Book Review “The Art of Turbo”

artofturboAuthor: Robert Abele
Hardcover: 150 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit, I was not too excited for “Turbo”. I do have a sweet spot for DreamWorks’ animated films though, since they have never let me down. Well, the day I received this book was also the same day I finally saw a trailer for this film. After seeing the trailer, I was excited to get home and cut right into this book. I have to say I was pretty impressed and now I am excited to jump the light and catch this film (Get it? A little racing humor…Hello?) The film itself looks extremely fun and very visually impressive. What else would you expect from the studio that brought us the “Shrek” and “Madagascar” films. So if you are expecting that from the film, “The Art of Turbo” will not let you down as it comes stocked with some amazing artwork from the industry’s top talents and an impressive look behind-the-scenes at this new CG-animated feature.

Here is a quick premise of the film, so you know what to expect “Turbo is a snail with big dreams. Obsessed with speed and all things fast, he is an outsider within his slow snail community and a constant embarrassment to his cautious older brother, Chet. Then one fateful day a freak accident suddenly vests Turbo with the power of incredible speed. So begins his extraordinary journey to achieve the impossible: racing against the best that IndyCar has to offer.” I was impressed to see that this book kicks off with a foreword by the voice of Turbo himself, Ryan Reynolds. Also the director of “Turbo”, David Soren, gives an encouraging Preface to this book as well. The setup for the book itself is split into four sections. The first is “Characters”, with focus on over 15 characters from the film. Second is “Locations”, which covers 10 different places from the film like “San Fernando Valley” and “Indianapolis Motor Speedway”. The last two sections are “Vehicles” and “Building a Sequence”.

I feel that the book is a very easy read and since it is split into a few sections, it is also easy to navigate through the behind-the-scenes process of the film. Since the film is very visual and colorful, the artwork really gives a very diverse collection of character backgrounds, concept art, design inspirations, and tons of great information about the production. I think that if you considering seeing this film, this would be a great way to lock in the deal and great some great anticipation.  On the other side, this would be a great follow-up to check out after actually seeing the film as well.  The author Robert Abele is a film critic for the Los Angeles Times.  His only other companion book to date is “The Twilight Saga: The Complete Film Archive”. So I was a little concerned about this one but he delivered a very entertaining book and I most definitely will keep an eye out for his future releases.

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