A scheming raccoon fools a mismatched family of forest creatures into helping him repay a debt of food, by invading the new suburban sprawl that popped up while they were hibernating...and learns a lesson about family himself.
Barry B. Benson, a bee just graduated from college, is disillusioned at his lone career choice: making honey. On a special trip outside the hive, Barry's life is saved by Vanessa, a florist in New York City. As their relationship blossoms, he discovers humans actually eat honey, and subsequently decides to sue them.
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Boog, a domesticated 900lb. Grizzly bear finds himself stranded in the woods 3 days before Open Season. Forced to rely on Elliot, a fast-talking mule deer, the two form an unlikely friendship and must quickly rally other forest animals if they are to form a rag-tag army against the hunters.
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Stephen J. Anderson
A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the U.S. government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.
Roddy is a decidedly upper-crust "society mouse" who lives the life of a beloved pet in a posh Kensington flat. When a sewer rat named Sid comes spewing out of the sink and decides he's hit the jackpot, Roddy schemes to rid himself of the pest by luring him into the "whirlpool." Sid may be an ignorant slob, but he's no fool, so it is Roddy who winds up being flushed away into the bustling sewer world of Ratropolis. There Roddy meets Rita, 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 - who royally despises all rodents equally, making no distinction between mice and rats--wants them iced... literally. The Toad dispatches his two hapless hench-rats, Spike and Whitey, to get the job done. When they fail, the Toad has no choice but to send to France for his cousin - that dreaded mercenary, Le Frog. Written by
I saw Flushed Away at a press screening in Berlin where it was shown in English to an overwhelmingly German audience. Leaving aside the clichés (Germans DO have a sense of humour - it's just different, okay?!), coming as yet another in a long line of CGI films and with (let's be honest here) a less than gripping concept, Flushed Away had only a certain amount of goodwill from this professional crowd. So when an audience like this, yours truly included, laughs aloud and often then there's something special up on the screen!
The humour is overwhelmingly English and there is none of the morality messaging that makes family films from certain other studios such a cringe-inducing experience. The characters are very well drawn (literally as well as figuratively) and the voice casting is universally excellent. The standard of animation is fantastic but you never once get the sense that anyone is showing off what they can do. This is a story- and character-driven film, with the technology there to serve. Anyone writing it off because it is not claymation is doing themselves a great disservice.
Lovers of Wallace & Gromit and Aardman's work in general will have a ball spotting the oh so many references. The level of detail is amazing and it's going to take many viewings and many hours with the DVD on pause to spot them all. There are the bunnies from Curse of the Wererabbit, for example. I spotted the Lion King on the little girl's windowsill, and so on. And on.
When a film credits several writers, plus comedy consultants, it's usually a sign that the script has gone horribly and tragically wrong. Maybe it did, to begin with, and the start is just a tad slow, but it soon picks up speed and the jokes, verbal and visual, just keep coming.
Like the best family films, Flushed Away appeals to audiences of all ages, but the very young might find it a bit long. Not that it lags at any time, merely that the wee tots might get fidgety, you understand.
The cast do a great job and I'm not going to single out anyone for special mention. The performances are spot on and everyone is obviously having a tongue in cheek good time. For professional reasons, I get to watch some 300 or more films a year. Flushed Away belongs to the very, very few that I wanted to see again right after it had finished. And before you ask, no, I am not being paid, induced or threatened at gunpoint to write this. I had a cracking good time, as did my girlfriend (Julia, German, with sense of humour) and you will too.
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