Flushed Away (2006)

“Flushed Away” is an entertaining tale of a house rat named Roddy enjoying the good life as the spoiled pet of a rich girl. Just as the girl’s family goes on vacation and he can really let loose, an intruding rat comes in, gets a taste of the good life, and flushes Roddy down the toilet.

Roddy ends up in some sort of rat colony (more like a little city) down in the sewers, and he must find a way to get back home while negotiating life on completely new terms. He finds a girl rat named Rita, who helps him. The two make an unlikely pair since she hates him from the get go, but as they say, opposites attract. There’s a nice surprise ending that I don’t want to spoil for you, and tons of action throughout.

If you’re familiar with Nick Park’s work (think Wallace & Grommit) then you’ll recognize the animation style. The difference is that “Flushed Away” is computer-animated, not made with the usual stop-motion clay puppets that Nick Park works with. The same style was preserved, for the most part, but it was all done on the computer. There is a noticeable difference, and for the diehard Wallace & Grommit fans, it’s a bit of a letdown. The movement is neither smooth enough for good computer animation, or jumpy enough to fit Nick Park’s stop-motion style. But in the end, the movie stands on its own as an enjoyable adventure and one tends to forget about the animation’s shortcomings.

Nick Park actually voices one of the slugs in the movie. He’s not in the credits, and I can’t find out which slug it is, so I’ll let you all guess. If you find out, do let me know.

This movie also features famous actors for the main voice talents, and as I stated in other movie reviews, there’s no reason not to give real voice actors the chance to do these roles. I don’t know that Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet added anything special to the voices of Roddy and Rita, other than their names and a bit of intonation. Now when it comes to The Toad, voiced by Ian McKellen, and Le Frog, voiced by Jean Reno, the story is entirely different. Their voices are distinct enough to fill out their characters and make them come to life.

At any rate, it’s a great family movie and I liked it.

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