Flushed Away (review)

Don’t be disappointed if you hear that Nick Park had nothing to do with this first collaboration between Aardman Features, the British animation studio best known for his “Wallace & Gromit” films, and DreamWorks Animation, home of Shrek. This melding of claymation and CGI is absolutely perfect, beautifully combining the wonderfully organic feel of Aardman’s hand-built sets and lovingly breathed-into-life clay figures with DreamWorks’ sleek computer cartoons. And the wit is appealingly transatlantic, melding sweet British snark with broad American-style outrageousness: how else would you end up with a movie that is, in its entirety, one big instance of toilet humor that’s actually endearing, charming, and hilariously funny? Pampered pet Londoner mouse Roddy (the voice of Hugh Jackman: The Prestige) finds himself in a pinch: he’s been, well, flushed away from his posh Kensington flat and finds himself literally adrift in the urban underworld, where rats have their own metropolis… one threatened by villainous amphibian The Toad (Ian McKellen: X-Men: The Last Stand). Roddy teams up with spunky undergrounder Rita (Kate Winslet: Finding Neverland) to defeat him, win new friends, and learn valuable life lessons. Gloriously, the morals of the story are buried amongst singing (and screaming) slugs, evil French frogs, and other silly deliciousness.

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