Posts Tagged ‘chicken run’

Flushed Away

December 20, 2009

What Is It?

This is the first computer animated outing for the Aardman Animations, the English animation group, who have been doing Claymation for years, including Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit. Headman Nick Park was not involved (though he does the voice a slug) in this American made film. It was instead, overseen by his partner Peter Lord.

Flushed Away is the story of a well-to-do mouse (Hugh Jackman) who is flushed right out of his plush lifestyle and into the buzzing dirty metropolis of sewer rat existence. (It is all very “Bug’s life” “Flintstones”.) He then has a run in with the Frog Mob Boss (Ian McKellen) running the town…. adventure and antics ensue.

How Was It?

This was fun. It was the same kind of English humor you are used to from Aardman Animations but with the American pacing your used to from every other* kids movie. (*At least the well done films, like those from Pixar.)

Odd Note: I think this is the first Aardman Animations film where some one eats meat.

Was It Good For Kids?

For the most part it is fine, though they will probably pick up on lines like “the booty is in the booty” and that could become annoying. Two characters are on a “zip line”, with the girl grabs holding line and the boy holding on to her pants, that expectedly give way. Still nothing is “Sexy” it’s just silly and is followed by the line, “that’s something else I didn’t want to see.” There is also a Tom Jones parody where a grandma screams with delight and then “Tom” is hit in the face with a large pair of underwear.

For a break down of everything on the screen look at Screenit.com.

What about Spiritual Issues?

This film does have some solid Christian tie-ins (Which made it even more odd to me to find out that Nick Park was not really involved.) There is a “Doom’s Day Prophet”  (Sam Fell) letting people know that the flood is coming. It is played for laughs. (Slight Spoiler) Though he looks silly, he turns out to be exactly right. (Big Spoiler) At the end he prophesied that help would come, in a way that points out Roddy’s (Hugh Jackman) self sacrifice. This points to Jesus. (Roddy is a freedom bringer.)

What Is Your Recommendation?

This is more fun with less problems than most kids films. Add a connection to Christ and you have the value of your rental and some great conversations about family, “stuff” vs relationships and self sacrifice.

Flushed Away

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

October 23, 2008

What Is It?

Leaving Chicken Run and several TV ads (I like the one with the sheep), Nick Park returns to the characters that that won him critical acclaim and Academy Awards, namely the cheese addict inventor whose intelligence is overshadowed by his dog (not that he is a total idiot, it’s just that the dog is that smart). Their Clay-mation adventures are everything we love about cartoon humor as well as fun genre parody. They have done sci-fi, mystery, and action/adventure; now they move to the big screen with classic horror.

There is a terrible monster lurking in the town. Wallace and Gromit, now humane pest control, must protect the prize vegetables of the town from the Were-Rabbit!

How Was It?

It was not the gem that each of the shorts are. Still I find that, in retrospect, I thought there were a lot of funny and creative things. Maybe it just doesn’t slap you in the face the way we Americans are used to. I very much liked the fact that it was based on 1940’s and 50’s horror films and started with the idea that monsters are created when God and nature are rejected. Still it was never truly frightening, but more “referenced” fear if you will.

Is It Good For Children?

There is nothing explicitly frightening or inappropriate. Though the symbolism is still there, it is more parodied than veiled. We see mutilated vegetables, dripping with exposed innards and we hear about them being molested. You can check Screenit.com for a breakdown of everything on the screen.

What About Spiritual Issues?

The idea that the rejection of God could result in the genesis of monster is a fascinating one that I am always excited to see explored. The town seems to revolve around the church. The vicar is shown as focusing too much on his own vegetable garden, but then sees this “sin” as linked to the appearance of the monster. He is also the expert we go to if we need to stop a monster. He has a case filled with all kinds of “monster stoppers”. There is also a fun scene where a bunny seems to go to heaven. (Though that is not the case)

Any other issues?

OK, this may not be a big issue, but the “bad” guy is a hunter. It is repeated adnauseum that Wallis’ pest control is better because it is “humane”. No one is ever seen, nor talks about eating anything besides vegetables and cheese. It would not surprise me if Nick Park was a vegan. It’s not bad to be a vegan, but the Bible did tell us we were allowed to eat meat…

What Is Your Recommendation?

This movie is well done. It’s not a laugh riot, but it’s good. The “don’t hurt animals no matter what” thing was annoying. I still would be willing to see it again, maybe now that it has come out on DVD… and enjoy a nice burger while I wach.