IndyCar-themed movie spinning off into cartoon series

December 18, 2013
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DreamWorks is ready to take another lap with its racing snail.

The big screen production “Turbo” is morphing into a cartoon series—Turbo Fast—that will be launched on Netflix in time for Christmas.

If Turbo Fast becomes a hit, it could give rise to a line of games, toys and other merchandise and might pave the way for a movie sequel.

Turbo the movie was the tale of a snail named Theo who sought to race in the Indianapolis 500.

The cartoon series will revolve around racing in the fictitious Snail Racing League. The cartoon series does not feature the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in its first few episodes, but the Borg Warner Trophy—the prize for winning the real Indianapolis 500—is presented to the winner of the snail series.

Speedway officials hope the cartoon series will cause more people to watch the movie—which prominently features the IMS and IndyCar racing.

“We think this [cartoon series] is great. Our hope would be that the more people that watch the cartoon will pick the movie up and be exposed to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and our race series,” said IMS President Doug Boles.

The idea for the movie, by director and story creator David Soren, came from watching his young son’s obsession with “all things fast” and an annoying snail infestation in his home’s front yard.

Theo, the movie’s main character, was stuck at a dead-end job working in a tomato plant, until being accidentally sucked into a street racer’s engine and getting zapped with nitrous oxide. Theo’s subsequent path drove him to Indianapolis to compete in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Motorsports industry officials speculated that the movie, released on the big screen in July, could expose a new generation of fans to IndyCar racing.

While the $135 million-budgeted “Turbo” earned only $82 million stateside and $282 million worldwide, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told Variety the film is profitable for the company when toy and home video sales are added in.

Turbo Fast will be produced in the less expensive two-dimensional animation format (as compared to 3D).  Though DreamWorks isn’t revealing any story lines, they said they’ll introduce new characters alongside the cast from the movie and feature new locations and racing venues.

DreamWorks recruited three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti as a technical consultant for the racing sequences of the movie, and had full access to the IMS to ensure authenticity.

Initially, IMS officials and IndyCar drivers will not have a role in the cartoon series, but Boles said the Speedway could be featured in later episodes.

The first five installments of the first Turbo Fast season of 26 cartoon episodes will be released Dec. 24, with each half-hour broken into three segments.

Beyond Turbo Fast, DreamWorks has yet to disclose which other of its movies or characters will get their own series, though The Croods is reportedly already in production. The Croods is a DreamWorks movie, released this year, about a stone-aged family.

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  • Blame
    I blame the H-G family and the IRL for this success! bawhaha...what a joke! Wait..what??..
  • What a joke
    No IMS relates in this new cartoon series. Pfffft. TURBO only made $82M of the $135M budgeted for it production from the USA where INdy is supposed to be popular. Pffffft. Anthony, how about some real business news like the fact IMS is covering up the hideous design flaws in the DW12 chassis that it's forcing the drivers of this series to drive? Dario's retirement caused by that piece of crap DW12 ICONIC deathtrap. Oh, also Justin Wilson's multi-fractured pelvis by a 35mph T-Bone at FOntana where the car split in half. What is the speedway doing about that? Oh, how about this....Mario Andretti is on record saying that Mark Miles is a dope, doesn't know what Indy really means and is following the Boston Consulting Group to the detriment of the sport of AOW. Just like the Hulman's have been doing since 1996. Huh? Is the Turbo cartoon series gonna pull them out of this horrific mess they are in? And Indy/IMS wants to take credit for this? The arrogance is amazing at 16th and Jonestown. DEATHBLOW 2014 is upon the speedway...catch it. Bwahahhahhahaha!
  • Kids, It's a Cartoon.
    But by all means do not let that stand in the way of inane, vulgar, obsessed nonsense replies that pollute all Schoettle commentary.
  • Cool
    Nice to hear that dreamworks considered this film a success and will be moving forward with another format. Netflix has become a useful tool when you want an abundant choice of kids programming. Happy to hear it!
  • The IRL is a cartoon
    no additional effort or work needed
  • Little interest
    The lack of blog responses truly reflects the lack of interest in this sport. It is the same small, very small, cast of charcters, to include myself, posting blog responses. And even I am losing major interest, which is why I am not here very often anymore. I hear no water cooler talk about IndyCar. None. I know it is the off-season, but I heard none then either. IndyCar only gets major media attention when a Dallara shreds and maims or worse, one kills. Otherwise, it is a non-entity. Sad.
  • at dario's press conference
    He was calling himdelf "Mariano". whoever wants this X times CART non champion you can have him. Tony lik3es him though.....lovers. nort that theres anything wrong with it.
  • HAy
    ain't time to rearrange some chairs around the Speedway, they did some hiring and soon they will be gone
  • IRLcar's most profitable race
    is one that gotted canceled
  • DW12
    HaY, that piece of garbage DW12 is undergoing some bandaid fixes I see. Kudos on somebody doing something. Too bad they allowed that car on track in 2012 after Dan got killed in the old car that IMS ignored all the problems with. This series is stupid.
  • So Are Comments That Have Zero To Do With The Topic
    Would it be too much to ask only adults to contribute and for children to go outside and play?
  • What is to be said
    Few saw the movie and there's no relates to Indy in the cartoon. Don't ya wanna talk about the series or not? Sounds like actual adults want to avoid TRUE topics...just like the IBJ that affect Indy and Indycar. How about IMS making its drivers drive the DW12 with defects over the past two years that broke Justin Wilson's pelvis in several places and forced 3x Indy champ Dario ZFranceschetti to retirement with a chronic concussion syndrome. Now, Derrick Walker will have some third party modify the tubs with glue and carbon fibre cladding to keep them from splitting in half anymore. Can we all now agree that the ICONIC car decision was dumb and a total failure? YES we can. Will an Actual Adult please jump in here and plead for staying on topic again please?
  • Guess what didn't show up
    on google's list of top annual events?
  • guess what did...
    The orangutans at the Zoo. And, on Memorial Day weekend. HaY, Mark Miles...a road race and a zoo exhibit...prolly a Pacers game or two also. Pure genius you are sir, pure genius. Surely this will elevate the 500 with their glued together tubs and faux spec racing to new heights. And, Derrick Walker said they have a propensity to fly...how quaint. All thats needed is to add Allen Bestwick to the TV booth and voila! instant sucksess. You are killing the sport because you have no idea what you are doing. great job, keep it up.

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