Rated: G
Genre: Kids/Family Comedy Adventure Romance
Directed By: David Bowers, Sam Fell
Running Time: 1:25
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 9/11/07
Special Features:
All-New Animated Slug Songs
Learn to Build a Slug

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I can't think of a single reason why you shouldn't find the eels funny. Not only do they work well taking the load of the uneven comedy off, but they're awfully hilarious as the singing segues who almost never wear out their welcome. Beyond that, there's also the funny pop culture riffs including Roddy coming across a Wolverine costume, and a rather unexpected but hysterical Batman and Robin homage that worked quite well. And hey, it's difficult not to love Kate Winslet, but that's another story for another time.

Depicted on-screen for the very first and last time is the disastrous and rather ugly combining of the forces of Aardman and Dreamworks, and what a sight. As a fan of both studios, I have to say “Flushed Away” is a sadly misguided effort with no idea what it wants to be. At times it’s wholly a product of the British culture with a primarily British cast, and many colloquialisms and mannerisms of that country, and then it sets out to be another cheesy “Shrek” wannabe with a pop rock score, toilet humor ad nauseum, and a plot that lacks any of the charm and subtlety the Aardman is usually accustomed to. It’s a good thing that Aardman decided to split from Dreamworks, honestly. “Flushed Away” is a film I’d love to have enjoyed, but I just didn’t.

It gives us the usual style of the “Wallace & Gromit” episodes, except with the stale monotony of computer animation, neither of which is ever an interesting hybrid. “Flushed Away” has a basically forgettable plot of a domesticated rodent who is shoved into the underworld of crime and goofy gangsters after his home is intruded by an aggressive sewer rat.  

His attitude toward his new scenery is placed in the background, as is the established dilemma, in exchange for a more convoluted sub-plot involving these gangsters and their attempts to rule the sewer with their search for a diamond. What do rats want with a diamond? Who knows? But “Flushed Away” basically expects us to invest in these characters all in such a hasty pace, and there’s simply no affection or sincerity at hand. The sheer charm from Aardman’s usual animated works is clearly sold away by Dreamworks who never use the cast talents to their fullest at any point. Not a single character stands out, and not a single actor actually seems to be enjoying themselves. “Flushed Away” is sadly just another disposable little concoction of an American studio trying to Westernize a foreign animation group, and the experiment pretty much fails. I wish I could have enjoyed this.

So confusing... so jarring... so utterly irritating, how I long for "Wallace and Gromit" at this moment. While the movie definitely has its moments of hilarity, the combination of British and American animation and story styles makes for an awfully forgettable mess.



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