(out of 5)
The world of rats is as classist as the rest of London in this charming animated film. Hugh Jackman plays an “upscale” rodent, a pet rat who lives in a gilded cage in a posh Kensington home and is thrilled when the family that owns him goes away on vacation. Enjoying the comforts of the pad all to himself, he is devastated when a mangy sewer rat burgles his way in and flushes our hero down the toilet. He ends up in a vast rat civilization below ground where he discovers confusion, chaos and most importantly, company. Teaming up with a feisty gal-rat (Kate Winslet) who has made an enemy of mini-London’s frog mob boss (Ian McKellen), Jackman is given the opportunity to prove himself worthy and even get a little romance on the side. The story is entirely predictable, but the combination CGI/claymation work is beautiful and there are some sight and dialogue gags that are actually very funny. McKellen pretty much steals the whole thing, his voice work as the social-climbing amphibian (which won him the Annie Award for voiceover work) is hilarious enough for the best Pixar films out there, but the rest of the film is only slightly above average.
Aardman Animations, DreamWorks Animation
Music by Harry Gregson-Williams
Production Design by David James
Costume Design by Jane Poole