Sunday, November 26, 2006

Flushed Away movie review

One of my local cinemas was previewing Flushed Away the new Aardman Animation/Dreamworks CGI movie this weekend, so I snuck away from the Cybils longlist for a couple of hours to go and catch the last preview before the film opens on Friday. And as I'd expected of the Oscar-winning Aardman, this film was a joy to see. The movie tells the story of pampered pet rat, Roddy (Hugh Jackman), who is flushed down the toilet of his palatial Kensington home by smart sewer-rat, Sid (Shane Richie) and ends up in Ratropolis. There Roddy meets Rita (Kate Winslet), an enterprising scavenger who works the sewers in her faithful boat, the Jammy Dodger. Roddy immediately wants out, or rather, up; Rita wants to be paid for her trouble; and, speaking of trouble, the villainous Toad (Ian McKellan) - who royally despises the rats - and wants them iced... literally. The Toad dispatches his two hapless hench-rats, Spike (Andy Serkis) and Whitey (Bill Nighy), to get the job done but when they fail, the Toad has no choice but to send to France for his cousin - that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog (Jean Reno).

I hardly stopped laughing from start to finish whilst watching this film. From the opening, where Roddy is looking in the wardrobe for an outfit to wear and discards a wizard's outfit (referencing The Lord of the Rings in which Ian McKellan played Gandalf), a blue and yellow shirt (worn by Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman in the movies, in the comic), and a shirt and green knitted sleeveless sweater (as worn by Wallace in the Wallace and Gromit films made by Aardman), through the orange fish who asks Roddy: "Have you seen my Dad" (referencing Finding Nemo, made by rival animation company Pixar), to the Toad opening his freezer full of enemies and do-gooders encased in blocks of ice, including a rat dressed as Han Solo (referencing Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back). Then there are the amazing singing slugs, who provide sound effects, spooky horror-style music, and emotional ballads as appropriate - and which promoted the last line of the credits to read "No slugs were a-salted in the making of this film."

Then there are the various chases, including one which features the Toad's hench-rats riding egg-beaters down the sewer, one of whom is stopped by a packet of Instant Whip...


Kelly said...

Wasn't it AWESOME? My favorite kids movie since "The Incredibles."

No one is left unharmed--not the British (that collection of Royal Family memorabilia was priceless), the Americans (stupid, fat, loud tourists), and the French ("after about 6 hours").

So much fun :)

Michele said...

Oh yes, they really do take the mickey out of everyone... It wasn't so much the collection of memorabilia, as the idea that Prince Charles had a favoured pet that was a TOAD that had me crying with laughter !

I really want to go and see it again, Now !!