Animated 'Turbo' movie showcases Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indy 500

Advance VIP screening held at Indiana State Museum

INDIANAPOLIS - Indy was host to a VIP screening of "Turbo," an animated movie about a snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500.

The film's director, actors and other VIPs walked the red carpet at the Indiana State Museum's IMAX theater Friday to see the film that animates the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Movie crews spent three years making the film and took literally thousands of pictures of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to make sure every detail of the animation was true to life.

"It looks very, very faithful to the motor speedway," Director David Soren said. "The pagoda, every aspect of this place has been copied faithfully."

"Turbo" tells the story of a snail -- named Turbo -- who dreams of living life in the fast lane. A radioactive reaction makes Turbo the snail's wish come true, and he decides to show his speed in the greatest spectacle in racing -- the Indianapolis 500.

"There's no absolute reason in the world why he should ever be able to go fast or enter the Indy 500, and yet he pursues this ludicrous thing, miraculously becomes fast and then still has the obstacles all ahead of him of entering this race," Soren said. "So it's a classic underdog story really."

Soren and actor Michael Pena answered fan questions at the track Friday. 

They say their own children inspired the idea for the film and the performances.

"I have a 4-year-old kid, and I was doing it like I really wanted him to like this movie," Pena said. "And right now, he watches the trailer all the time. So I think that's a pretty good indicator."

Reigning Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti served as a technical advisor on the film.

"Turbo" opens to the public July 17.

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