Turbo Continues the Race on Netflix
After premiering on Netflix last month, Dreamworks’ 2D-animated TV series Turbo FAST continues to win new audiences.
After premiering on Netflix last month, DreamWorks’ 2D-animated TV series Turbo FAST continues to win new audiences.
Fans of Turbo, DreamWorks’ speedy snail, got a special gift this past holiday season as the new spinoff series Turbo FAST began its premiere run on streaming service Netflix. The new toon, which is animated by the talented team at L.A.’s Titmouse Studios, offered its first five episodes for streaming this month. The studio also plans to premiere the show in four or five episode blocks throughout the year, timed with school holidays to reach its target family audience. In case you were wondering, the titular FAST is an acronym for Fast Action Stunt Team. (That’s right, the initials for Fast Action Racing Team would have given us a completely different title!)
The first Netflix original series for kids, DreamWorks’ Turbo FAST is an ensemble comedy that centers on Turbo and his adrenaline-fueled crew’s daring new adventures and crazy challenges. Each episode of the new toon focuses on a different member of the Stunt Team (Turbo, Whiplash, Burn, Smoove Move, White Shadow, Skidmark and Chet) first introduced in David Soren’s summer pic, which has already made over $282.6 million worldwide.
“We knew we liked the show to be a kind of stylized 2D animated project,” says exec producer Chris Prynoski, founder and CEO of Titmouse Studios. “So we began visual development on the project about a year and a half ago. At that time, we didn’t know whether this was going to be a special or a series, but we had worked on other shows for clients which had a similar racing vibe. Our art director Antonio Canobbio came up with a look that felt cool and new and was right for these characters and this show.”
The show’s production pipeline is Flashbased, but the team at Titmouse (both in Los Angeles and its Vancouver offshoot) have managed to add a lot of new components to the animation process, so that the toon really stands out in terms of 2D visuals. It takes the crew of about 80 roughly six to eight months to take each episode from premise to delivery.
Prynoski, whose numerous TV credits include Metalocalypse, Superjail, Motorcity and Randy Cunningham, says he loves the show’s fun and goofy vibe. “It’s not a pure action show, and there’s a lot of goofy character comedy. We still get to have some fun with the action shots—but the good thing is that he doesn’t have to win a race in every episode. The characters get to have fun with each other. In one episode, they go out on a retreat and play pranks.”
He also compares the show to The Penguins of Madagascar series on Nickelodeon, which is a spinoff of DreamWorks’ Madagascar features. “The movie was about Turbo and his dream to compete in the human world,” he adds. “The humans have cameos in the show, but the series is basically about the critters, the tiny creatures!”
He says the tone of the show also reminds him of Craig McCracken’s Powerpuff Girls. “That was also a series that was presented as an action show, but it’s really about silliness and character comedy.”
When asked about the new possibilities that outlets like Netflix are offering both animation fans and professionals, Prynoski says he’s very pleased with the outlook. “It all sounds great to me,” he muses. “It’s another outlet for cartoons and indies. It seems that every year we have more opportunities for people to put their shows out there for viewers to enjoy.”
The first five episodes of Turbo FAST are currently available on Netflix.