Monday, December 31, 2012

New Trailer For Dreamworks' "Turbo" Is Actually Really Good

I don't think that I have bashed Dreamworks Animation trailers enough recently. So, once more with feeling, they suck. Badly. To be fair, they haven't been sucking quite as much with more recent movies — certainly nowhere near the colossal mountain of suck that were trailers for The Road to El Dorado and Over The Hedge. And I absolutely give them some benefit of doubt, what with the trailers to Madagascar 3 being an absolute eye-sore to me but apparently being very popular.

But in the main, their trailers fail to do anything more than make the movies seem far more juvenile than they actually are.

Trailers must have structure just as any movie must, because the trailer should an essence be a mini-movie. I frequently joke that the best trailer that I have ever seen was for the movie Bratz, where quite literally the entire movie happens in the trailer. It's a masterpiece.

The theoretically ideal trailer has an exposition where the basic characters and plot are introduced, conflict is introduced as the action rises, the climax, as it were, of the trailer is usually music and a montage of clips meant to give an overview of how the movie is going to feel, and the trailer will sometimes stop suddenly, thus not giving the satisfaction of a completed story, thus forming the desire to see the film. Always leave them wanting more, is how it goes.

This trailer for Turbo is a teaser trailer, and teaser trailers are in many ways both easier and harder to make. One, the company making the trailer is usually working with a smaller pile of completed scenes, and movies frequently don't achieve their final form until right before release. Two, the point of a teaser trailer is to do just that, tease. The question of what element of the film is going to be the biggest tease thus needs to be decided upon. This is easier in high-concept films, like Turbo obviously is, but then you have the problem of not wanting to reveal too much of the concept for fear of giving it away.

I think that this trailer gets the balance just right. It has the comedy, the music, the visual impact, the dramatic impact. It is the best teaser trailer that Dreamworks Animation has made. And, unlike shockingly awful concepts like Rise of the Guardians, this concept actually seems like a cute enough idea to really drive characters and humor. Thumbs up, Dreamworks. Thumbs up.

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