Netflix is giving families a reason to turn off the anticipated Christmas Story marathon or whatever else they were planning on watching this Christmas Eve and switch over to Netflix for their first ever original series for kids, Turbo FAST. The streaming video service debuted the above trailer today, along with the announcement that they’ll be launching the series on December 24 at 12:01 a.m. PST. It looks like they’re taking a slightly different approach to unveiling this series than they have their previously released original series, as only the first five episodes of Turbo Fast will be made available on Christmas Eve. The rest will premiere throughout the year — presumably next year.
Netflix and DreamWorks’ Turbo FAST is the small-screen followup to DreamWorks’ animated feature film Turbo, which debuted in theaters this summer. Here’s the information Netflix released about the series:
The first-ever Netflix original series for kids, DreamWorks’ Turbo FAST is a high-octane ensemble comedy that amps everything up to the extreme as Turbo and his adrenaline-fueled crew go on daring new adventures, race on the coolest tracks, and take on the craziest challengers. No matter how wild things get, these snails always have each other’s backs. Stunt Team members -- Turbo, Whiplash, Burn, Smoove Move, White Shadow, Skidmark and Chet-- already have legions of fans from their appearance in the DreamWorks Animation’s feature film Turbo, which opened in theaters around the globe earlier this year and has already grossed more than $280 million. The all new television show digs deeper into the crazy personalities of the snail crew and features 2D design to create a stylized look reflective of the Stunt Team’s fast-paced, souped-up world. Reid Scott from Veep lends his voice to show’s title character, and comedian Ken Jeong reprises his role from the feature film as the fan-favorite manicurist turned home shopping icon Kim Ly.
I’m thinking — or rather, hoping — that Netflix’s decision to debut the first five episodes and then unveil additional episodes later is more a matter of wanting to launch this new family-friendly series in time for the holidays, and not an indication that they’re considering changing their approach to how they roll out their original programming. As it stands, the way they’re releasing Turbo FAST seems very similar to how Amazon recently debuted their new original series Alpha House and Betas. Netflix’s all-at-once approach to premiering shows like House of Cards, Orange is the New Black and the fourth season of Arrested Development (among other series) is one of the more forward-thinking aspects of the service and hopefully they're planning on resuming that approach with their other shows. From Ted Sanrandos’ comment in Netflix’s release, I’m inclined to believe that for Turbo FAST's debut, this is more a matter of timing than it is a decision to change their launch strategy...
“We are excited to be working with the gifted storytellers at DreamWorks Animation to deliver Turbo FAST, our first original kids series, to families around the world this holiday season,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix. “With new episodes on their way in the coming months, kids will have something to look forward to all year.”
Kids do love the Netflix, so it seems likely there will be plenty of young people eager to watch a new show with familiar characters. We’ll have to see what kind of buzz Turbo FAST generates as more episodes roll out.