo squelch all his plans. Angelo and Chet are parallels in their insistence on “reality”, while Turbo and Tito have an impossible dream and will let nothing stop them. Tito persuades the other mall shop residents into putting up the money to enter Turbo in the Indy 500, while the Racing Snails constantly encourage him, drowning Chet out. Turbo is thrilled to meet his hero, Guy Gagné, only to find that Gagné in person is not the friendly sportsman that he pretends to be in TV interviews. It all comes down to the Big Race.
One fantasy aspect of Turbo that this book and most reviews have ignored is that of the snails’ human personalities. The snails do not talk to the humans, but somehow the humans all know that Turbo wants to race in the Indy 500. The humans consider a snail outracing a racing car to be impossible, but nobody considers that a snail wishes this to be impossible. In other words, the folks at DreamWorks have made one of the most far-fetched of fantasies seem to be believable during the 96 minutes that the film runs.
The Art of Turbo is smoothly written by Robert Abele, a film reviewer for The Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and many others. This is an excellent addition to the animation buff’s library of coffee-table art books showcasing the wave of new CGI animated features.
Fred Patten has been a fan of animation since the first theatrical rerelease of Pinocchio (1945). He co-founded the first American fan club for Japanese anime in 1977, and was awarded the Comic-Con International's Inkpot Award in 1980 for introducing anime to American fandom. He began writing about anime for Animation World Magazine since its #5, August 1996. A major stroke in 2005 sidelined him for several years, but now he is back. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.