INDYCAR revved up about Dreamworks’ “Turbo”

The common garden snail — scientific name helix aspersa — is known for several things. One, it has a hard shell. Two, it leaves behind a trail of mucus as it moves. And three, it’s slow. Its top speed? A staggering 1.3 centimeters per second.

In comparison, IZOD IndyCar Series machines can cover the length of a football field (120 yards) per second.

But what would happen if a very slow snail suddenly became a very fast one? Let’s say, fast enough to contend for the Borg-Warner Trophy?

Next year, we’ll get to find out. Dreamworks Animation recently revealed its Summer 2013 offering, Turbo, a story about a racing-addicted snail that decides to pursue his dream of becoming an Indianapolis 500 champion when an accident leaves him blessed with the one thing his real-life counterparts can never hope to have: Lots and lots of speed.

As soon as word got out about the film, I wondered if INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard was already wheeling and dealing to get some sort of partnership going between the series and the movie. Well, it turns out he and Dreamworks leader Jeffrey Katzenberg had been working on such matters for the last two years.

“The Indianapolis 500 is a one-of-a-kind live event that has fascinated people of all ages for many, many years and Turbo is a character whose biggest ambition is to add his name to its list of international champions,” said Katzenberg in a joint press release. “DreamWorks Animation’s alliance with the INDYCAR team represents an authentic tie-in between a real-life race and an imagined adventure that is certain to culminate in a thrilling ride for the whole family next summer.”

INDYCAR’s involvement in the movie — which will feature the voice talents of superstars like Ryan Reynolds (“Green Lantern,” “Van Wilder”), Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” the Star Wars prequels) and Michelle Rodriguez (“The Fast and the Furious,” ABC’s “Lost”) — appears set to go beyond the expected (i.e. cameo roles for series drivers, INDYCAR and Indy 500 branding, a CGI’ed version of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway).

Four-time series champion Dario Franchitti has also been involved as a technical consultant, giving the Dreamworks team pointers on how to show the authenticity and drama of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing through the eyes of what will be its smallest competitor yet. In return for gaining the INDYCAR rights, Dreamworks is buying up an undisclosed amount of advertising on the series’ television broadcasts and at the track according to Bernard.

Considering that Dreamworks’ animated films have a habit of tagging nine figures at the box office, it appears that INDYCAR has a golden opportunity on its hands to expose themselves to a sizable audience and a younger audience in particular.

Turbo hits theatres on July 19, 2013. Start getting hyped up for the flick on its Facebook page.