The feature directorial debut of any director is usually worth watching in order to see what they can do when handed the reins, and storyboard artist and animator David Soren is taking that step this summer with the release of Turbo, his first major release outside of two short holiday-themed Madagascar movies.
Turbo stars the voice talents of Ryan Reynolds in the lead role, supported by a fairly impressive cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Lion, Paul Giamatti and Michael Peña. Soren co-wrote the script with Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer) and Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler), and the film is out in theaters later this month.
A second full-length trailer for Turbo has been released over at Yahoo, and covers the basic elements of the plot. The main character is a snail who is dissatisfied with the current pace of his life, and finds his wish to become faster granted when he is sucked into the engine of a racecar. Rather than being instantly crushed and/or burnt alive (this is a family movie, after all), Turbo’s genetic code is rewritten in order to make him part snail, part high-speed vehicle, complete with headlamp eyes and lights on his shell/bumper.
As a humorous set-up, it doesn’t have a lot of innate mileage; the ‘snail trying to sprint’ joke was already covered in a five-second visual gag in Monsters University, so Turbo is going to have to work a little harder in order to squeeze some enough juice for a 90-minute film out of it. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot of material that can be mined here – the idea of a character desperately attempting to achieve something that is contrary to all their natural inclinations is an interesting one (see also: Babe), even if Turbo’s challenges are somewhat handily bypassed when he gains superpowers.
If the elderly woman in the trailer sounds familiar, it’s likely that you’re a fan of either the Hangover trilogy or NBC comedy series Community. The character, Kim-Ly, is voiced by Ken Jeong, best known in his roles as resident sociopath Chow and former Spanish teacher Ben Chang. Turbo will mark the second appearance of Jeong’s voice in an animated comedy this summer, as he also played Floyd in the upcoming release of Despicable Me 2.
Will you let Turbo speed on by this summer, or will you be first in line to see it?
Turbo arrives in theaters on July 17, 2013.