Have you ever seen the movie Turbo? About a snail that races in the Indy 500? It’s one of those fun family films that you can just sit down, enjoy, and laugh about together.
But, like the best of fun family films, Turbo isn’t all fun and games. From the first scene, this
movie moves towards a message—How do you follow your dreams when it seems impossible?
Because Theo (Turbo) has big dreams. He wants to race.
But he also has a problem. He’s a snail.
Even when an encounter involving a street race and nitrous oxide give him super speed, Theo still keeps running into problems between him and his dream.
How do you race after your dream . . .
When no one supports you?
When you’re too small?
When your dream is too big?
Let’s face it. We’re dreamers. It’s in us as much as racing was in Theo. We dream big, and we don’t stop there. We chase our dreams.
And run into much the same problems Theo did.
What does a racing snail teach us about those big, impossible dreams?
Buckle in, start your engines, and prepare for me to over-analyze an animated film.
Theo didn’t make it to the Indy 500 by himself. Even though he had unique abilities, he still needed help. So do we.
Family. Theo’s brother, Chet, doesn’t seem to be Theo’s greatest supporter at first. He’s constantly worried that Theo will fall prey to crows, tetanus, or worst of all, salt. He wants to protect Theo from getting hurt—which makes him angry when Theo takes risks.
I honestly never considered that some writers’ parents didn’t support their career. My family does in so many amazing ways, and I can’t remember a time that they haven’t. So it breaks my heart when I see students in my writing community talk about the lack of support from those most important to them.
Whether your family supports your dream or not, remember they love you and want to protect you. Keep them in your loop, even if it means you have to educate them sometimes about how this dream of yours works. Share your goals with them. Let them see how passionate you are. Like Chet, they may just end up being the ones that cheer the loudest as you cross the finish line.
Racers. Theo found help in the snail crew of Starlight Plaza. While the racing crew didn’t have the same abilities as Theo, and raced in very different ways, they still got him where he needed to be, whether that was convincing those humans to drive them to Indy or saving Theo from an unfortunate racing name like Fasty. (Humans! What do they know?)
Find people who are in the same “race” as you, ones who are passionate and chasing the same dreams you are, even if they race in very different ways than you do.
Friends. This doesn’t just mean you hang out only with people interested in the same stuff you are. In fact, most of Theo’s friends (and biggest supporters, I mean, it takes money to get to Indy) weren’t racers. They were mechanics, hobby store owners, nail salon owners, and taco truck drivers. But they believed in Theo, invested in him, and stuck with him. Remember that your biggest supporters may not share your dream—but they will help you reach it.
After Theo runs a disorienting thirty laps in the race, he arrives at the pit stop dead last, disillusioned, and disappointed. The cars are much more powerful and the track so much larger than he’d imagined.
Fellow snail Whiplash smacks him upside the eyes (what are friends for?). “Are you a car?” he shouts.
“No,” Theo replies.
“Are. You. A. Car?” Whiplash shouts louder.
“No!” Theo yells back.
“Then stop driving like one!”
Stop driving like one.
With that bit of shall we call it encouragement, Theo zips off back into the race. He soon discovers that as a speeding snail, he can do things those powerful cars can’t—like zoom under other cars, ride sideways on the wall, or even hide out in a car’s hubcap to avoid being crushed.
No matter what our dream is, there will be other people in that race we admire—cars, if you will. And we’ll be disappointed when we discover they can do things that we just can’t.
But you just be you. Maybe you can’t do what they can. But you weren’t made to. You were made to do things that only you can do in a way that only you can. You can do things that they can’t. No one can tell your story quite the way you can. Find what you do well and roll with it.
You’re not a car. Stop driving like one.
(For more on this topic and more over-analysis of a Dreamworks movie, check out this blog post: https://racheljleitch.weebly.com/adventure-journal/its-all-you)
As the taco truck full of misfit racing crew pulls into Indianapolis, Theo joins Chet at the window. As usual, Chet is worried for his little brother and doesn’t mind saying so.
“Theo,” he wonders, “what if you wake up tomorrow and all your powers are gone? What then?”
Theo watches the Welcome to Indianapolis sign slide past. “Well,” he states matter-of-factly, “then I’d better make the most of today.”
We can’t really count on anything. Things change. The best we can do is use the day, the hour, the minute we’ve got. Figure out what it will take for you to reach your goals. And then race after it with all your heart.
“He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
*Have you ever seen Turbo? What did you think of it? What are your dreams? Who’s your crew? How will you meet your dreams? Share your adventures in the comments!
In other news . . . it's ProseWorthy's birthday! (Or it was a couple weeks ago on the 16th.) Two years of doing this crazy thing called a website. So I left you a graphic below.
In all seriousness, thank you all for not unsubscribing (*grins*) and for tuning in for my randomness every month. Your support really does mean a lot both to me and to my writing. Here's to many more months of literary ramblings!
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!