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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.
Flushed Away carries a weight of intellect with it not often found
these days in American cinema and television. It's sharp-witted yet
poignant and fresh at the same time.
I went in with the expectations of it being another animated film in an ocean of animated films, but I was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly entertained.
The message of the film is an ever-fading idea that isolation from each other is how we will become destroyed. The idea that one must go far, far beyond their comfort zone and any form of complacency to find what truly matters in life. The films treatment of this ideology, again, is brilliant in my opinion.
It has excellent writing, the animation is absolutely top notch, and the voice talent live up to their high dollar reputations. Everyone is outstanding in this film and it is a must see during the holidays.
Go see Flushed Away!!! Go now!!
The fact that I could be entertained by another one of these animated
talking animal movies is a miracle. Is this number 1000 over the past 2
years? I just love English sarcasm, wit, dryness that strikes a chord
in these old bones. The great news, nobody was in drag.
During the movie, there are inside English jokes that Americans may not understand such as "England loses on penalty kicks" which is a modern football tradition in the UK and the English love of knick knacks. The singing slugs don't do it for me but the kids liked them.
I highly recommend this movie even if you are sick of computer animated talking animals.
Flushed Away is the perfect marriage between the American Dreamworks and their crass sense of humor and the British Aardman and their dry sense of humor. Beside the obvious jokes about the sewer there's much to enjoy for the more sophisticated viewer. Like a cockroach reading FranzKafka's The Metamorphosis. The voice-cast is spot on: Ian McKellen as the evil genius The Toad is pure delight, Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman are clearly having a blast giving their voices to rats Rita and Roddy. But the cream of the crop are the singing and screaming snails. When they sing at the top of their lungs Proud Mary you laugh so hard you have to check your underpants to see if you haven't had a little accident.
Being the creators and producers of both Chicken Run and the Wallace &
Gromit series, people should expect a lot from the talents of the
Aardman company. Luckily, again they succeed in making a great movie
with their first computer animated flick Flushed Away.
The story is about a spoiled rat named Roddy (Hugh Jackman). He leads a save life as the pet of an upper class English girl. When the family is away on holiday Roddy gets flushed in the toilet and suddenly finds himself in the sewer. There he discovers a giant city filled with rats and a cruel frog boss called Toad. In an attempt to get back home Roddy enlists the help from the female shipper Rita. But she gets him into more trouble when she accidentally steals an import item from Toad. It doesn't take long before both Roddy and Rita are wanted by the whole frog mob
When movies like Cars or Over the Hedge get more and more photo realistic, Flushed Away puts an emphasis on fun and visual comedy. From the first screen second you know that you're looking at a different kind of movie. This is England, not America. Here they play soccer and not football. The movie starts at a fast pace and never lets go. The opening scene, in which Roddy plays with the toys in the house, is so funny that you get scared that the makers will not run out of bright ideas too soon. But one shouldn't worry. Most of the visual ideas are absolutely brilliant. Just take a look at rat city, which is made of microwaves, phone boots and washing machines. You should watch the movie at least twice to see it all. Of course there are a lot of reverences to other movies (James Bond, Finding Nemo and even Terminator 2) but those moments don't play a mayor part in the movie. The story is fresh and funny and leads to a nice finale involving an important soccer match.
What makes Flushed Away succeed for sure are all the great characters. Toad (Ian McKellen) is a great and funny villain, the always likable Kate Winslet is a strong heroin, Bill Nighy has great moments as Toad's bodyguard Whitey and Jean Reno plays a very laughable French hit-man. But Flushed Away really is carried by Hugh Jackman, who's great performance makes you both laugh and cry. He is both the spoiled nerd as well as the over polite butler. He gets heroic if he must and even carries a great tune singing Tom Jones songs. Actually there are a lot of songs in this movie. Usually that's a thing that I don't like in CGI movies, but in Flushed Away it just works out fine. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that most of the singing was done by maggots
Because of all the scenes with water Flushed Away couldn't have been done with clay animation alone. So don't be fooled by the combination Aardman and computers. Flushed Away is a sure knock out!
Like a lot of film reviewers, I had a lot of reservations about this
film when I first saw the trailer. At first I thought it was going to
be just another hastily made CGI cartoon about edgy cartoon animals,
filled with top 40 or dance songs and full of topical jokes. The fact
that as I waited for the movie to start, half the trailers were for
more CGI cartoons about edgy cartoon animals and the other half was for
films about trash talking fairy tale characters.
Thankfully this movie was a blessed reprieve from all of that. In Flushed Away, Aardman studios has made yet another family classic that will still be as entertaining ten years from now as it is today. Granted, it's loaded with a lot of pop songs and oldies, but most of them are sung by a chorus of slugs (which makes for one of the best running gags I've seen in a while).
The story actually felt pretty fresh for a family movie, or any movie for that matter. While it's by no means unpredictable, it doesn't feel too much like it's treading over the same ground most family films seem to go over these days. The jokes were surprisingly clever too. While there's the usual slapstick humor, there's also plenty of highbrow jokes thrown in the mix. (How often do you find references to Kafka in an animated feature, after all?) What I liked best about this movie was that Aardman stayed true to its roots of making stop-motion films. My initial worry was that they had sold out and were going to just make CGI films from here on out like everybody else, but when you watch this film, you'll see that they do as much as possible to maintain the look of their other animated films like Chiken Run and Wallace & Gromit. Overall this is a great selection to take your family to see, and worth seeing even if you're a grown up too.
Hugh Jackman is everywhere these days, from reprising his iconic
Wolverine role in summer blockbuster X3, to starring twice alongside
Scarlett Johansson in Woody Allen's Scoop and Christopher Nolan's The
Prestige, and now, just lending his voice to a lead character in the
animated film Flushed Away, co-starring his summer blockbuster star Sir
Ian McKellen. Soon to come will be Darren Aronofsky's The Fountain.
Whew! There seems to be no stopping this Hollywood flavour of the
Despite this animated movie being yet another one of many based on talking animals, Flushed Away doesn't try too hard to be funny by steamrolling pop culture into the story. It just is funny with its deft touches, be it dialogue, slapstick, or various sight gags. Although it's set primarily in the sewers, it's beautiful chaos, with loads of little details all over that you'll probably need to watch it twice over to appreciate all the effort put in to create the computerized graphical sets.
At first glance, you might think you're watching a Wallace and Gromit animated show. Yes, this is produced by the same studio, Aardman Animations, in association with Dreamworks, and it is no wonder that the animation, although computer generated, maintained a very clay like look and feel, as well as character designs bearing similar resemblance in style to W&G.
The story is simple enough, yet adequately satisfying by the time the end credits roll. As the trailer suggested, Aristocratic rat pet Roddy from Kensington (Hugh Jackman) thought he just had the whole classy apartment to himself, when an unexpected guest Sid (Shane Richie) from the sewers gatecrashes into his abode, and ejects him through the "jacuzzi". All these in less than 10 minutes. So begins a mad journey in an unknown sewer world which replicated the modern London City above it with junk, where he has to figure out friend from foe, and find his way back to where he belongs.
The themes of family and friends do not come on too strongly, instead the story preferred to let the character interactions bring forth the messages. Supporting or interfering in his quest are characters like Rita (Kate Winslet), The Toad (Ian McKellen), French Le Frog (Jean Reno), and rat minions Whitey (Bill Nighy) and Spike (Andy Serkis). It's quite commendable that in its less than 90 minutes runtime, it allowed for quite a bit of set action pieces to develop, along with almost laugh-a-minute lines of dialogue, a good mix of songs (Hugh sings!) and ooh, a diabolical plot.
But what perhaps is the show stealer, are the sewer slugs. Ever popping up and performing at the right time, I'm sure they are crowd favourites despite their less than pleasant looking exterior. I wonder if they do sell the soft toy version, as it should be quite hilarious.
If too many animated flicks left this year has left you jaded with the genre, Flushed Away just flushes away the competition. Worth checking out on the big screen!
I have to admit that I went into this movie with the mixed
expectations. I'm haven't been especially impressed with Dreamworks
animations, minus "Over the Hedge" which I think is their first film
that stands on its own two feet without relying on the popularity of
previous animations or pop-culture references.
But enough on that, Flush Away was an enjoyable romp of animation. My only real complaint, is the pacing. The entire thing feels a roller coaster that you ride upside down -- with rotating seats. (Perhaps a contraption Aardman would come up with). The gags are amusing and some are very funny, but I need some breathing/laughing time between them.
Yet if your brain can handle the onslaught of information, you will be able to appreciate the extraordinary amount of creativity in terms of visuals and attention to detail. There's also plenty of adult innuendo and witty jabs at Europeans and Americans alike. Katzenburg's philosophy of making movies "for adults, and the adult in every child." is very evident here. The kids were rolling in the theater with all the slapstick, and the savvy adults had their own laugh track.
In this sense, the film is a success minus the ridiculous pacing. It's worth a look, just leave the Ritalin at home.
This film didn't sound appealing to me when I first heard about it; a rat society living in the underground waterways of England wasn't my idea of an interesting movie. But, I was invited to see a screening of it recently, and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised after seeing it! This film is different, exciting, adventurous, and fun to watch! I liked Rita (Kate Winslet) the best, but that's if I had to choose one character. Roddy (Hugh Jackman) was the star though. The little slugs singing on the side are cute in their own way too. The underlying message of how important family and friends are is well done. It's great for the whole family!
Wallace and Gromit are critics darlings. Chicken Run had great reviews as well. I liked all those animated films somewhat, but I never understood their appeal to the critics. To me they were just so-so. This film has not done as well with the critics. It retains somewhat the look of the aforementioned claymation that Aardman is so famous for, but as most people reading this are probably well aware, it is strictly computer animated fare. I truly enjoyed it more than the other films by the talented animators at Aardman. Not a lot more. I much preferred the Shrek films and The Incredibles for recent animated greats. But you could do a lot worse than spending 90 minutes with your kids in a theater watching Flushed Away. ( The film across the hall at my multiplex comes to mind as I really did not want to go watch Tim Allen in a Santa suit for a third time.) The slugs (or perhaps they were leeches) were my favorite characters in the film. I found myself laughing a lot at their antics, sound effects and musical talent. I had fun. Nothing great but a good deal of fun.
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