Ro­dents run riot

movie re­view >> chris­tine langtree

Townsville Bulletin - - The Guide -

IN Flushed Away, this hol­i­day sea­son’s of­fer­ing from Aard­man in as­so­ci­a­tion with Dreamworks, we find our­selves squarely in the kind of movie that par­ents love.

You can take your kids along and leave with­out a sore jaw from grind­ing your teeth in ir­ri­ta­tion at the lame jokes and the earnest sen­ti­men­tal­ity of most fea­ture­length car­toons.

Aard­man is the team that has brought us Wal­lace and Gromit and Chicken Run.

In Flushed Away, they have changed the medium from plas­ticine stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion to CGI (com­puter-gen­er­ated im­agery) but the charm re­mains the same.

Re­tain­ing the trade­mark look of the Wal­lace and Gromit an­i­ma­tion, they have also man­aged to hold on to the un­der­stated Bri­tish hu­mour de­spite the sub­ject mat­ter of ro­dents in a sewer and the never-end­ing op­por­tu­nity for toi­let hu­mour it brings with it.

From the open­ing scenes, where Roddy the pam­pered house mouse, disco dances and par­ties hard in his pala­tial gilded cage, to the later scenes, where an un­der­ground city of ro­dents stops to watch the World Cup fi­nal, this is a fun and in­volv­ing story.

Roddy is cast out of his pala­tial home when Syd the sewer rat finds his way up through the pipes into the world Up Top and de­cides he wants to stay.

The an­i­mated crea­tures, quirky as they are, have real per­son­al­i­ties and you can’t help but want Roddy to win through his many tri­als and tribu­la­tions, even though what he wants in the be­gin­ning of the story is ob­vi­ously not what he needs.

I al­ways find it amus­ing the all-star casts they can pull to­gether for th­ese shows. You won’t get much bet­ter than this one. Hugh Jack­man voices Roddy the house mouse with great charm.

Kate Winslet is fan­tas­tic as Rita the tomboy­ish sewer mouse. Sir Ian McKellen brings us the yucky vil­lain The Toad, a bit­ter cast-off pet of the Bri­tish roy­als.

Dreamworks is the stu­dio that brought us the Shrek fran­chise and while Flushed Away isn’t as con­sis­tently good as Shrek, it is very good and well worth a look.

>> Flushed Away, rated G, is screen­ing at all cine­mas.

Right: Roddy, voiced by Hugh Jack­man, in a scene from the an­i­mated hol­i­day flick Flushed Away

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