Flushed Away (2006) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring (voices of): Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno
Directors: David Bowers, Sam Fell

FLUSHED AWAY featuring uptown pet mouse Roddy (Hugh Jackman) is immensely entertaining and wastes little time dropping this aloof, Kensington rodent into London’s underground sewerage system that leads him on a rollercoaster ride and into an adventure of a lifetime.

How could such a careless and disastrous mishap befall this cosseted, precocious mouse who rarely ventures out of his luxurious but somewhat solitary splendour?

It’s all courtesy of a troublemaker sewer rat called Sid (Shane Richie) who can’t believe his good fortune when he pops out of a kitchen sink and straight into Roddy’s posh domain. Oozing slime and unmentionable gunge everywhere Sid sets about annoying his host with his slovenly, greedy, loud and uncouth ways until it grates on Roddy’s nerves galvanizing him into an ‘exit’ plan of action. His pest control plan is to nonchalantly invite Sid into the bathroom to try out the Jacuzzi but instead leads him to the rim of the toilet. Sid’s no fool though and while both are perched precariously here Sid quickly knocks Roddy into the toilet and he is speedily flushed away!

Set to a lively soundtrack, FLUSHED AWAY follows Roddy on his swirling journey beneath the city streets and discovers a thriving microcosm of the city above. Longing to get home as this frenetic, vibrant urban scene is a stark contrast to his pampered isolation, he bumps into many different characters particularly slugs at every corner. But it is when our accident prone hero bumps into a streetwise mouse called Rita (Kate Winslet) evading the clutches of a megalomaniac toad (Ian McKellan) that his world is turned upside down in more ways than one.

FLUSHED AWAY is the latest offering from the talented world renowned British animation studio Aardman Features, famous for their clay model animation techniques, who have joined forces with DreamWorks Animation for a third time following their past success with CHICKEN RUN and WALLACE AND GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT. However this is Aardman’s first computer animated feature and they have retained their distinctive style to some extent.

The filmmakers’ attention to detail on the CGI usage plus an innovative storyline packed with diverse characters, sets off at a cracking pace that never loses its momentum. It has the usual good versus evil elements and will have its audience laughing out loud as they become completely engrossed in Roddy’s exploits.

This is a sensational and hilarious animated feature for all the family yet despite the numerous stunts and escapades Roddy becomes embroiled in alongside Rita amazingly “no slugs were a-salted during the making of this film”.

5 out of 6 stars