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Movie Review - Flushed Away (2006 United States)
So close, and yet . . .
The voicing is wonderful, the story pays amusing homage to a number of films--notably the Bond movies, The African Queen and Metropolis —I love animation, and I like rats. So why did this film strike me as flat? I'd say it's because the visuals are just that: literally flat, and uninspired.
Our first look at Roddy the rat is intriguing: we see a pert, lively rat nose sniffing the air. Then we see the whole rat and it's a disappointment: in fact, we have an entire cast of rats who look like humans with tails. The slugs, however, are a stylized, charming Greek chorus and a touch of real creativity, but even they cannot save Flushed Away from feeling sanitized, over-thought-out, over-produced and oddly lifeless.
Decide for yourself if this is a good movie or not; watch it right now:
Watch the trailer:
Great animation vs. good animation
Possibly, I'm spoiled by inspired animation, such as Wallace and Gromit (by this same team), Tim Burton's animated work, the sewer-dweller episodes of Futurama or The Triplets of Belleville . Also, my perspective is that of an adult--I suspect children of a broad age range will love this movie. However, for adults, if you like rats and animation, then I'd recommend Ratatouille over this film since Ratatouille creates a much more visually interesting universe and also treats the animal characters more as just that--another species--rather than as human-shaped rats without any essence of rat. However, animated comedy is highly personal, so I suggest you watch this movie, then one of the pictures I've mentioned here, and decide for yourself.
Recommended, but with reservations. This one is a watch-it-and-decide-for-yourself picture.
Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)
Genre: Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy
Rated: PG – See Full Rating
Running Time: 1 hr. 24 min.
In Theaters: Nov 3, 2006
On DVD: Feb 20, 2007
Directed By: David Bowers , Sam Fell
Written By: Ian La Frenais, Joe Keenan, William Davies
Hugh Jackman - Roddy
Kate Winslet - Rita
Ian McKellen - The Toad
Jean Reno - Le Frog
Bill Nighy - Whitey
Andy Serkis - Spike
Shane Richie - Sid