Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a snail to race in the Indy 500? … No. Yeah I didn’t think so. Not many people spend time pondering on the possible hobbies of the lowly snail within their gardens but for some reason the Dreamworks team has.
This is absolutely a children’s film, as with most children films there is the immense amount of suspended belief which is necessary in order for the film to function.
Our central character is Theo, voiced by the ever so handsome Ryan Reynolds, he is a snail with much more gusto than most can handle. In the very long exposition of the film where you get to meet Theo and his brother Chet (voiced by Paul Giamati), you find out that Theo’s hero is a race car driver that gives the motto, “No dream is too big and no dreamer too small.” Now I love animated films, I am very much a kid at heart and I think this motto is fantastic however, it reminds me a lot of the Ratatouille mentality, “ Anyone can be a chef.” Dreamworks is filled with very talented and creative people (Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, etc.) and of course everyone would love a comparison of Dreamworks vs. Pixar but honestly there isn’t enough time and it is an unfair assessment. So I will try my best not to let my love for either company bias this review.
Essentially Theo is one of a kind, he has a passion for racing and feels a need for speed that most snails out of heredity don’t have. He eventually becomes turbo charged during a venture out of the garden and it is after this that the film begins to pick up in pace and become very laughable. Theo with his new talents meets a group of other speedy snails with voices ranging from Samuel Jackson to Snoop Dogg to Maya Rudolph. It’s the interactions with this new crew that I found the film to be most enjoyable.
For those of you with children I definitely think the film will be enjoyed by children ranging from 3-10 years of age. The funny thing with animated films and the battle between Pixar and other animation studios such as Dreamworks, is the balance of adult and child humor. Meaning that with every children’s joke there is an adult punchline somewhere down the line. For me there were few in this film and yet it was still enjoyable. I especially enjoyed Theo’s varying snail friends and their owners each with unique personalities that brought a lot of comedy to the screen.
The film is being released in both 3D and regular formatting, if you are planning on taking a large group of kids I would suggest the regular formatting over 3D although the creative animation in some scenes are nice in 3D. I was very happy to see that there wasn’t an overuse of 3D funny moments in the film.