Starring (the voices of): Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen,
Bill Nighy, Jean Reno
Released: 1st December 2006
Roddy (Jackman) is a pampered pet rat living in solitary luxury in Kensington until a sewer rat by the name of Sid usurps him from his privileged position by flushing him down the toilet.
Down in the sewers, Roddy's only thoughts are of getting home and he hopes to employ the services of sassy rat, Rita (Winslet), to get him out of the rodent city beneath London. However, she has troubles and objectives of her own as Ratropolis's crime kingpin, The Toad (McKellen), has a masterplan to rid all the rats and allow his own kind to dominate the sewers but needs Rita to complete the plan.
Throughout the high speed chases, henchman and Ninja frogs Roddy starts to realise that although his life might be well catered for above ground, there might just be something missing from it after all.
Aardman go CG animation. Have they sold out to the Hollywood machine? No. Apparently the reason for ditching the claymation for this feature was because of the vast amounts of water featured which, funnily enough, doesn't co-operate too well with stop animation techniques.
Flushed Away is absolutely hilarious and rates highly on all the necessities a family film needs to make it truly accessible for the whole family. Lots of talking, anthropomorphic animals - rats, frogs, toads, slugs, flies and maggots - plenty of slapstick violence, some toilet humour, self-referential asides and a high paced, easy to follow storyline.
Not one of the featured characters is a wasted comedy moment. Even the background creatures have some nuance to make you look twice evoke a chuckle. All wrapped up with an outstanding vocal cast also including Andy Serkis, Shane Richie, Kathy Burke and David Suchet.
It's kind of James Bond with the villains and the plots but with Rita as the in-control spy and Roddy the standard 'out of his depth' character needing an epiphany. Maybe not up to the quality of Wallace and Gromit but certainly exceeding the competition in wit, intelligence and style.