Flushed Away: An Animation for Brits?
Flushed Away is definitely an interesting film to examine. I have mixed feelings about whether or not to recommend this film. Let me just start by saying if you have small children you are trying to entertain this might not be a bad choice.
However can adults enjoy Flushed Away? Likely not very much unless you are very into thinking about cute humanlike rats. It was created by Aardman studios who were behind the enormously successful Wallace and Grommit and the Search for the Were-Rabbit. (The Were-Rabbit claymaation is an excellent animation I am pretty certain anyone can enjoy.) However for this film Aardman teamed up with DreamWorks Animation with more questionable results.
When I first started up the DVD I was expecting the meticulous and innovative claymation that Aardman is so famous for. However, something was off and I felt my brain slightly melting looking at the cartoon-like images. Was this really claymation? Am I just stupid today that this looks different? It took me a few moments to realize I was watching pure computer animation. Strangely though the characters are designed to look somewhat like claymation characters. That is what lends the slight brain-melting confusion. So for one, if you have to watch this animation just go into it knowing its CG animation. However, again, it looks so much like claymation your brain is likely to be confused what it is watching.
The movie is about a upperclass British rat who falls into the toilet (hence the title "Flushed Away" ) and has madcap adventures in an underground British rat city on water. And of course, falls in love with a female rat played by Kate Winslet. Think Waterworld meets animated rat musical. Yes, this is really what its about.
As for the water which "runs" throughout the movie, I am pretty sure, to the movie's defense, that is the reason why this film wasn't claymation. All that real life water could easily disintegrate little rat clay models. I understand that could be a problem. Still I wanted to see some amazing claymation.
Of course I am working for HDFEST, and if you have the whole home theatre HD set-up this film really can be appreciated for the depth, color and attention to detail. There are some really interesting visuals unlike anything I have seen before. So that is a plus in the movie's favor. Also there are some really cute and laughable moments. I will admit it. I really liked the singing slugs. They were just too cute. I am sure slug toys were likely on sale for a bit of time around the film's release. Then later after no one really saw this film, there were probably slug toys around at a great discount price.
I kinda get the feeling that Flushed Away was meant more for British people than for anyone else. There are British mascots and "inside references" (like British sports references) abound. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. I am just wondering if maybe this could be more enjoyable if you are British?
This movie was obviously expected to make lots of money and fell WAY short. Maybe Alan can take a look at this aspect. I would say two major aspects affected the films performace. One, the lack of real claymation we all love so much. And Two title "Flushed Away" could have been a issue. Like would people think of buying a ticket worry their $12 was being "flushed away?" The title really sounds like what you might be thinking you just did with your money while you are sitting in the theatre.
Acting: C (why do these animated films get so loaded down with celebs? I cant even recognize their voices most of the time. Hollywood Directors, save your money and donate the famous actor salaries to charity. Thats my plea.)
Enjoyability: C+ (like I said there are some laughs for adults)