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  Publicity Stills of "Flushed Away"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Genre: CG Animated/Comedy
Director: David Bowers, Sam Fell
Voice Talents of: Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy, Shane Richie, Simon Callow, Bill Nighy, Geoffrey Palmer
Released By: UIP
Rating: G

Opening Day: 2 November 2006


A CG-animated co-production with acclaimed British animation studio Aardman, “Flushed Away” tells the story of a pampered British rat (Jackman) accidentally gets flushed from his posh penthouse flat, into the mysterious sewers of London. As he searches for a way back home, he falls in love with the sewer and its creatures, including a scrappy Cockney rat (Winslet) who steals his heart.

Movie Review:

From the good people who brought us Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, DreamWorks and Aardman Animations collaborate together again for Aardmann Animations’ first fully-CGI feature comedy, Flushed Away.

Pampered house pet rat, Roddy (Hugh Jackman) is living the good life when his owners go out of town, but finds a change of fate when a sewer rat, Sid gets accidentally spewed out the kitchen sink and decides to take over the place. Roddy attempts to trick Sid out of the house but ends up getting flushed away into the sewers and unceremoniously lands up in Ratropolis (think miniature version of London!).

From this point on, this is where the fun really starts when he meets Rita (Kate Winslet) on her boat. A street-smart and sassy rat who happens to be on the run from the Toad Mob after she steals something from them. After a series of misadventures that puts Roddy on the Toad’s (Ian McKellen) Wanted List too, Roddy manages to convince Rita to help him get back home to Kensington in return for something that would help solve her problems. After several failed attempts from the Toad’s henchmen, Spike (Andy Serkis) and Whitey (Bill Nighy), he decides to call on his cousin, the French mercenary, Le Frog (Jean Reno) to help him.

Even though the plot itself is fairly simple and straightforward, the dialogue is mostly quick and witty, the various situations they get themselves into (or out of) will get you laughing hilariously. If you’re a movie buff and observant, you will be able to appreciate this movie a lot more as you spot out the many movie references throughout the settings and scene themselves. No doubt it would probably take a second or third viewing before you can get all the references down. One example is when Roddy tries to choose between an Elvis outfit and Wolverine suit, a clear homage to Hugh Jackman’s famous character in the X-Men movies.

Tributes aside, the movie is peppered with various types of music used appropriately for each of the scenes. While some of the songs and scores play as accompanying background music, some of it is entertainingly played out by the animated characters themselves, no doubt poking fun at overly dramatic scores used in other movies. Music lovers should look out for occasional appearances by the somewhat unpleasant (yet at the same time very adorable) sewer slugs as they belt out both original and recognized tunes.

Even though this movie is fully CGI due to the numerous scenes with water, the essence of clay-mation is still omnipresent. The animation is superb and the amount of detail given to the sets and characters are overwhelming. The best part of it is that they manage to do this in such a way that the CGI is not there to take precedence over the movie itself, but there to make the situation more believable and realistic. The writers and animators obviously gave a lot of care and thought over the character development as each one is well drawn both in animation and personality.

A great voiceover cast supports the characters and all the actors are suitably well fitted to their creature. Hugh Jackman even articulates in a pitch higher than his usual tone and you can hardly believe it’s the same man who tends to speak in a mostly low and deep voice when playing certain other characters.

Taking into account that this is a comedy, and there aren’t exactly that many moral lessons to be learnt at hand, this movie will probably be better appreciated by the adults rather than kids. Nevertheless, armed with a funny script and great cast, Flushed Away is certainly a sure bet to get you entertained on just about any occasion.

Movie Rating:

(Whether you’re a Shrek or Wallace and Gromit fan (or both), this movie will not disappoint and definitely makes for a good animated comedy intended for the family, date and friends)

Review by Jolene Tan


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