Rated PG; Directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell; Starring the voice talents of Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellan, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis, Jean Reno
The movie trailers for Flushed Away didn’t inspire confidence. The movie looked lame, but as it was coming from Aardman Studios, the makers of Chicken Run and the Wallace and Gromit films, I hoped I wouldn’t spend 90 minutes miserably sitting through a dumbed-down kid’s movie. A good lesson: don’t trust the trailers. Flushed Away is the most entertaining animated film released this year.
This computer-animated film is a fish-out-of-water tale or should I say a rat-out-of-the-cage tale? Roddy (voice of Hugh Jackman) is a pet rat living the high life in a nice home in London. When Roddy is flushed down the toilet he discovers the very thriving world below the streets of London. Along the way he meets Rita (Kate Winslet), a feisty rat who is in trouble with the villainous Toad (Ian McKellan).
What fun characters. McKellan’s plummy voice is perfect for the bad guy with evil plans that Roddy and Rita must foil. Jean Reno voices the very French Le Frog (there’s a British joke there). Rita is the most dynamic character in the movie. Her commonsense suspicion of Roddy and her willingness to take on Toad’s thugs (Bill Nighy and Andy Serkis as the hapless baddies) makes her a believable person … er … rat. My favorites are the slugs. They’re the ever present Greek chorus of the film.
The movie is fast-paced and full of slapstick humor, but offered with great charm and wit. I even laughed at a fart joke, as it was brilliantly and subtly done. So, don’t let the movie trailer fool you. Flushed Away is a smart movie and deserves an audience.