- ABC News accuses Center for Public Integrity of stealing Pulitzer-winning work
- Law firm that cleared N.J. Gov. Christie in ‘Bridgegate’ gave 10K to RGA, which he heads
- PETA ‘hopping mad’ at Michelle Obama for using real eggs at Easter Egg Roll
- Sneaky Nebraska toddler traps self inside claw machine game
- Biden to lead $600 million work force training effort
- Atheists’ Easter taunt to Christians: ‘Jesus is a myth’
- Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas City show
- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
- Angry New Yorkers shred gun registrations in deadline day protests
Animated film “Turbo” could give racing a boost
Trapped in a mundane job at the tomato plant, Theo dreams of becoming a glamorous race car driver.
The problem? Theo is a snail.
That’s the premise behind the DreamWorks Animation movie “Turbo” that opens Wednesday and features the Indianapolis 500. The idea, by director, co-writer and story creator David Soren, came from watching his young son’s obsession with “all things fast” and an annoying snail infestation in his own front yard.
“It’s the juxtaposition of extreme slowness and speed all in my yard,” Soren said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I love an underdog story, and nobody expects anything out of a snail, the odds are stacked against them. They are the butt of slow jokes _ they are stepped on by kids, despised by gardeners, eaten by the French _ so the parallels of a snail and an underdog was the perfect match.”
Using a template similar to three of Soren’s favorites _ “Rocky,” “The Karate Kid,” and “Breaking Away” _ he created an animated underdog story that pays homage to “The Fast and The Furious” franchise. Theo (Ryan Reynolds) finally finds his speed after being accidentally sucked into a street racer’s engine and getting zapped with nitrous oxide. So long, slow-poke snail. Theo becomes Turbo and he begins a push to escape the drudgery of his life in the San Fernando Valley and make it to the Indianapolis 500 to race against Gagne, his French-Canadian hero.
It’s a dream come true for the snail, as well as the IndyCar Series, which can’t buy a break in halting its slide in public interest.
Operating the last several years with big ideas but a thin marketing budget, nothing has seemed to work in building a sustainable buzz around the series. Now it has a life-size, free advertisement of its centerpiece event and storied speedway on big screens across America.
“When you have a snail that can go 200 mph, it was important to ground everything else in reality,” Soren said.
Franchitti, who with his thick hair and busy eyebrows bares an unintentionally slight resemblance to Gagne, made several trips to DreamWorks’ studio to lend a hand and was pleased with the final product.
“I sat and watched all the ins and outs of it, I was totally caught up in the story,” Franchitti said. “The animation is unbelievable, just incredible. But the story itself, how funny it is, there’s jokes in there that kids will get and jokes adults will get. I was rolling around laughing.”
Reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan was one of several drivers who attended the New York premiere, while the rest of the IndyCar field saw the film last week in Toronto before their doubleheader weekend. All were impressed with the realism of both their craft and the speedway.
“I think the movie has a great message _ it’s about getting the awareness of the Indy 500, but also a message of perseverance,” Kanaan said.
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- Ga. judge won't stop new Vidalia onion rule
- Atheists rush to stage Easter display: 'Jesus Christ is a myth'
- EDITORIAL: Intolerance at Brandeis silences Muslim dissident Hirsi Ali
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.