You are what we French call ‘Le Fruitcake’

Here’s why I really enjoyed Aardman Animation and Dreamworks’ new film ‘Flushed Away’.

  • Hugh Jackman seems to be channeling Geoffrey Rush’s voice in ‘Shine’ for his character.
  • The baddie is a giant toad who loves the British Royal Family and is voiced by Ian McKellen.
  • There are little slugs who sing ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ and ‘Proud Mary’ in completely cute fashions.
  • They parody James Bond and Benny Hill, though not concurrently.
  • There’s a crazy old grandma character that’s in love with Tom Jones.
  • There is a joke about England losing on penalties to Germany. It always hurts!
  • One of the characters is an evil French mercenary called Le Frog voiced by - who else - Jean Reno.
  • Two really funny things happen right toward the end, when the (big danger to the good guys) is (averted at the last minute). Whilst everyone is celebrating and cheering, one slug says to another “Hi-Five!” and then they look at each other, both say “Oh, right” and look sad. I dare say it’s even funnier than “My wife is dead, hi-five!”
  • The other thing, which really summed the film up for me, was a really small visual gag. (Slight spoiler alert) – The big danger is a tidal wave which is about to drown everyone, but at the last second it is somehow stopped, hence the aforementioned cheering. So whilst all the rats in the sewer are cheering and hugging and otherwise displaying their rodent joie de vivre, this young rat comes running up with a surfboard with a huge smile, looks up at the now-frozen solid wave, gets annoyed, and throws his surfboard to the ground. That to me is what makes Aardman films stand out from most – it’s a Simpsons style touch, throwing in an extra laugh which doesn’t further the scene, but just makes it funnier. That’s good writing.

It’s very high-paced and action heavy. The voices are spot on (especially Bill Nighy as a tough henchman) and the shift to computer animation really suits them well. Take a child to go and see it if you feel silly going to a kid’s film.


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