Perhaps that's because it's from Aardman Studios, famous for "Wallace And Gromit" and "Chicken Run." Aardman is also well known for their claymation style of animation, which is lovingly preserved, albeit through the use of CGI in "Flushed Away."
The story revolves around Roddy (Hugh Jackman), a family pet who gets flushed into the sewers of London by an unwelcome guest named Sid (Shane Richie). Sid takes over the world "up there" while Roddy is left to fight for his life in the seedy underbelly of London's sewers. In all actuality, though, life in the sewers isn't too terribly bad. When Roddy arrives there, he finds a near replica of London full of busy streets and shops. He decides that he must get home, and seeks out the aid of Rita (Kate Winslet), a female rat who's known for shady dealings. On her tail (pun intended) are the goons of The Toad (Sir Ian McKellan), who says that a ruby he owned which fell from the crown of either Prince Charles or the Queen (I don't remember which) was stolen by her and he wants it back. Of course Roddy thinks that by assisting him in finding the ruby, he'll get help in return to get back home. What he gets instead is more trouble when Rita steals something else from The Toad.
From there, the story becomes a pretty decent action/comic yarn where The Toad's cousin, Le Frog (Jean Reno) and his henchmen try to retrieve the item that Rita has stolen. It's an integral part of a master plan for revenge by The Toad on all of rodent-kind. Along the way, Roddy and Rita become close friends and Roddy decides that he has to help Rita and her family. It's all tied nicely together in the end and is definitely fun to watch.
The voice talents are wonderful. Jackman, Winslet, McKellan and Reno all do wonderful jobs. Andy Serkis, who portrayed Gollum in "Lord of the Rings" and did a lot of the physical movements of Kong in Peter Jackson's "King Kong," plays one of The Toad's henchmen along with Bill Nighy, recent of the latest "Pirate's of the Caribbean" flick.
The humor is, as expected, well grounded in British comedy and uses slapstick at will to enduce laughter from children. There are plenty of crotch injuries, one fart joke, and a few pokes at stereotypical Americans and the French. It's all done with good intentions and there's nothing really offensive here.
It will hold the attention of both young and old, but children will probably enjoy it more than adults. I enjoyed it but I have a tendency to enjoy silly children's flicks like this. I'm also a fan of Aardman's other work, so perhaps I'm a little biased. Rest assured that whenever it leaves the theaters and eventually hits the DVD rack, I'll be one of the first to buy it for myself and my family.