Ranked | Aardman Animation

7. Flushed Away

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Flushed Away is a tale (tail?) of two rats. Roddy St. James (Hugh Jackman) is your typical fancy rat. He lives as a pet in a fancy Kensington apartment in London. He’s got everything a rat could want, including a selection of tuxedos, and even a car if my memory serves me correctly. When Roddy’s owners are away on holiday his quiet life is thrown into disarray with the arrival of Sid (Shane Richie), who is a rather uncouth rat from the sewers. A little stereotypical, I feel.

Roddy tries to get rid of Sid by getting him into the jacuzzi (the toilet) to flush him away (get it? Like the title!). Things don’t go according to plan and Roddy ends up in the sewers, where he crosses paths with The Toad (Ian McKellen), who is unsurprisingly a toad, and meets up with a potential love interest, Rita (Kate Winslett). Adventure ensues, as Roddy and Rita try to foil The Toad’s plan to flood the sewers to wash away the occupants of the rat city so that he can raise his family of tadpoles there. Quite frankly it’s bonkers.

It’s been a long time since I actually sat down to watch Flushed Away but thinking back to what actually happens in it I wasn’t sure if I was making it up and it was all just some kind of fever dream. There are undoubtedly worse animated movies. I just really don’t like Flushed Away. Everything about it irritates me, and I just can’t buy into the story. It feels quite old-fashioned and nowhere near as clever or funny as the rest of the output of Aardman Animation. When you think about the other animated films that came out in 2006 like Cars, Happy Feet and Monster House they’re by no means stone-cold classics, but they all doing something different. I mean Happy Feet isn’t great, but it’s still interesting. Monster House, on the other hand, is a massively underappreciated movie.

Flushed Away was Aardman Animation’s first (cinematic) foray into CG animation and I think it shows. It’s all perfectly well done but it is just lacking some of the charm and character of their stop-motion work.

I think Aardman Animation have been pretty consistent with their output. So being the worst Aardman film still means you’re better than 80% of the animated movies that are released. That said, I’m really not a fan, and I have absolutely no interest in revisiting it.

Oliver Buckley

Oli has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. He has a PhD in Computer Science and he writes articles about TV, film and, very occasionally, science.

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