Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Flushed Away (2006)

Directed by Henry Anderson. This is a movie for kids about a mouse who, because he is flushed down a toilet, learns that his life would be happier if he didn't live alone. It's an obtuse way to teach a moral that most kids will have figured long before they see this movie. So there's nothing heavy going on here; it's about the fun.

And it is fun. Silly characters both smart and dumb, funny dialog, crazy chases, wacky contraptions and just enough sense of the story's London setting to enjoy the novelty of seeing an animated feature from England.

One major objection are the slugs. Most of this story takes place deep in the labyrinths of London's sewer system, which are depicted as infested with jolly singing and dancing slugs. Clearly, in an early draft of this script these slugs were proposed to be anthropomorphic hunks of poop because this would make perfect sense. Plus, troupes of choreographed singing and dancing poop would be very, very funny. At some point, some nervous party, probably a studio head must have insisted that the script gets wiped of all poop -- and the slugs represent a compromise. This is an almost unforgivable cop out.


  1. The film lacked sentiment and heart, in part by saving cash going digital and abandoning Nick Park's trademark stop-motion technique.

    The producers were able to dump their money on voice actors, like Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and Andy Serkis, who definitely bring their dynamics to the film, but as for the digital styling, I wonder: Was it worth it?

    It's certainly a good ride, in the way that Superman III was, but there doesn't seem to be enough to build a franchise on or to make kids want to revisit often. Sort of a one-hit wonder of movies.

  2. Whether kids want to watch a movie like this over and over is definitely one way to gauge success.