Rac­ing at a snail’s pace

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES -

WHEN DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion needed to get up to speed with the high­oc­tane world of mo­tor­rac­ing, from the per­spec­tive of a tur­bocharged snail, it turned to Brazil­ian race car cham­pion Tony Kanaan (pic­tured). Turbo takes the an­i­mated stu­dio be­hind films Mada­gas­car and Kung-Fu Panda back to the an­i­mal world, af­ter Rise Of The Guardians and The Croods. The movie tells the story of Turbo, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, a gar­den snail who dreams of be­com­ing a mo­tor-rac­ing star, mak­ing him some­thing of an out­cast in his slow-mov­ing world. In a freak ac­ci­dent, he falls from a free­way bridge and is sucked into a car’s su­per-charger, where his DNA mixes with ni­trous ox­ide to make him the fastest snail that ever lived. Helped by Mex­i­can truck driver Tito (Michael Pena) and a cast of other un­likely sup­port­ers, he man­ages to get signed up for the race of his dreams, the pres­ti­gious In­di­anapo­lis 500, pit­ting him against the world’s best driv­ers. That’s where Kanaan came in. He won this year’s In­di­anapo­lis 500 in May, with the fastest win­ning speed in race his­tory. ‘‘I just gave some . . . de­tails of the race car, the race track, the speed, stuff like that. They wanted to sim­u­late ex­actly the same,’’ he says. ‘‘It was a very nice ex­pe­ri­ence. To have a movie for kids that talks about this his­tory of Indy 500, I think it’s awe­some. It’s some­thing that I had never done be­fore. I’m very ex­cited about that,’’ he says. ‘‘Kids love cars and they are our fu­ture fans. . . So I re­ally think it’s go­ing to be a cool movie. I just don’t want to get beat by a snail in the next Indy 500.’’ Kanaan, 38, says his ex­pe­ri­ence on Turbo has whet his ap­petite for the movie in­dus­try. Asked if he would like to be an ac­tor, he says: ‘‘I’d love to. A cou­ple weeks ago, I met Vin Diesel in Hol­ly­wood and . . . he was jok­ing around and say­ing ‘You’re go­ing to be a part of Fast and Furious 7.’ Maybe that will hap­pen. I would love to. I don’t want to be a movie star but you know, to be part of a movie would be pretty cool.’’

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