Sunday, December 31, 2006

Out of the clay

[Movie Review] Flushed Away is the first Aardman creation without the claymation. So it was with some nervousness that we went to see it. I always had a theory that what made their other movies such as Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run so good was the fact that claymation was hard and so plot, characters and economy needed to be just right. It was the discipline that drove the quality. So when they went away from that what would happen?

Well, the result was a good one. The characters look like those in Wallace & Gromit and they talk like them too. The plot was simple. The scenes stealing. And the music interludes were a bunch of gems. I don't think it was as good as their previous ones but as an animated feature it put many others to shame.

The plot revolves around the traditional English one -- mouse from the upper-class gets literally flushed into the underworld only to meet real people, I mean, mice, and learn that it is perhaps better to have nice company than nice things. In so doing, he ironically needs to battle an enemy who has never learnt that lesson. All this with interesting characters and also with the same economy of other Aardman movies. The scenes are not too busy and so they are happy to focus on one or two characters at a time. Moreover, all musical accompaniment comes from a bunch of cute slugs who serenade that characters at appropriate intervals. I can highly recommend this one for children of all ages.