movie film review | chris tookey

Flushed Away

© DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features - all rights reserved
  Flushed Away Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
6.34 /10
Roddy St. James - Hugh Jackman, Rita - Kate Winslet
Full Cast >

Directed by: David Bowers, Sam Fell
Written by: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, Will Davies, from a story by Sam Fell, Lloyd, Clement, La Frenais

Released: 2006
Origin: US/ UK
Colour: C
Length: 84

Aardman goes down the pan.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

Last year, Aardman Films brought us a delightful early Christmas present, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Flushed Away is computer animation made to resemble plasticine; and it looks not so much like a Nick Park production, as the work of less talented outsiders trying to make an Aardman film.

Itís about a cosseted Kensington house-mouse called Roddy (voiced by Hugh Jackman, but more reminiscent of Hugh Grant) whose lonely but luxurious existence is ended when a dirty rat named Sid (Shane Richie) moves into his flat and flushes him down the loo.

Underground, Roddy discovers a verminous version of London, where he meets an alluring rodent called Rita (Kate Winslet). Together, they fall foul of the villainous Toad (Ian McKellen giving a Donald Sinden impersonation), his two henchrats (Andy Serkis and Bill Nighy, good fun) and a team of killer frogs and mime-artists led by the dreaded Le Frog (Jean Reno impersonating himself).

I laughed several times, but too much comedy here is coarse, uninspired slapstick without the charm or wit of Wallace and Gromit, or even Chicken Run.

Five writers are credited, and additional material has been contributed by seven more Ė a case of far too many cooks spoiling the froth. The American influence of DreamWorks executive Jeffrey Katzenberg can also be detected in the mildly unpleasant jibes at the English and (especially) the French, not to mention the much too heavy-handed slapstick.

I lost count of the times characters suffered grievous bodily harm in the genital area or suffered electrocution. I know a lot of people find amusement in pain, but the violence is inflicted here with little sense of style or fun. Itís repetitive, uninventive and cheap.

There are witty touches in the design and background detail. Flushed Away isnít a horrible experience, and will do well on DVD; but itís very much aimed at children, not the whole family, and even tinies may notice that it lacks charm.

Flushed Away doesnít deserve to be panned; but itís a sad falling-off from Aardmanís previously high standards.

Key to Symbols