Rodney Saint James (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is an uptown rat living a pampered, domesticated life as a pet to a well-off family in London. His comfy world literally goes down the toilet, however, when gutter rat Sid (Shane Ritchie) invades his peaceful home and sends him spiralling down into the sewers, where he discovers an entire city of rats. Seeking the aid of feisty boat captain Rita (Kate Winslet), Rodney soon finds himself on an adventure – not just to get home – but to save the rodents’ city from certain doom at the hands of the maniacal Toad (Ian McKellan) and his French cousin Le Frog.
In the last couple of years, we’ve been bombarded with CG animated film after CG animated film featuring talking animals. Yet, much like Aardman Studios previous clay-animation films (“Chicken Run”), the script is immensely smart for a kids’ flick, incorporating ever-charming British humor. There are the usual physical gags to keep the kids happy, but with jibes at the French’s over-exaggerated reputation for surrendering in battle and even some commentary on the condition of England’s national football team, there’s plenty here to keep the grown-ups in stitches too. On top of that, movie buffs should keep a look out for a couple of nods to Jackman and McKellan’s popular franchise flicks such as “X-Men” and “Lord of the Rings.”
And speaking of the cast, it turns out that even without actually being seen, this all-star group can still pull off a stellar job. More than the eye-catching animation, each of the actors – Jackman and McKellan in particular – really bring their characters to life with their flexible voice talents.
A lot of movies claim to be fun for the whole family – but it’s been a while since a film actually delivered on that promise. “Flushed Away” is easily our favorite animated flick in a long time. Check this out for tons of laughs.
Best bit: “X-Men” references in the sewer.