Before the end of November, I received 160 followers on 18 Cinema Lane! As I usually do when this occasion takes place, I take the time to thank all my followers for choosing to support me, my blog, and my blogging journey. My way of thanking them is by dedicating a movie review to each and every one of them. For this post, I have chosen a movie that was released in November of 2006. Since I haven’t talked about an animated film in three months, I decided to talk about a film called Flushed Away. This is a movie that I have heard of, but never seen. Prior to watching this film, I was aware of Aardman Animations, the studio responsible for Flushed Away. That’s because they have an animation style that is different from other studios. When I was looking for images to feature in this review, I discovered that, in the Chinese New Year, 2020 will be the Year of the Rat! So, talking about Flushed Away before the start of a new decade now makes a lot of sense.
Things I liked about the film:
The animation: In Flushed Away, I found the animation style to be visually appealing for a number of reasons. The first is how realistic some of the animation looked, such as the bricks in the sewer and anytime water is shown. Another aspect is the color palette that is used in the film. One of the movie’s most memorable locations, the sewer city, was filled with bright hues. This added to the visual appeal of the scenes where this area was featured. The sewer city also showcased interesting and creative elements, like a Ferris Wheel made out of teacups. What I also found interesting in this film was how the characters were created. Aardman Animations has a very distinct style that is rarely seen in mainstream cinema. However, I’m more familiar with this animation style appearing in stop-motion films. Flushed Away’s creative team used computer technology to construct their project. I found it fascinating to see this unique animation style incorporated in a different cinematic format.
The “Easter Egg” humor: Sometimes, in cinema, screenwriters will include “Easter Eggs” in their story in an attempt to delight and humor their audience. This was a pleasant surprise to find within Flushed Away! The jokes that were brought into the movie using this “Easter Egg” method were clever and genuinely funny. One example is when Roddy is falling down into the sewer system. During this process, Roddy comes across a small fish that asks him if he has seen his dad. This is meant to reference Finding Nemo, a movie that was released three years prior. Because of how well this type of humor was executed, this helped me maintain my focus in the film.
The overarching message: In some children’s/family-friendly films, there are times when a message can feel heavy-handed or preachy. I didn’t feel that way about the overarching message in Flushed Away. The idea that “everybody needs somebody” was written into the story very intelligently and subtly. It was also visually showcased through the use of situations and character choices as well as through dialogue. This choice to present the message in a “show and tell” style was handled better than if it was just verbally explained to the audience. The incorporation of this message showed that the creative team made an effort to put heart in their project.
What I didn’t like about the film:
The plot: Flushed Away is about a rat who is trying to return home. While this sounds like a simple story, I found the film’s overall narrative to be too simplistic. Even though there were other plots featured in the movie, I also found those to be on the simpler side. Because of this, it made the story feel like there was very little intrigue. It also made it difficult for me to stay fully invested in what was happening on screen.
The villain: Yet, another film I’ve recently reviewed where I didn’t like the villain. In the case of Flushed Away, I not only found the villain, The Toad, to be poorly written. I also found him to be unconvincing. Similar to what I said about Blair from The Nine Lives of Christmas, The Toad came across as one-dimensional. He also never felt like a legitimate threat to the protagonist and his friend, Rita. Both Roddy and Rita outsmart him and his henchmen every time, causing the villain to not be as powerful as the film’s creative team wanted us to think. If anything, The Toad just appears to be a goofier version of Governor Ratcliffe from Disney’s Pocahontas.
Some of the humor: While I liked the “Easter Egg” humor of this film, there was other humor that I was not a fan of. This came in the form of “gross-out” humor and injury related humor. To me, the “gross-out” humor felt it was there just for the sake of being there. Meanwhile, the injury related humor happened too consistently. There was one character that constantly got hurt throughout the story. However, I never found any of these moments to be funny. I know that comedy is a very subjective thing. But this kind of humor, at times, took me of the film.
My overall impression:
Before I share my thoughts on Flushed Away, I want to thank all of my followers for supporting 18 Cinema Lane! 2019 has been a great year for the blog. Part of that is because of my readers, followers, and visitors. Ok, now it’s time to share my overall impression of this film. Personally, I thought it was just ok. In Flushed Away, there were components that I liked seeing, such as the animation and the overall message. But there were aspects that held Flushed Away back from reaching its full potential. Just one example is how the overall plot was too simplistic for my liking. As I’ve said before, comedy and film are subjective. Yes, I enjoyed the “Easter Egg” style of humor. But I did not like the “gross-out” and injury related humor. While I think there are better animated films than Flushed Away, there are definitely worse children’s/family friendly films than this one. No matter the style or format of the animated project, I will continue to do my best at presenting the best movie reviews I can offer.
Overall score: 6 out of 10
What are thoughts on my blogging journey so far? Which review of mine has been your favorite? Tell me what you think in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!