Set on and beneath the streets of London, "Flushed Away" is the story of Roddy, an upper-crust "society mouse," who is rather rudely evicted from his Kensington flat when he is flushed down into Ratropolis, the bustling se... more »wer world found under London?s streets. There, he meets Rita, an enterprising scavenger who works the sewers in her faithful boat, the Jammy Dodger. Together they must navigate their way through a busy city filled with dangers for any mouse, including terrifying rapids, treacherous whirlpools and, most of all, the villainous Toad and his hench-rats Spike and Whitey. Though completely out of his element at first, the privileged Roddy finds himself an unlikely hero when he learns that Ratropolis is in danger from the world above.« less
"Perhaps that's because it's from Aardman Studios, famous for "Wallace And Gromit" and "Chicken Run." Aardman is also well known for their claymation style of animation, which is lovingly preserved, albeit through the use of CGI in "Flushed Away."
The story revolves around Roddy (Hugh Jackman), a family pet who gets flushed into the sewers of London by an unwelcome guest named Sid (Shane Richie). Sid takes over the world "up there" while Roddy is left to fight for his life in the seedy underbelly of London's sewers. In all actuality, though, life in the sewers isn't too terribly bad. When Roddy arrives there, he finds a near replica of London full of busy streets and shops. He decides that he must get home, and seeks out the aid of Rita (Kate Winslet), a female rat who's known for shady dealings. On her tail (pun intended) are the goons of The Toad (Sir Ian McKellan), who says that a ruby he owned which fell from the crown of either Prince Charles or the Queen (I don't remember which) was stolen by her and he wants it back. Of course Roddy thinks that by assisting him in finding the ruby, he'll get help in return to get back home. What he gets instead is more trouble when Rita steals something else from The Toad.
From there, the story becomes a pretty decent action/comic yarn where The Toad's cousin, Le Frog (Jean Reno) and his henchmen try to retrieve the item that Rita has stolen. It's an integral part of a master plan for revenge by The Toad on all of rodent-kind. Along the way, Roddy and Rita become close friends and Roddy decides that he has to help Rita and her family. It's all tied nicely together in the end and is definitely fun to watch.
The voice talents are wonderful. Jackman, Winslet, McKellan and Reno all do wonderful jobs. Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in "Lord of the Rings" and did a lot of the physical movements of Kong in Peter Jackson's "King Kong," plays one of The Toad's henchmen along with Bill Nighy, recent of the latest "Pirate's of the Caribbean" flick.
The humor is, as expected, well grounded in British comedy and uses slapstick at will to enduce laughter from children. There are plenty of crotch injuries, one fart joke, and a few pokes at stereotypical Americans and the French. It's all done with good intentions and there's nothing really offensive here.
It will hold the attention of both young and old, but children will probably enjoy it more than adults. I enjoyed it but I have a tendency to enjoy silly children's flicks like this. I'm also a fan of Aardman's other work, so perhaps I'm a little biased. Rest assured that whenever it leaves the theaters and eventually hits the DVD rack, I'll be one of the first to buy it for myself and my family."
A Must See!
cosmo | around home | 11/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first two reviews pretty well summed up this great movie! Funny, fast paced and lots of in jokes, past film references, sight gags from other Aardman films, a good story and was well executed! I highly recommend this movie if you love "Chicken Run", and "Wallace & Gromit". If you have not seen any of Aardmans other shows/movies you will miss a few sight gags, but that is certionly no reason not to see this! So in the end; This movie is a must see and definitely fun for the whole family. "
Fresh, original, and very funny animated film
Robert Moore | Chicago, IL USA | 10/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to be honest. This probably deserves four stars instead of five, but despite a sometimes-rushed narrative there were so many delightful moments in this film that I couldn't with a light heart give it less. In the never-ending search for new subjects to animate, no one had before attempted to tell a story about sewer rats. Fortunately, the rats in FLUSHED AWAY are remarkably humanoid, largely covered with light-colored skin, and sporting not terribly disgusting tails. So while this is a story of rats, they are rats with all of the unpleasantries associated with the vermin stripped away.
The film was made by Aardman Productions, the company founded on the success of Nick Park's amazing Claymation projects, most famously the Wallace and Gromit films as well as CHICKEN RUN. This film is all CGI, I suspect because most of the scenes are set in the sewer, which is surrounded by water. I'm not sure that it would be possible to do a Claymation project that involves copious amounts of water. Although the film is CGI, all the characters sport the look that we all associate with Nick Park projects. Interestingly, Park does not appear in the credits, although the aesthetic he created permeates the film.
The story tells the ordeals suffered by Roddy, a pet rat owned by a little girl in Kensington in London. When the family is on vacation and the house is invaded by a street punk rat (voiced by Shane Ritchie of THE EASTENDERS), the elegant rat finds himself flushed down the toilet to the sewer, where he discovers an entire community of rats. Wanting to return home, he is directed to a boat owned by a female rat named Rita. The rest of the film deals both with Rita's attempt to help Roddy get home as well as their struggles to evade the minions of a toad sewer lord. The plot is adequate to the task, but what is delightful about the film is the wonderfully fresh and inventive humor. There are also a number of animals used to great effect that have amazingly been neglected by the legions of earlier animal animators, in particular snails, which are used for comic relief and for -- I am not kidding -- musical background. There is also a wonderful gang of frogs that are, of course, French. Led by their chief Le Frog, they are masters of the martial arts and have their very own mime, who provides some of the film's finest comic moments.
One reason the film succeeds so wonderfully is the first cast voiceover talent. Hugh Jackman gets to put some of his talents to use that were never needed in the X-Men films, even getting to show off his outstanding singing voice on a couple of numbers. Kate Winlet is appropriately fetching as Rita and Ian McKellan is marvelously over-the-top as Toad. Andy Serkis and Bill Nighy voice Toad's two main henchmen. One of the great delights of the movie is Le Frog, voiced by Jean Reno.
I think this is a film that can be equally enjoyed by parents and their kids. The preview audience that I saw this with contained probably more adults than it will enjoy upon general release, but the few kids in the audience laughed very hard throughout. So did the adults. There are a number of animated films coming out in the next couple of months for the holidays, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this one might end up being the best -- and certainly the funniest -- of the bunch."
Flushed me away!
She who Reviews | E.H.T., N.J. United States | 03/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found Flushed Away a very amusing movie that my entire family enjoyed. The story line was predictable, but enjoyable. It was one of those movies you can watch over an over. The signing slugs were one of the perks in the movie, very, very amusing, though everything else was just laugh-out loud comedy. It's defintily a family movie that everyone can enjoy."
Chrissy K. McVay | North Carolina | 03/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wonderful animation movie with cute songs, adorable critters and sweet characters. A privileged pet rat gets flushed by an unwanted, rude guest (another rat from the sewers) and is sent into a world far different than his pampered cage. He struggles to get back 'up top' to his old home and easy lifestyle. However, a rich rat discovers that his cushy life is pretty empty without friends and family and must decide if they are better than clean cages and cuisine. Delightful family entertainment!