My Opinion right after watching movie
My thoughts right after watching Flushed Away is that this is definitely the product of two companies arguing. You could see some executive meddling from Dreamworks, and the serious, British charm of Aardmin, and this really affects a really good story and characters. It comes off as contrived and distracting.
The film was pitched soon after Chicken Run’s release in 2000, and it was originally going to be about pirates, but DreamWorks told them to change it and rewrite it because there was no market for pirate films then (this was before Pirates of the Carribean). Right after the rewrite was done, the project was stalled for Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The film was going to be called Ratropolis, Btu was changed because of another upcoming film called Ratatouille.
Aardmin’s studio burned down during production, and since this film had a lot of water, they decided to make it CGI because it
would make them more money would be easier to animate with the water. Both studios described the development of this film as development hell, and it caused the acquisition between the two studios to split on October 3rd, 2006; a month before the film’s release.
So the film starts with us being introduced to Roddy (Hugh Jackman) being left by himself by his rich owners who are going in vacation, and he is spending his day hanging out with dolls. The next day, a dirty rat named Sid (Shane Richie) shows up to the house
Roddy tries to convince Sid to go in the toilet and tries to convince him that it is a Jacuzzi, but Sid pushes him in the toilet and flushes him to the sewer town. This is Sid’s only purpose in the film, and is nothing but a plot device.
He runs through the town and ends up on a boat, where he meets Rita (Kate Winslet), a scavenger rat. She is mad at him that he is on her boat, and he tries to explain his situation, but is interrupted when Spike and Whitey (Andy Serkis and Bill Nighy) chase after them to get a ruby.
So, they are brought to Toad (Ian McKellen)’s place and he tells her that he wants his ruby back. He tries to tell Toad that he has nothing to do with it, but she throws him under the bus saying that he is the jewel thief because of how he looks as no one is that rich. He decides to freeze them, but that fails.
She tries to abandon him, but he sticks with her (not without some bad DreamWorks humor, which is one of the things that makes this movie clash). He gets on her boat and tries to convince her that the ruby is fake because it is glass, and breaks it.
They make a deal which is official by a spit handshake (rolls eyes). They go to her house which is on a can, and she tells him it is very dangerous. This scene is like 8 minutes long (too long) and it is about him realizing that his life is a bit lonely, and he turns on her after hearing some of her conversation with her family. He takes her boat, but she catches up to him, and they have a minor argument. Everything is all good, and he is going to give her a “real” ruby when she takes him to his house tomorrow.
They escape and Toad calls his cousin Le Frog (Jean Reno) to get the cable that Rita took when they were captured, and he completely forgot the ruby that he was originally after her for.
Roddy and Rita have a nice moment, and the snails tell us that they are suddenly starting to fall in love with one another. They tell one another about their lives and she apologizes for misjudging him. It is a nice moment.
They are attacked by Le Frog and a bunch of other frogs that come out of nowhere. The frogs get tangled when they try to eat a fly and the two end up at his house…
They reach it to his house and he gives her a plastic “real” ruby and she asks for a tour before she leaves so she can meet his family. He bumps into Sid and tries to pretend that he is his brother, but Sid does not play along, as him and Rita know one another. She confronts him about coming to terms that his life is not as great as he wants to believe, but he denies it. She then leaves.
Roddy realizes Toad’s plan and he goes back to rat sewer town to save them. She gets captured by Toad, who takes the cable and sets it so the water will flood the town and be frozen. Roddy saves Rita, defeats Frog, and stays with them. I know it was not much of the plot, but it is what I got.
The characters in this film are pretty good. There are backgrounds for a majority of them, they are likable, and they are cool.
The animation in this film is pretty good, but you can tell that Aardman is getting used to it and is unfamiliar. Sometimes, the movements of the characters are kind of weird, and the backgrounds are kind of bland and blocky at times. Not too bad.
There are a lot of cover songs (DreamWorks going into Aardman) in this film, that honestly do not add much to the story. They are decent, but come off more distracting than helping the story. Aardman is not known for their music.
Reception at Release
When this film was released on November 3rd, 2006, it did not do well in the box office, and most likely lost money. It made $64,488,856 domestically, and $111,814,663 overseas, with an overall box office of $176,319,242 and with a 140 million dollar budget it mostly lost money on marketing costs.
Critically, it did well, but not as well as Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Chicken Run. It never got the critical praise that it’s predecessors did, but it still did well. People did like it for its witty dialogue and charm.
When it comes to awards,
A lot of people saw this as the acquisition going worse and they say that it can be seen in the movie.
Like its reception in late 2006 and early 2007, it is largely forgotten about and when it comes to Aardman Animation films, this film never shows up or is talked about.
Story = 6.5/10
Characters = 7.5/10
Music = 6/10
Animation = 7/10
- DreamWorks Review: Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (animatedkid.wordpress.com)
- Download Flushed Away: Movie Storybook book (infotezu.wordpress.com)
- DreamWorks Reviews: Chicken Run (animatedkid.wordpress.com)