Reviewing the Reviews: 'Flushed Away'

1553__flushed_away_lBefore we review the reviews for Flushed Away, the new film from Aardman Animation and DreamWorks Animation, let’s review the promotional item they sent to EW: a small basketball hoop that has a toilet seat as the backboard and rim. One is hanging on the wall, outside of Steve Daly’s office. He let me take a few shots earlier this week. Enjoyable, but if you bring too much heat, the tape won’t hold. Really should’ve come with its own stand. On to the movie…

With a title like this; it really needs to be good. Apparenty, it is. For the most part. My favorite-ly named critic Eleanor Ringel Gillespie of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution insists it’s "an animated tale with more invention and laughs in its first 15 minutes than in Cars and Monster House put together…. The film lags a bit by its second hour, but the voice talent [pictured, left to right, are characters voiced by Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, Bill Nighy, Jean Reno, and Hugh Jackman] is so strong and the visuals so ingenious, you probably won’t mind."

addCredit(“Flushed Away: Dreamworks Animation SKG”)

Some reviewers, however, did mind. Christy Lemire of the Associate Presssays, "It’s too frantic, too loud — which makes it too much like everyother all-star, animated, talking-animal movie that’s come out thisyear." Variety‘sTodd McCarthy argues, "The tone has become more than a bit coarse, asif the filmmakers had heeded a call to compete with some of the moreraucous animated hits of recent vintage."

Chris Hewitt of the St. Paul Pioneer Press answers the question that is on everyone’s mind: "Although Flushed Awaystarts with a rat being flushed down a toilet, it’s refreshingly low ontoilet-based humor." Okay, not that one. The one about whether this isas good as Aardman’s previous efforts, the Wallace and Gromit films and Chicken Run: "Flushed Awayis not in their rarefied league (and, unlike them, it’s notclay-animated, although imperfections have been built into the computerimages so they resemble Aardman’s trademark clay animation), but it’spretty clever, anyway." OK, then.

Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • Ceballos

    This movie looks ok. Still, other than Shrek (with Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, etc.), who decided and why do studios keep insisting on casting BIG stars to be in animated movies. Do we honestly think that kids care that Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen are the main voices in this.
    When I was growing up the HUGE animated hits had leads like Jodi Benson(!?) in “The Little Mermaid” and Scott Weinger(?!) in “Aladdin” (granted with a BIG assist from Robin Williams) best known as DJ’s boyfriend on “Full House”.
    Even the more recent animated hits have been headlined by topline superstars like Craig T. Nelson and Albert Brooks.

  • kinglouieXVIII

    This movie looks good, but not as good as Pixar’s next movie also about a mouse who lives in the sewers of Paris. Coincidence? I think not!

  • Mike in Moncton

    Cheers to Aardman and Nick Park! This movie’s gonna reek….of awesomeness!
    Pixar are just pretenders to the throne of inventiveness occupied by Aardman.

  • KTS

    The big stars aren’t there for the kids. They’re there to lure the parents into bringing the kids. Certain stars have fans who would pay to listen to them read the phone book, I think that’s what they’re after.

  • t3hdow

    Another weekend, another CG movie. Sigh…besides Pixar’s films, I’m tired of the lot of them.

  • Kate

    I’m going to have to make it my mission to tell everyone about this movie. I saw it this morning and it is, in all seriousness, one of the funniest films I’ve seen in the last few years (and I see everything). Clever and witty, silly and a bit over the top, it really is not like so many of these other cruddy CG animal fiestas that the studios have been cranking out.

  • Martin

    What – no Borat talk? I got some:

  • Ceballos

    Fair enough KTS…I mean, I consider myself a pretty big Hugh Jackman fan (unlike Dr. Cox on “Scrubs”)but there’s no way I’d go see a movie just to “hear” him (or anybody else for that matter). That’s just ME though

  • bootsycolumbia

    Ceballos, “topline superstars like Craig T. Nelson and Albert Brooks”? Granted, both men are very talented actors, but topline superstars???

  • Ceballos

    yeah bootsy, i was kidding. :)

  • Lord Grimace

    While the movie was entertaining, I didn’t think it was anywhere near as good as Cars or any other Pixar film.

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