Monday, August 5, 2013

No Dream is too Big, No Dreamer too Small: Turbo Adoption Movie Guide

A slow-paced community of snails goes about their daily lives, every member contentedly harvesting tomatoes from a backyard garden. Well, almost every member.  Theo is enamored with racecar driving and, inspired by racing champion Guy Gagne, imagines himself to be a racing champion as well. Through cinematic magic, Theo is infused with supernatural speed, renames himself Turbo, and gains entry into the Indianapolis 500.

How is This Relevant to Adoption? 
When Theo leaves his initial community, he is found by Tito, a taco truck driver, who brings him home. Around this time, Theo’s name becomes Turbo. While Turbo thrives in Tito’s care, the way he joined Tito’s home seems very random. Some kids might relate.

Strong Points
Turbo is bold in his dreams and persistent in his hope. The film encourages, “No dream is too big, and no dreamer too small.” Turbo pursues his dreams in spite of being mocked by others. He refuses to accept the advice of a burnt-out older snail, “The sooner you accept the dull, miserable reality of your nature, the happier you’ll be.” Turbo also persists in following his dreams, even though another snail reminds him that he already tried once, and failed. I struggle a bit with the magical aspect of how Turbo’s dreams come true – the hard work shown in Monsters University seems more realistic – but at least Turbo is asked, “What happens if you wake up tomorrow and your powers are gone?” His answer is good, “Then I better make the most of today.”

Turbo’s brother, Chet, is fired because of Turbo. Although Chet yells at Turbo, he does not abandon him. They stick together.

 Weak Points

There are some scenes of peril. Turbo’s hero, Guy Gagne, tries to kill him.

Turbo is never reunified with his original community; his brother remains his only connection to his past.

Tito takes in both Turbo and Chet, but obviously prefers Turbo.

Young kids, up to age 7 or so, will probably like this movie. The connections to adoption aren’t overt, but you might still ask about your kiddo’s experience of Turbo’s move.

Questions for Discussion after the movie
How do you think Turbo and Chet felt when they left their first home?

How do you think Turbo felt in Tito’s home? How about Chet?

Turbo wanted to be a racer, even though he was a slow snail. What are some of your big dreams? How can I help you chase them?

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