Monday, July 15, 2013


People always ask me, "Bill, how do you get funny ideas?"  And one of my classic responses is, I take a cliché and reverse it - I've done many films using that formula. 

The most successful is probably my short "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger".  The cliché in that film is that all cows eventually end up as hamburgers and steaks, and justly should fear the processing plant.  But I took that and reversed it into a cow that was actually excited about becoming a fast food burger. 

So, if you ever run out of ideas, just use the old "reverse the cliché" technique.  Remember the vegetarian sharks in "Finding Nemo"?  Or the two kind old ladies in Frank Capra's great film "Arsenic and Old Lace" that were maniacal killers? 

Well, I just saw the new Dreamworks animated feature "Turbo" and they used my formula for a wonderful result.  The basic story is about a clichéd slowpoke snail who, through a bizarre nitrous oxide accident, acquires super-speed abilities that let him race in the Indy 500.

It's a very far-fetched concept, yet it was written and directed so well that the total absurdity of the idea really paid off. 

Visually, however, the film was not so special.  The other snails had very bland designs - snails are actually very beautiful animals, and they missed an opportunity to create some very cool mollusks.  The humans also were examples of mediocre design, and almost all of them were fat - what's going on with the fat people in L.A.?

But, all in all, I had a great time.  Because the story was so far-fetched, I give "Turbo" a "B-".


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