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Flushed Away [DVD]
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Roddy (voice of Hugh Jackman)is a decidedly uppercrust "society rat" who lives the life of a pampered pet in London. When a common s ewer rat named Syd comes spewing out of the sink and decides he's hit the jackpot, Roddy schemes to get rid of him. When Roddy lures Syd to the "whirlpool" in an attempt to flush him away, things go horribly wrong. Roddy's plan is foiled and he is flushed into the bustling sewer world of Ratropolis. Roddy wants out, so he employs the help of a sewer savy rat named Rita (voice of Kate Winslet). The two join together in an attempt to escape the deadly wrath of the villainous Toad (voice of Ian McKellan) who wants to get rid of them.
Flushed Away is a rip-roaring nautical adventure with a twist: The heroes are a pair of rodents braving the sewers underneath London. Roddy (voiced by Hugh Jackman) is an upper-crust house-mouse who finds himself flushed into the subterranean sewers. Eager to return to his posh home, he enlists the help of a boat-captain rat named Rita (Kate Winslet), who has troubles of her own; namely the kingpin of the underworld, the Toad (Ian McKellen), and his henchmen including the French mercenary Le Frog (Jean Reno).
While technically Flushed Away could be considered part of the wave of celebrity-voiced, anthropomorphic-animal movies that hit in 2005-2006 (Madagascar, Over the Hedge, The Wild, etc.), it doesn't inspire the same sense of déjà vu. For one thing, its voice actors are less recognizable than the likes of Bruce Willis and Chris Rock. For another, its look is very distinctive. Like Nick Park's Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, it's a joint production of DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Features, and although Park isn't involved, it retains his trademark blocky look of clay animation. But animating the movie by computer rather than by hand allows for some eye-popping tableaux, such as floodwaters rushing through the sewers and an entire town of little animated characters. It's a crazy thrill ride loaded with inside jokes and enough crude humour to earn a PG rating, and the band of singing slugs is also a hoot. --David Horiuchi
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I bought this for Xmas 2007 and we were so busy it never got played! Having seen it uninterrupted for the first time just a few weeks ago it is definitely one of those Aardman films that needs to be kept in the library for young visitors. The Dreamworks animation is an improvement over the claymation for the more complex scenes, but somehow it also feels a bit too slick. The characterisation is excellent, and the storyline and dialogue are both less in-your-face than some of the rival films from other makers.
The 5.1 surround sound works very well, and added to the experience when played on my true 5.1 system with rear speakers. However, it merely sounds like stereo on a sound-bar.
Get to see it several times a day, though!
Plenty of humour aimed at the older audience- take off's on Disney movies, gags about americans (movie set in London- or a rat metropolis that duplicates London underneath the human city!).
Great actors voicing the characters- Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Jean Reno, David Suchet, Ian McKellen- and the famous singing slugs.....
Excellent movie at a great price- buy it!
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