Flushed Away

Rated 2.0

A pampered pet rat in upper-class London (voice by Hugh Jackman) gets flushed down the toilet by an invading sewer rat, and has to learn to fend for himself in the sewers of London—with the reluctant help of a “sea”-faring soldier of fortune (Kate Winslet). One drawback of the onslaught of animated features in the last few years is that they’ve fallen victim to the simple economics of movie exhibition; an idea that 60 years ago might have made a perfectly good six- or seven-minute short gets expanded and padded and stretched out until any charm or wit it might have had is buried in the animators’ frantic efforts to keep things humping along for a full feature length. That’s what’s happened here; there are a full seven writers and two directors, but the story and characters remain unengaging.