Flushed Away (2006)

Click Poster to Purchase

Get Showtimes...
Fandango - Movie Tickets Online

Review #301 of 365
Film: Flushed Away (2006) [PG] 84 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $11.00
Where Viewed: United Artists Denver Pavilions Stadium 15, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 8 November 2006
Time: 9:45 p.m.
Film's Official Website
DVD Release Date: unscheduled

Directed by: David Bowers and Sam Fell (Chump)
Screenplay by: Dick Clement (Goal!), Ian La Frenais (Goal!), Christopher Lloyd ("Frasier"), Joe Keenan ("Frasier"), and William Davies (Alien Autopsy)
Story by: Sam Fell (Pop), Peter Lord (Chicken Run), Dick Clement (Goal!), and Ian La Frenais (Goal!)

Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Hugh Jackman (The Prestige) • Kate Winslet (All the King's Men) • Ian McKellen (X-Men: The Last Stand) • Jean Reno (Flyboys) • Bill Nighy (Alex Rider: Stormbreaker) • Andy Serkis (Alex Rider:Stormbreaker) • Shane Richie ("EastEnders")

Soundtrack: order the CD below

Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word or less review of this film]
Many questioned the motives behind the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences decision a few years ago to create a category for Oscar® nominations exclusively for animated films. Who could have guessed they would be right in doing so as proven out this year with a full slate of competitors—though still one of the 'easiest' Oscars® to win with far fewer contenders than live-action films, this year there have been sufficiently many excellent or even extraordinary films for some real competition. This month has two animated film releases with the first being Flushed Away. Dreamworks, the makers of Shrek, and Aardman Animation, the makers of Wallace and Gromit, teamed up to create a whole new, CGI-world in the sewers of London. An early piece of advice, try not to think about what sewers actually are, and the movie will cause fewer initial stomach problems.

Hugh Jackman -- voice of Roddy
Click Still Photo to Purchase

The story, involves a well-to-do pet rat named Roddy (voiced by Hugh Jackman) living in the, albeit lonely, lap of luxury in gilded cage and being pampered with premium rat pellet food with the house to himself when the human family is on holiday. Unforeseeable circumstances present Roddy with an unwelcome visitor, a rat named Sid (voiced by Shane Richie) with a repugnant and unrefined manner about him.

Shane Richie -- voice of Sid
Click Still Photo to Purchase

He is, quite basically, a sewer rat through and through. Quick-thinking Roddy plots to dispense with him swiftly by luring him into a 'Jacuzzi' aka the toilet bowl, however Sid is not fooled and, instead, turns the tide so to speak on Roddy flushing him into the sewer himself. Woefully unskilled for survival on the street let alone underground, Roddy, dressed like James Bond on his way to Casino Royale, finds himself in mess after mess chiefly surrounding the possession of a fake glass ruby desired equally by the underworld king pin The Toad (voiced by Sir Ian McKellan) and Rita (voiced by Kate Winslet) the daughter of the rat who first found what they all believe to be a jewel that popped right out of the crown of HRM Queen Elizabeth during coronation. Of course, Roddy's chief objective is to get home, however, The Toad's henchmen Whitey (Bill Nighy) and Spike (Andy Serkis) will do anything to recover the ruby now in Rita's possession, and then, through another twist in fate, the master electrical cable she swipes out of The Toad's lair which he needs to open the flood gates and rid the underworld of all rats to make room of his many tadpoles. The Toad, after watching his henchmen bungle attempt after attempt to acquire back either the jewel or the cable, enlists his French cousin Le Frog (voiced by Jean Reno) and his minions to help out.

Fans of Aardman Animation's signature stop motion clay animation techniques will be thrilled by the look of this film. The characters retain the look and physical composition of the soft clay. The CGI rendering in the film is stunning and the underground mock-London created from sewer trash is great fun. It's a shame that more of the film does not take place in and around this inventive CGI set. The voice actors are perfect matches for their clay characters enhancing both style and humor. The film suffers as a whole in a couple of other areas.

Kate Winslet -- voice of Rita
Click Still Photo to Purchase

First, the running gag of the singing slugs gets old fast. Second, the story becomes a bit convoluted when Roddy smashes the ruby proving it to be a fake, and things shift to getting him home and preventing The Frog's plan to flood the underground. Younger children will have a very hard time figuring out what is going on in this movie most of the time. Third, the film takes place, mostly in a sewer which is, actually, pretty gross. There's one scene just after Roddy plops into the final level of waste water where a floating, half-opened chocolate bar initiates near and unnecessary revulsion. Once again, I beg the directors and writers of animated films to consider their audiences. For whom was this film made. Much of the plot is too sophisticated for little kids whose guardians may not be thrilled by the ideas such as flushing a pet down the toilet that their children may pick up. Such children also, may not find these very adult animated rats as intriguing, fun, cuddly, and interesting as the penguins of Happy Feet or the cars of Cars. Meanwhile, The Toad is a pretty villainous character with a penchant for freezing his enemies in blocks of ice for safe-keeping.

Andy Serkis -- voice of Spike -- and Bill Nighy -- voice of Whitey
Click Still Photo to Purchase

Likely, he is too scary for little kids and Sid is too bad of a role model. Pre-Teens may enjoy the film more than their younger siblings as it is sophisticated but the plot, again may be too convoluted for them to get the most out of it. Finally, grown-ups who take little kids to see it will find numerous inside jokes and references that will pique their curiosity, but ultimately nothing earth-shattering in the area of animated adventure. Clearly, the writers and directors worked hard to design a new world and a new story. They have done that. The story just doesn't quite hold water in the end.

Send This Review To a Friend

Related Products from Amazon.com
Other Projects Featuring Flushed Away (2006)
Cast Members
Hugh JackmanKate WinsletIan McKellen
Jean RenoBill NighyAndy Serkis
Shane Richie
David BowersSam Fell
Movie Novel
CD Soundtrack
Play Station 2
Game Cube

Flushed Away (2006) Review-lite [150-word cap]
Dreamworks (Shrek) and Aardman Animation ( Wallace and Gromit) have teamed up to create a whole new world in the sewers of London for their CGI-animated film, Flushed Away. The story involves a well-to-do pet rat named Roddy (Hugh Jackman) living in the, albeit lonely, lap of luxury in gilded cage and being pampered with premium rat pellet food with the house to himself when the human family is on holiday. Unforeseeable circumstances end up stranding him in the sewers of London where he is woefully unskilled to survive. Boat captain, sewer rat, Rita (Kate Winslet) rescues him, sort of, and the two become entangled in a jewel heist and a plot to drown the underground making way for rule by toads. The writers have forgotten their audience as the story is too convoluted and chief villain too villainous for little kids and older ones may fail to be amused.

Send This Review To a Friend

No comments: