The other day, I was reminded that Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho was the first movie—or at least the first major Hollywood movie—to show a flushing toilet. I wonder what Hitch, or the censors he offended, would have said if they could have foreseen that, less than half a century later, his fellow Brits would make a family-friendly animated cartoon in which a flushing toilet is one of the central plot devices.

Indeed, it's right there in the title. Flushed Away concerns a mouse named Roddy (voice of Hugh Jackman) who has been living a cushy, if caged, life as a child's pet in a posh London neighborhood. One day, while the humans are away, a slobby sewer rat named Sid (Shane Richie) emerges from the kitchen sink and, in no time at all, begins to act like the place is his own private pigpen. Roddy tries to get rid of him by tricking him into thinking the toilet is a Jacuzzi, but Sid sees through this immediately and sends Roddy spinning and swirling down the pipes.

The rest of the movie takes place almost entirely in the sewer system, where Roddy discovers a thriving society of rodents, amphibians, insects, slugs and fish, all modeled after modern-day England; there are streets, and bobbies, and doomsday prophets, and even fish-and-chips shops (though it is not clear whether they do, in fact, serve the talking fish). Given how scatological even family films have become in recent years, Flushed Away could easily have indulged in gross-out gags, but thankfully, for the most part, it refrains from that (apart from one or two bits, like the scene early on in which Roddy mistakes a chocolate bar for something else).

The film—directed by first-time feature directors David Bowers and Sam Fell from a script credited to Fell ...

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Flushed Away
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for crude humor and some language)
Directed By
David Bowers, Sam Fell
Run Time
1 hour 25 minutes
Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Ian McKellen
Theatre Release
November 03, 2006 by DreamWorks Animation / Paramount Pictures
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