No, really. It is.
Children’s movies these days have run quite the gamut in leading heroes. There’s mice and moose and, of course, scrappy hamsters, rats, and sponges.
If it can cutified and has a mouth (yes, who knew? Sponges have ’em. Unfortunately.) it can be made into a movie and a whole barge full of McDonald’s merchandise will follow.
I have to tell you… When Turbo showed up on my Netflix stream, I added it to my children’s cue, and then forgot about it. We were busily ensconced in Thomas the Train and his Escapades in Not Listening, and I was quite happy with that. I like the music. I can’t help it. It has a rad beat.
Anyhow. During the Time of Sickness at our house, we leaned in on our Netflix account. We went all Sheryl Sandberg on that thing. We abandoned our Thomas and even his lowly stepbrother, Chuggington. We left the nutball baldness and primary colors of Caillou’s house.
We were at the end of our rope. We needed new material, ya’ll.
And so, along came Turbo, The SNAIL WITH A DREAM.
Here’s a list of reasons why I love this movie:
1. Paul Giamatti. He plays Chet, the brother of the main character. Yes, he is a snail. He has a total insecurity complex and is phobic about nearly everything. He does NOT have a dream. He is afraid of his own snail shadow. I am pretty sure if he knew about his snail trail he would gross himself out and insist on hand sanitizer for everyone. ‘Course, that would probably kill him. I didn’t say he was the smartest. He’s just the most neurotic.
Which means… I LOVE HIM.
Because.. me! Me TOO. I, TOO, AM THE MOST NEUROTIC! Twinsies!
2. Samuel Jackson. He basically plays the same character he plays in every movie: crazy, Die Hard-ish, left of center. Kinda ready to snap at any moment. But, yes, also a snail.
3. “White Shadowwww.” I am not going to explain. You just have to see it. He is an enigma.
4. Paul Hader. He plays the annoying French guy, Guy (pronounced Gee. No, not ‘jee,’ but GEE. Stay with me.)
5. And of course, Turbo. The SNAIL WITH A DREAM.
Let me circle back to reason #1 here. Chet, it seems, has a longing for safety and security. He is a snail, after all. Shell on back. Fear of salt. It’s his thing.
I too, am a bit of a security lover. I have a hard time paying our utility bills, for Pete’s sake. I get out the checkbook, and immediately think we’re all gonna end up in a van down by the river.
I too, fear salt. Heart attacks, ya’ll.
I don’t like dreams. Dreams are scary. They cause change. Change can be about as comfortable as a polyester thong after you’ve gained a few pounds.
So, as I watched Chet harangue his brother for daring to enter the Indianapolis 500 (What? So? He’s a snail, so what? It’s an animated movie. Snails can be speedy. They also can have great teeth and talk a lot. It’s OK) I could identify. I really could. It’s so much easier to just stay home, stay in your shell, and avoid the crows.
I won’t tell you the ending. I know you are all rather intelligent readers, so you’re probably guessing that Turbo does not get eaten by a crow in a bloody, snail trail. That would be a whole different type of movie.
This movie made me laugh. It also, just for a minute, just a skotch of a minute, it made my eyes fill with tears.
Dreams. Scary things. But sometimes, with a lot of hard work, friends, and a firm belief in yourself, dreams can be realized.
PS. My book is supposed to be heading to the printers in May.