A pet rat is flushed down the toilet and ends up in an underground world very different from his previous comfy existence; getting back home will be a challenge. Aardman’s first entirely computer-animated film is reminiscent of their previous “Wallace & Gromit” adventures. A well-paced film with both friendly and menacing rats – and sewer slugs that provide comic relief as well as musical entertainment. It isn’t particularly original in light of previous kid-oriented CGI comedies, but nevertheless very bright and hugely enjoyable. Great voice performances by Hugh Jackman and Ian McKellen as the pompous Toad.
2006-U.S.-Britain. Animated. 84 min. Color. Produced by Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Cecil Kramer. Directed by David Bowers, Sam Fell. Screenplay: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Chris Lloyd, Joe Keenan, Will Davies. Voices of Hugh Jackman (Roddy St. James), Kate Winslet (Rita Malone), Ian McKellen (The Toad), Jean Reno, Bill Nighy, Andy Serkis… David Suchet.
Trivia: Robert De Niro, Stellan Skarsgård, Kevin Kline and Johnny Depp were allegedly considered for parts in the film.
Last words: “The slugs just got bigger and bigger. It started off with one joke involving one slug screaming but then we wondered if we could push it. So we put a bunch more screaming slugs in and then thought about pushing it a bit more. It was like: ‘Go on, stick another one in!’ I think actually it was Nick Park who suggested: ‘Why don’t you make them sing?’ So we did that and then we just kept doing more and more and more. We thought we’d get sick of it but we didn’t.” (Fell, indieLondon)