Take a look at the animated features that have hit multiplexes recently, and you start to wonder if 2013 is going to be remembered as the Year of the Snail. A goofball snail-and-slug duo was one of the few distinctive elements of the forest fantasy “Epic.” That tardy specimen from “Monsters University” is probably still huffing and puffing to make it to class. And now comes DreamWorks’ 3-D confection “Turbo,” featuring Ryan Reynolds as a garden-trolling slowpoke who dreams of Indianapolis 500 glory. Of course, that’s an order only slightly taller than trying to put a fresh spin on animated racing and micro-scale action after “Cars” and a host of adventure-in-the-grass ’toons. See “Epic” (again), “A Bug’s Life,” etc.
“Turbo” makes an entertaining go of it by borrowing very liberally from the “Fast & Furious” franchise — Michelle Rodriguez even voices a character — and sticking a slime trail onto “Rocky” for the rest. The movie gets to this quickly, not really lingering over an imaginatively rendered opening that depicts life for Theo (Reynolds), his risk-averse brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti), and the other snails working at “the Plant” (an LA suburbanite’s tomato vine, naturally).