Crain News Service report
NEW YORK (July 12, 2013) — The DreamWorks Studios movie that could give IndyCar its biggest bit of horsepower has started rolling.
The official premier of "Turbo" was held July 9 night in New York, attended by the lead actor, Ryan Reynolds, and IndyCar drivers Tony Kanaan, the Indianapolis 500 winner, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, IndyCar's reigning champion.
"Hopefully, we'll get those new little fans to like racing," Mr. Kanaan said. "There's not a single kid that doesn't like a race car. If you ask, they always have a little car. My son (Leo) asked me when I'm going to race against the snail. He asked me if [Turbo] was going to be part of the Indy 500 next year."
Dario Franchitti and Mario Andretti consulted on the animated movie about a garden snail who dreams of competing in the Indy 500, and Will Power has a small part.
The movie, which opens nationally July 17, features an ordinary garden snail dreaming of winning the Indianapolis 500. After many struggles, he gets his chance thanks to accidentally being sucked through the nitrous oxide-powered engine of a rebel California drag racer.
The plot is understandably predictable, but there are some surprises. Race fans will like the detail of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the IndyCar Series—it's almost like watching live action.
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations has partnered with DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. on a multifaceted promotional campaign and sweepstakes tied to "Turbo."
Bridgestone said Firestone racing tires, the official tire of IZOD IndyCar Series, are featured in the movie, which is partly set at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indy 500.
The filmmakers reportedly worked closely with Al Speyer, Bridgestone Americas' now-retired executive director of motorsports, and Firestone Racing engineers to understand the technology to ensure accuracy and authenticity, Bridgestone said.
"You get to see the magic of the Indianapolis 500 and what the whole event is and how big it is," Mr. Hunter-Reay said. "This is a big part of American history. This is where auto manufacturers went to go prove themselves.
"Hopefully, we're starting a new generation of fans. The kids will get into it and the adults will get into it as well. [Dreamworks] has done such a great job making it realistic in an animated movie.
'You have a snail that's an underdog going up against the Indy cars, which are 240 mph race cars. I think he's dreaming big. That's the similarity [to my life]. If you keep your mind to it, you can achieve big things.'
The flick also will premier this week in Detroit, Milwaukee and Toronto as it works to next week's release.
DreamWorks was co-founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg. Its biggest animated hit to date is "Shrek."
"[The movie] 'Turbo' presents a huge opportunity for IndyCar to expose our brand and the sport of Indy car racing to new, younger generation of fans," said Kasey Coler, IndyCar vice president of marketing. "To have the marketing power of DreamWorks and partners like Verizon, Firestone and Sunoco help get the word out the film is something than we haven't seen in a long time."
This report appeared on the website of Autoweek magazine, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.